Gemstones for Sale
Lots of retailers sell jewelry, but you don't often see the sign "colored gemstones for sale". That's because the loose gemstone business is a rather specialized one. Most of the people who buy loose gemstones are either gem dealers themselves or jewelry designers. There aren't enough gemstone collectors or aficionados in most places to justify a gemstone store at your local shopping mall.
There are actually a large number of gemstone buyers, but they are distributed all over the world. So successful gemstone dealers have learned to reach the market via the Internet. Recently we've also seen attempts to use television shopping channels to reach consumers, but it is too soon to say whether any companies can survive doing that, given the very high marketing costs.
One of the challenges of the colored gemstone trade is that gems are mined, cut and polished in far flung regions of the world. So if you want to be a gemstone dealer, North America or Europe is not the best place to be. Indeed, American buyers have to wait for the annual Tucson gem show for dealers from all over the world to bring their goods to the USA.
The main cutting centers for colored gemstones are in Thailand and India. Since Thailand has better infrastructure, it has some advantages as a trading and manufacturing center. Thailand has the the good fortune to be located between Burma, the source of some of the finest ruby, sapphire and spinel; and Cambodia, the source of some of the finest zircon. Thailand has also become an important trading center for African gems such as tourmaline, tsavorite garnet, tanzanite and spessartite garnet.
The main challenge in Thailand is that few Thais have good English language skills, so it is not easy for them to market their products over the Internet to the international community. Some foreigners who have settled in Thailand have been able to help the local gemstone industry, and a number of Thai companies that sell on the Internet are partly foreign-owned.
You'll find many colored gemstone dealers online, but finding a reliable one is not always easy. There are many gemstone companies that are honest, reliable and offer good quality products at fair prices. Unfortunately there are also some online dealers who are less scrupulous. So if you're thinking about buying gemstones online, choosing a reputable dealer is the most important decision you'll make.
We've prepared a guide to help you find a dealer you can trust. Please click the link to learn what to look for in an online gem dealer.
- First Published: November-14-2008
- Last Updated: January-23-2019
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