Emeralds from Brazil are steadily gathering steam in the universe of fine gemstones, driving robust demand from major global markets.
An emerald’s enduring beauty has captivated traders and collectors all over the world since ancient times. Today, these gemstones bearing the colours of nature and hope, continue to enthrall the global gemstone and jewellery industry. Versatile and sophisticated, emeralds command attention in international auctions and exhibitions.
Over the years, Brazil has become a force to reckon with in the gemstone industry, particularly in the emerald trade.
Marcelo Ribeiro, director of Belmont Mine, attributed this development to a steady growth in demand for emeralds across major markets worldwide.
Belmont’s customers are now using a great deal of emeralds to add value and character to their jewellery pieces. “Our business is growing exponentially in Asia since Chinese customers are now using more emeralds after their interest in tourmalines has subsided,” he added.
Ribeiro also cited a shift in customer preferences when it comes to the cut and quality of the gemstone.
“Customers that were more conservative who used to buy only emerald cuts are now asking for ovals, rounds and pear shapes. Buyers that were into commercial-quality stones in the past are now moving to medium and high-quality pieces,” noted the gemstone expert.
Pride of Brazil
According to Ribeiro, customers with less experience tend to buy emeralds purely based on origin but buyers are becoming more educated and are putting a premium on the stone’s beauty, quality and price.
“We have always been recognised for offering the best calibrated gemstones. We are now producing exceptional single stones that are being used by influential brands in Europe,” disclosed Ribeiro. “Brazil has modern mining regulations. We also started the process of professionalisation much earlier than other sources.”
Majority of Brazilian emerald production comes from a huge concession that belongs to Belmont Emeralds, a company that has been investing in modern mining technology for 40 years.
Ribeiro cited the ultra-distinctive colour of Brazilian emeralds, which makes them stand out among other stones. Another noteworthy characteristic of emeralds from Brazil is the wide variety of sizes that buyers can choose from. In terms of lustre, Brazilian emeralds are available in light to dark brilliant green.
Customers can also choose from top-quality big sizes, cat’s eye variants or small calibrated materials. “All these can be cut from the rough that we produce in our mines. This is very unique. We are highly recognised for our gemstone-cutting expertise and steady production,” remarked the company executive.
Top-quality emeralds are mined from the Itabira/Nova Era belt in Minas Gerais. Itabira used to produce smaller-sized emeralds but with recent discoveries, it is gradually gaining popularity for premier-quality gemstones that could rival those produced in Colombia in the past.
Supply, however, has become quite tight. “Emeralds are very rare and production is not expected to grow, but with investments in technology, we can at least anticipate steady production,” added Ribeiro.
Belmont Mine, for its part, guarantees that its emeralds come from a conflict-free source, noted the company official. “We can control every step of the production chain to ensure quality. As a mine-to-market emerald producer, we know that traders can get better prices and access to the best stones when buying directly from the source.”
The first Belmont Mine was opened in 1978, revealed Ribeiro. Belmont Mine is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the industry in 2018. “For four decades, we have consistently supplied the world with the best-quality emeralds in exceptional cuts. We’ve recently discovered new mining areas that are very promising.”
Belmont Mine’s major markets are the US, Europe, Asia and Brazil.
“Buyers from Europe, the US and Japan are used to Brazilian emeralds but Chinese clients are only just recently discovering these stones. We are noticing a gradual but significant shift in consumer mindset in China – they are now starting to appreciate and understand the quality of the stone, compared to before when they gave more weight to origin,” noted Ribeiro.
He also cited an immense opportunity in China’s coloured gemstone market. In the past, buyers were partial to tourmalines, aquamarines and quartzes. Recently, however, buyers are turning their attention to emeralds, rubies and sapphires.
“Among the so-called big three in the gemstone world, emeralds are the most popular. Chinese buyers have a special affinity for green since it is an auspicious colour in Chinese culture. Chinese clients are constantly on the lookout for cat’s eye variants and calibrated stones of the highest quality,” stated Ribeiro.
Fulvio Maria Scavia, owner and designer of Italian jeweller Scavia, has long been charmed by the unique appeal of emeralds.
The jeweller recently discovered Brazilian emeralds and has used Belmont’s top-quality stones in Scavia’s latest designs, noted Fulvio, adding that these green gemstones are perfect for producing inimitable pieces.
“I was impressed by Belmont Group. Three things, in particular, struck me: Their care of the local mining area, respect for workers and the quality of emeralds from the Belmont mine,” commented Fulvio.
He stressed that Scavia is always scouting for excellence in creativity, craftsmanship and quality of gemstones. Scavia’s collection is made up exclusively of one-of-a-kind pieces that are intended for women who want to celebrate their individuality, the jeweller noted.
“I endeavour to perceive the distinctive characteristics in a woman’s soul and her most intimate needs and desires so I can transfer these qualities into her piece of jewellery, which must, from the very beginning, feel like a part of her,” remarked Fulvio.
Apart from the unmatched colour, Brazilian emeralds possess great density and strength, which are ideal for pavé settings, he noted. Scavia usually uses emeralds of 5 carats and up, and stones of 1mm to 2mm in diameter for pavés.