In the jewelry world, big bling is hot. In fact, after years of not buying it – because people couldn’t afford it during the recession – experts say demand for “giant gems” has never been bigger!

For example: Last year, Sotheby’s set a single-day record when it sold a 6.5 carat pink diamond ring – once owned by Estée Lauder’s wife - for more than $8.5 million.  Not to be outdone, Christie’s auction house recently sold a rare 76-carat colorless diamond – dating back to the 16th century – for a whopping $21 million!

And giant gems are so hot that the Travel Channel just gave the go-ahead for a new TV reality show, called “Gem Hunt.” Produces say the show will follow a gem dealer as he searches for the “perfect stone” in Sri Lanka which, by the way, is where one mining company recently dug up a 93-pound blue sapphire that’s already valued at more than $800 million!

Why all the interest in big bling? Experts say there are two reasons. First, giant gems regained “celebrity” status in 2010, after Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with a huge sapphire engagement ring because immediately after their engagement, sales of sapphire rings jumped 10 percent.

Also, experts say a lot of people now view big, colored gems as a good investment. The thinking is that after the recession, paper money lost value, the stock market became unreliable and real estate tanked. So now, people are pouring money into big, flashy jewelry - because real gems can’t be manufactured, they’re something tangible which is why the price keeps going up!