Price the Cut Stones at Gem Shows

Try to attend some of the major gem shows throughout the year. The Tucson show, held every February, is one of the best. Las Vegas in June is another good place and time, with the JCK, AGTA, and GLDA gem shows.

In addition to the other things you’ll do, like looking for gem rough and talking to friends, go shopping for cut goods. Price everything you can find — commercial, custom, and anything else that looks interesting. Look for color, clarity, and quality and get a sense of availability and supply (they’re different). Try to spot any trends.

Frankly, this takes a fair bit of work, but at least you’re looking at lots of beautiful stones.

Look for Pricing Trends

Keep track of what you’ve seen and their prices. When you get home, look through your notes carefully. Generally, as you look through the data, pricing trends will begin to emerge. This holds true especially for better quality, larger stones (1½ carats and up, usually).

This process isn’t perfect. However, it will give you a pretty decent handle on wholesale prices. Now, you have a basis for pricing your cutting. (Don’t…