Gemstone Wholesale Prices and the Art of Appraising

There are few guides to gemstone wholesale prices. However, appraising gemstones requires in-depth knowledge and experience, not just price lists.

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Question: I'm having some emerald gemstones appraised by a Master Gemologist. Since I'm looking at selling the items I'm dealing in wholesale, do you know where I can find a list of gemstone wholesale prices? I want to familiarize myself with the possible values of any stones I acquire down the line. I'm not planning to use this information to set a higher price on the gems I trade. I'm relying on the appraiser to determine the true gemstone wholesale prices. I just want to learn more about wholesale values, because that's what I plan to be involved in.
emeralds - gemstone wholesale prices
Brazilian emeralds, 5 x 7 mm. Photo by Mauro Cateb. Licensed under CC By-SA 4.0.

Answer: Although a list of gemstone wholesale prices can be a valuable tool for determining a gemstone's value, an accurate appraisal requires extensive knowledge and experience on the part of the appraiser. Most such guides are expensive and limited to a few gems. I know it's difficult to find a value with such a broad range, but that's an accurate reflection of today's market.

Appraising Gemstones is an Art

You should understand, however, that appraising gemstones is an art. It's not something that can be taught or completed just with pricing formulas. Guides for gemstone wholesale prices comprise just one element used for appraisals. Knowledge and experience are other critical elements.

The only good appraisers I know are either gem wholesalers or full-time appraisers. You need to understand all the subtleties of gemstone grading and pricing to do an accurate job. A subtle change in grade can often make a significant change in value. It takes a lot of experience (and maybe a set of master stones) to distinguish between the top color grades of emerald, ruby, etc. Reading or viewing pictures cannot teach this.

Experience Will Help You Determine Gemstone Wholesale Prices

Now, let's simplify matters. You don't need an extensive background to find gems that you can sell for a profit. As you gain more experience, your ability to find stones that you can buy below retail will also improve. The market abounds with these deals. It sounds like you're already off to a good start.


Donald Clark, CSM IMG

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