The diamond sector in Antwerp has experienced in 2011 a 48% rise of its sales turnover, which represents a total ot euros 44,6 billion as compared to the 30,1 billion in 2010 That represents 5% ni the Belgian experts, This progression, both in rough diamonds and cut diamonds, may be essentially explained by the spectacular rise of the prices since the beginning of 2011 up to last Autumn. Some diamond qualities, during that period, have been bordering on a 45% increase, a significant figure if it is compared to the +25% of the rate of gold, which did also make one record after the other tall, The end of the year has, however, been slightly more sluggish, so much so that the diamond dealer capital did have some tears of a strong decrease which fortunately did not take place, During the first quarter of 2011, the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) did forecast a 33% rise in rough diamonds, as compared to 2010. Indeed, on the one hand the United States seem to have overcome the crisis and on the other hand, both China and India with their middle classes in full growth are still experimenting their continuous steady rise as important buyers of jewellery and precious stones.

A remarkable fact is that Japan, which was thought as temporarily excluded following the tsunami catastrophe, is recovering faster than expected. The global financial crisis has therefore played a major role: securities have vanished confidence in the banking institutions has gone downhill. Gold, diamond and precious stones have thus become safe investments (anew). The typical symptoms of an economic crisis may be noted in this situation: average quality diamonds and precious stones are being given the cold shoulder, their prices are going down while the top quality gems a being sought and the prices are shooting up. So, from time to time, the buyers are faced at the mine with manipulated stones mixed in with the original lots. Ruby crystals and (rough) 'gem' sapphires of around twenty carats, found on the production sites, have recently been analysed by gemmologist buyers and have proved to be cut in corundum crystal “Verneuil" (AFG magazine, December 2011).
A phenomenon that may also be found in the diamond sector, near the alluvial deposit sites, where glass crystals (octahedra and dodecahedra), cubic zirconia crystals or phenacite crystals, finely cut (imitation trigons), mixed in the natural diamond lots. It must be said that there is a great deal at stake: the value of a natural corundum is 200 to 300 times higher than a cut stone.
Tanzania and Madagascar also produce nice stones and lately, Mozambique has also become a ruby producing country. This country may even also become the biggest producer of rubies. In spite of all that, the origin of the stone remains a determining factor: an emerald from Columbia will always sell at a higher value than an emerald from Brazil, a ruby from Myanmar will always be favoured to a ruby from Madagascar (at least when purity, colour and vivacity are alike). If this situation is unfair, it is nevertheless the law of the current market. And above all, part of a dream and legends, such as the diamonds of Golconda. Since the creation of the “Geneva rubies" at the end of the 19” century, many manufacturers of synthetic stones - French, Japanese, Russian, American - have appeared on the market. Yet, no synthetic stone has been really successful commercially.
We can find some of them with collectors or in the collections of the gemmology schools, and much more rarely in jewelleries where you may at the most, find coloured glass or synthetic spinels together with synthetic zirconia or even Strass. Whether the stones are set or exclusively glued in fashion jewellery whereas the jewellery market uses natural precious stones .... but often processed. What is not a problem as long as the stone is sold as such to the consumer who can this way purchase a precious stone at a far more advantageous price.