I got asked this question a lot of times so I thought it will be an interesting topic and useful knowledge for everyone! Today I'll take you to the basic of gemstone tradings!
Many of us like and wear jewelries, such as earrings, rings, necklace, etc. For those jewelries that are adorned with real gemstones (such as ruby, sapphire, diamonds, emeralds, etc), the gemstones got to come from somewhere (I'm not talking abt the shop where you bought it from) :) and it's only natural if people are curious as to how we (gemologist and gems trader) obtain our gemstones. Let's take a peek!
While I was in Thailand, I frequented many gemstones' trading places. On contrary to general extreme assumption (people usually thinks I got the gemstones straight from the mines with all those dynamites to blast the rocks OR from a high tech store with 24/7 super strict surveillance), the real gemstone tradings are still very much traditional with trust plays an integral part of the transactions.The tradings are done in an area called gemstone market.
Here's Chantaburi, one of the main hub for gemstones trading in Thailand. In this old market, people sell and buy stones on the street, alongside the food sellers LOLz...for real...
Here's one of the town's oldest market corner, where buyer sits down and wait for sellers to come and introduce their stones. All transactions are in cash, no refund. Quick and sharp observations as well as experiences are crucial, since there are many crooks trying to sell synthetics and fakes. But once you got caught selling 'lemons', you're out of the game...pretty much... it's quite a tough and unforgiving market...
Here's another market's corners. Look at the crowds... they are all mixture of buyer and (mostly) sellers/brokers. This humble place and the one I mentioned above have been around for at least 100 years, and still unchanged.
Below is the relatively new market centre, with air-con... Seller can hire a table for the day and write down all his requirements that he needs, and wait for abit....
Within a few minutes (literally)...sellers from all corners with any gemstones that meet buyer's spec come and present their 'wares'. That's my friend sitting (sleeveless top), that particular day he was looking for blue sapphires and rubies.
Selection is made while those sellers watching you. For many who just begun, this is quite a tough mental test as you need to fully concentrate on the gemstones and make your decision quickly (usually in less than 5-10mins).
Can't speak Thai? Not a problem, that's why they invented calculator :) tough bargain is part of the transactions. When the price is agreed, then the cash and the gemstone exchanges hands.
Even seasonal and experienced buyers got duped once or twice in a very long while. But that's how you learn in this field, unfortunately there's no other safer way if you choose this kind of market. But also, if you master your skills, then you're ahead of your competitors since you get more bargains by cutting middle-man. So gemstones trading could be a tricky field :) But I love it...and I enjoy the games...
Well...this is only a very brief preview of what actually happens on the market. Not every gem trader physically go down to trading towns like this one due to the risks involved. There are safer alternatives but price-wise, way more expensive...but each to his/her own way in doing business ;)
Educate yourself before you make a purchase of a particular gemstone, dont be lazy when you're about to pay hundred or thousands of dollar for your jewelry. Ask your jeweler questions before buying, about the property of the gemstones, the quality, the cut, etc (but make sure you do your homework before asking). If they can't answer even your basic inquiries, then...maybe you should question the stuff they are selling. If they answer wrongly (and again, the only way to know this is if you've done your homework), then...again be cautious..
Im not saying that every jewelry seller who can't answer your question is a cheating bastard, but they (since they don't have the necessary knowledge) COULD be cheated by the people whom they bought the gemstones from without knowing it, and guess where the gemstones will end up at?? At the buyer's hands, and it could be you :)
The simplest way would be asking for international certification...you pay abit more but you will be sure you get what you're paying for ;)
I hope you enjoy this post!!
Latersss all!! :)))