Despite a recent dip, white diamonds remain in strong demand among Hong Kong jewelry buyers. Yet auctioneers have said to increase their offer of a wide variety of other precious stones to meet the more diverse taste of the Chinese Mainland’s jewelry buyers. Jade, colored diamonds and other gemstones are being brought to auction houses to test the market.
According to Stewart Young, director of the jewelry department at the Hong Kong-based Tiancheng International Auctioneer, Mainland collectors have more diversified tastes. Hong Kong jadeite collectors prefer mostly a translucent green tone whereas Mainlanders are willing to spend on anything ranging from very dark green “old mine” jadeite to clear icy jadeite and even red jadeite.
Hong Kong is an Asian hub for diamond auctions and other precious stones. In April 2014, renowned auction house Sotheby’s achieved US$106.6 million at its Hong Kong spring auction compared to US$61.4 in the same sale last year. This number is expected to rise due to the increase of jadeite offerings and the demand for colored diamonds. Despite jadeite not having a standard price like diamonds do, the growing interest in jade jewelry is attracting steep and impressive prices.