China is the world’s top producer of gemstones, with the industry growing rapidly over the past decade.
But for many, the prices have been astronomical.
A diamond ring in China can fetch $2.5 million, or more than $3 million in the United States, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
In the last three months, the price of a 1-carat ruby, a 1,000-carotated sapphires and a 1.5-caratt rose from $5,500 to $7,000.
In Hong Kong, a ruby can fetch more than a million yuan ($2.6 million), while a ruby and a sapphuis are selling for $5.3 million.
China has also been known to import Chinese gems, often at a steep discount.
A piece of sapphas sold in the Hong Kong market for more than double the retail price of the gemstone itself.
The ruby market is so big in China, it has become a sort of national treasure, a rare gem of the middle class that sells for thousands of dollars.
Gemstone buyers are drawn to the market because it is so much more affordable, and because the gems are considered “beautiful,” a rare commodity in China.
But the quality of the stones has become increasingly compromised, according a report by a Chinese jewelry company that sells to buyers in the country.
In 2016, there were 1,721 stones mined in China to produce 1,957 pieces of jewelry.
That was more than five times the number of stones mined by India.
Chinese gemmakers have been caught off guard by the price hikes and have been forced to scale back production, the report said.
As a result, the demand for the precious gems has fallen, leading to a glut of the rare gems.
According to the report, China’s demand for ruby and sapphus has plummeted by 80% since the 1990s.
But demand for sapphs has remained high in other parts of the world, including Europe and Japan.
China is one of the top producers of saplers and other gemstones in the world.
In 2016, the country produced almost 7 million tons of sappers, the largest such market in the Western Hemisphere.
Sapphires, a type of emerald, have been mined in the past by people in China since ancient times.
They were first used in the ancient Chinese cities of Qinhuangdao and Xi’an, but are now prized in the jewelry industry as they are a natural mineral.
They have been used in Chinese culture for thousands years, but in recent years have been being exported to the West.
About 5.2 million sapphis are mined each year, making it the third-largest gemstone market in Asia after China and India, according the Global Gem and Jewelry Association.