If you look at current hammer prices realised at auction houses for unheated ruby and sapphire gemstones, fancy coloured diamonds with primary hues, and 10.00 carat colourless diamonds, you will notice a significant increase in value from prices realised ten years ago. This current trend, which does not appear to abate, has attracted both collectors and investors of these rare gemstones. It is important to differentiate between both parties.
A collector is attracted to a gemstone that is intrinsically interesting and rare, they may also be interested to create a complete collection so his/her enthusiasm never wanes. In addition, a collector may derive pleasure in displaying a gemstone collection for parties to view or may delight in having a piece of jewellery designed that gives credit to the beauty of a significant gemstone.
An investor will commit money or capital to a gemstone portfolio that may include more than one gemstone with the expectation of increasing the value of that portfolio. The gemstone may never see the light of day and be held in a secure storage vault.
The differentiation is the gemstone collector buys into rare gemstones for differing purposes than the gemstone investor, who is primarily interested in increasing the value of his portfolio and is motivated by financial gain.