Byline: Lauren Streib
what's driving the surge in giant gems.
Last week American news wires reported, in a single-sentence article, the discovery of the world's largest sapphire, a 93-pound specimen that a Sri Lankan company reportedly hacked into pieces, including an 85,000-carat chunk that it hopes to sell for some $800 million. "We are very positive that this stone will bring a lot of fame," an unnamed company representative revealed in an on-camera interview that appeared on The Wall Street Journal's website. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, a Christie's auction set a new per-carat record for a nine-carat Kashmir sapphire--just one of a string of landmark jewelry sales that occurred this year.
Gems are making headlines due to a perfect storm of sorts. Interest in rare jewelry and colored gems has been on the rise for years, thanks to wealthy consumers who want to find a reliable way to diversify their assets. At the same time, gems are benefiting from a bit of celebrity cache: the Duchess of Cambridge and her Sri Lankan sapphire engagement ring are said by the country's National Gem and Jewellery Authority to have been responsible for a double-digit spike in the sapphire market last year.
At auction, rarity is the main cause of record-breaking …