Buying Loose Gemstones on Sale

Blue Sapphire Cushion
Blue Sapphire Cushion
Amethyst step cut
Amethyst step cut
Pink Morganite (beryl) Pear Shape
Pink Morganite (beryl) Pear Shape

Education and Trust

I don’t know how else to start here.  You will need to read blogs and books to educate yourself in gemology.  I’m not a Graduate Gemologist as I state in my about Robert page.  I am a gem cutter, which is similar to a machinist.  Give me a good blueprint and I can make it for you.

My teacher and I went to a well known and highly respected auction house in New York City.  This was a jewelry auction that only happens twice a year.  Jewelry and some loose gemstones on sale.  I lot of great stuff if you can afford it.  I saw fabulous Kashmir sapphires.  Kashmir has been mined out since the late 30’s.  The blue of those stones is what sapphire is famous for.  I saw some loose tourmalines in a small collection.  Rubelite that was RED,  indicolite that was BLUE, green tourmaline that was green without any hint of yellow.  Try and find that rough today!  It’s gone.  Maybe another deposit will come along, but you still have an example from the past.

We realized that as gemcutters we were part of the business.  We had knowledge that most people don’t have, but we still didn’t know the marketplace.  I took a magnifying glass to many of the stones and saw the flaws.  I saw polishing that was not near as good as ours.  But did I have a clue as to the value of these stones?  No.  That brings me to the point of this page.  Gemstones can be very valuable.  That is what attracted me to this business along with a love for gems.  When I was a child and I found quartz crystals in a road cut near my home I was hooked.  The passion continued from there.  Explore and enjoy this wonderful art form, but don’t ignore your common sense.  Deal with an honest jeweler.  There are many out there.  Don’t be afraid to pay a gemologist for an appraisal.  If you are going to bid at an auction and you are spending thousands of dollars for a single stone please get the opinion of a gemologist as to the market value of the stone you are interested in.  Take them to lunch and then pay for their opinions.

The world is changing.  Business is very active on the internet.  I see wonderful collectible gemstones on the internet.  Obviously look for their satisfaction rating.  Their return policy and any references that will insure a satisfactory purchase.  When you get the stone call a gemologist and arrange for an appraisal.  An appraisal fee is your insurance against fraud.  I don’t think I need to spell this out for you guys, but $100 to $200 for an appraisal on a stone that you just spent $10,000 for is well worth it.  If it’s a stinker you send it back for a refund.  If it’s a keeper you have peace of mind knowing that you weren’t ripped off.

Like I said.  I’m not a GG.  From the bench of Robert.  A lowly grinder!  Peace.  Love.

2 thoughts on “Buying Loose Gemstones on Sale”

  1. Hi and thanks for the info! I have often looked at Gemstones on the net but have always been to scared to buy as I can not fully inspect the stone. I myself preach the virtues of reading reviews before buying to my friends et. but as far as Gemstones this hadn`t occurred to me (face-palm). I do love gemstones however and perhaps I may get brave and purchase online in the near future, you must have one of the most enviable jobs in the world!

    1. Thank you so much for your reply. Most, if not all dealers on the net have a return policy. They DO NOT want negative feedback. I found the Chinese to be the least reliable. I had a vendor send me lab created stones that he said were all natural. I could have slammed him to Ebay, but I didn’t want to go to the trouble of returning the stones so I made a deal with him and gave him an ok feedback in exchange for the money. Under $20 if I remember correctly. Ebay does rate their vendors, but I have seen the quality of stones go down on Ebay and I also don’t like the way they run their bidding right now. I prefer Amazon. A term you may not be familiar with is diffused. (I need to go back to my post and elaborate on this). They take a stone and coat it with a chemical and then bake it in an oven. This gives the stone the color that they want. It is not a natural stone and this process is not approved by the GIA . Stones I have looked at on Amazon revealed the process under SPECIFICATIONS. That’s the honest way to do it. Heat treating is approved to take away cloudiness on ruby and sapphire. Cedar oil on emeralds is widely used and approved by GIA. I haven’t had an appraisal done recently and that also reminds me that I need to talk to my gemologist about her latest fees. I bought a Vietnamese ruby on Ebay for $350 and it appraised for $1635. The appraisal at that time was $95. So this is an easy rule of thumb. If you are going to spend hundreds or thousands; get that appraisal before your return time expires. Blue topaz, amethyst, ametrine, and citrine are all beautiful stones when cut well. They are usually all natural and will cost you less than an appraisal. A good place to start. One other thing: The GIA certification is the most respected. Very important when spending your hard earned money. Thanks again. Bob

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *