How to Start a Gemstones Business

The gemstone business is capital intensive and challenging. You need adequate knowledge of gemology to identify high grade stones.
You could work part-time or full–time depending on your business template. The value of the stones depends on rarity, popularity, market price and cut.
Gemstones rarely depreciate in value and are subjected to the forces of demand and supply. Gemstone is a generic word that encompasses precious stones, crystals, jewelry and organic material such as pearl.
To start the enterprise you need gemology knowledge and funding. Other requirements are using quality cutters, choosing a niche and establishing a brand.
How to Start a Gemstone Business
  • Learn gemology
  • Operate a standard laboratory
  • Write a business plan
  • Focus on a niche
  • Sell wholesale or retail
  • Purchase the stones
  • Use quality packaging and shipping materials
  • Sell online
  • Market your business
Types of Gemstones
It is very important to differentiate between synthetic and authentic gemstones. Synthetic gemstones are chemically produced in laboratories to look identical to real ones.
The classification of gemstones is predicated on distinctions between semi-precious and precious stones. Precious stones are graded by rarity, luster, and translucent quality.
They are generally classified based on color, hardness and translucence. Modern gemologists use a more calculated approach in determining precious stones.
They identify stones based on chemical compositions, crystal system or trigonal quality. Precious and semi-precious stones include diamond, sapphire, ruby, amethyst and ruby. Others are turquoise, quartz, tigers-eye, pyrite, moss agate and carnelian.
Extremely Rare Gemstones
  • Painite
  • Hibonite
  • Red beryl
  • Jeremejevite
  • Chambersite
  • Taaffeite
  • Musgravite
  • Grandidierite
  • Poudretteite
  • Serendibite
  • Zektzerite
Gemstone Value
Gemstones are generally valued based on four parameters. These are the stones clarity, cut, carat and color.
However modern precious stone trade is based on treatment, branding, design, trends and designer. A gemstone merchant could leverage on numerous grading laboratories for accurate classification and pricing.
Some laboratories that carry out this function include Gemological Association of All Japan, Gemology institute of Southern Africa and European Gemological Laboratory. Others are American Gemological Society, and Swiss Gemological Institute.
Some Grading Laboratories
  • Gemological Association of Japan
  • Gemology institute of Southern Africa
  • European Gemological Laboratory
  • American Gemological Society
  • Swiss Gemological Institute
Cutting and Polishing Gemstones
Cutting and polishing gemstones increases the value when done properly. Some stones are used in their natural form while others are cut and polished.
The polishing brings out the luster and clarity of the stone. Professional cutters use the faceting machine to cut while facets are deployed for polishing.
Some gemstone under go heat treatment, irradiation, waxing, oiling including fracture filling.
Choose a Niche
To succeed in the precious stone trade you need to choose a niche. Focusing on a particular stone offers specialization and branding.
Then determine your business model such as wholesale or retail. Both have great profit potential however retail offers larger margins.
A retailer only needs to use the services of a top gemstone cutter for best results. Other considerations include method of sales such as through retail outlets or online.
Sourcing the Gemstones
Gemstones are costly because they are rare and hard to find. Source your product through trade shows and destination locations.
Countries that have huge gemstone deposits are Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Madagascar. Others are Russia, USA, Southern Australia and Canada.
  • Sri Lanka
  • Myanmar
  • Madagascar
  • Russia
  • USA
  • Southern Australia
  • Canada
Registration and Licensing
Register a business name and get an income tax permanent number. Then register as a member of a gemstone association.
Find out the precious stones allowed for export in your country. Don’t forget insurance cover for your precious stones.
Build a Website
You could rent a store or work from home. Selling online is another way to market your products.
You need to insure the stones and apply appropriate packaging. Make sure you receive full payment before shipping the precious stone.
To build a website register a domain name and get a host plan. Build an optimized website and use social media channels o drive traffic to your site.
Offer quality products and discounts to repeat customers. Make sure the website has a shopping cart, about me page, company address and dedicated phone number.


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