Gemstone for Business Success: How to Get Started

One of the oldest minerals in the world–gemstones, are known to rarely depreciate in value. Usually, supply determines the value of gemstones. For example, compared to other gems, diamonds are low in supply, albeit by limited production or companies trying to monopolize the industry, resulting in them being expensive.

You cannot produce natural gemstones, and therefore start-up costs are also high due to the low supply, however, selling these precious gems can be quite profitable.

Making money with gemstones is perfectly feasible, but you’ll need to consider the following helpful tips.

You’d need to be willing to invest your time and your money, leveraged with a considerable amount of patience. Either way, cut or rough, gemstones can be quite costly. It generally depends on the stone, with diamonds and sapphires being the most costly, and aquamarines, tanzanite and topaz more on the lower end.

Travelling directly to where gemstone mines are located in remote locations like Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the cost of rough gemstones will be lower. But make sure you bring along someone who knows gemstones and has a keen eye; or else you might end up paying over the odds for poor-quality gems. And one more thing: The more parties involved in the transaction and shipping of the stones, the higher the price.

Trade shows are a good place to purchase gemstones. In fact, one of the best known is the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. If you want to make money with gemstones you’ll need to have contacts. Trade shows provide that platform, so don’t overlook this.

Success in the gemstone industry is only achievable over time. So don’t expect things to happen within a month or just a couple of years. Longevity in the business is the key, and you’ll require contacts, experience and a whole lot of patience while your business gains a strong reputation. Be willing to reinvest any initial sales back into the business.

Be meticulous when choosing the type of gemstones you want to sell. Do you want to purchase only a few sapphires at a higher cost, or perhaps buy more tanzanite instead? Your decision should be based on how much money you can afford to invest.

Also make sure you determine the condition of gemstones you wish to sell. For example, you could buy rough gemstones at source like Madagascar, and resell to the United States and Europe at a premium. Or, you could buy uncut gemstones, hire a professional gemstone cutter and retail your merchandise on the retail market. Alternatively, you could buy cut gemstones, mount them onto pieces of jewelry and go as a jewelry store operation.

The highest profit margins come from retail sales, but then the initial capital required may be higher, as you’ll need a gemstone cutter and machinery. And what’s more, gems may not sell as fast as you’d like, and that’ll tie you down in terms of cash flow. And of course, these gems will need certification from an external party like the Gemology Institute of America.

If you decide to go in the direction of selling cut stones, then you need to find a quality gemstone cutter. Your cut could add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the price tag, or on the flip side, it can depreciate the value of the stone when done poorly. Michael O’Donoghue explains in the book “Gems” that cutting lighter-colored stones like diamonds and pink sapphires requires extra attention than darker stones.

Whatever you do, making money on gemstones requires that you determine your audience. Are you selling to high-end retailers or retailing loose stones online? Or is your target the investor? If your aim is to get into gemstone for business success, select your audience and cater to their needs.

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