India, key market for coloured gemstones, says Gemfields

Company is looking at Africa for opportunities in sapphires

June 08, 2019 10:26 pm | Updated 10:26 pm IST - MUMBAI

India hosts a  large number of gemstone clients, says Gemfields

India hosts a large number of gemstone clients, says Gemfields

Gemfields Group, a leading coloured gemstones mining and trading company, has accorded high importance to India due to growing demand for gemstones and plentiful availability of skilled workforce required for cutting and polishing the gemstones.

“India plays a crucial part in Gemfields’ operations,” said Sean Gilbertson, CEO, Gemfields Group.

“It hosts a large number of our gemstone clients – our auction partners – who purchase rough emeralds and rubies from us at auction. India is also the centre for coloured gemstone trading as well as housing world experts in gemstone cutting and polishing – particularly for emeralds which require highly skilled hands to realise the brightest gems with minimal weight loss,” said Sean Gilbertson, CEO, Gemfields Group. “These aspects, coupled with India’s inherent love for colour and fascination for jewellery, make the Indian market particularly important to Gemfields,” he added.

The global market for rough, coloured gemstones is estimated to be over $2 billion (compared with more than $13 billion for diamonds) and the recent auction results have given reasons that 2019 would yield positive results, he said. He did not quantify the business volume from India.

Growth strategy

On the company’s growth strategy, he said Gemfields had been through a transformation in recent years. In 2017, the company restructured and came under ownership of Pallinghurst Resources Limited, which subsequently changed its name to Gemfields Group.

“[The year] 2018 saw us take considerable strides in tailoring our portfolio to reflect our focus on the ‘big three’ coloured gemstones — rubies, emeralds and sapphires —, our preferred origin of Africa, and as well as our vision to become the De Beers of coloured gemstones,” Mr. Gilbertson said.

“The three-year business plan centres around the ‘big three’ — identifying suitable sapphire opportunities in Africa to complement our thriving ruby and emerald operations, expanding our marketing activities to boost demand for coloured gemstones and disposing of our non-core minority stakes in both platinum and manganese mines,” he said.

The U.K.- based Gemfields has been present in India since April 2005.

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