Coloured gemstones have fascinated jewellery connoisseurs and traders for many decades. Over the years, three special gems have stood out as perennial favourites, thanks to their exquisite colour, durability and investment value.
Topping the list is Padparadscha sapphire, which is highly favoured for its exceptional colour – a delicate yet striking mix of pink and orange. Mainly found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Tanzania, this gem commands high prices. In 2017, Christie’s sold a 28.04-carat Padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring for HK$19.3 million (around US$2.5 million).
Demand is also on the rise for Paraiba tourmaline – a variant of the beloved tourmaline family. Discovered in the Brazilian state of Paraiba in the late 1980s, the gem’s intense neon blue colour has inspired many award-winning fine jewellery pieces, with designers constantly praising the stone’s scintillating colour, clarity and rarity.
Spinel, meanwhile, is sought after for its rich red colour and history. Its most valued colours are bright red, cobalt blue, and vivid pink and orange. A constant fixture in fine jewellery collections, spinel has been mistaken for ruby for centuries. Its proper identification and differentiation from ruby gave birth to the science of gemmology, according to the Gemological Institute of America.