Whether your gems are cut or uncut, estate gems, or freshly plucked from the Earth, it has never been easier to sell gemstones! We have a list of methods and contacts that you can use to sell any gems that you have quickly and easily. Just a few decades ago you'd need to make contacts and ingratiate yourself with a certain crowd.
With the power of the internet at your back, you can be carried to a deal quicker than ever before. Pop those gems in the mail (preferably registered/certified mail, as it's the most secure.) and wait for your payday! This list of contacts and methods to sell your gems will prove invaluable if you encounter a windfall of gems that you aren't sure how to sell.
Categories of Sellers
In order to understand who will pay that cold hard cash for your gems, it's crucial to understand the five different categories of purchasers in the gem buying game. If you attempt to sell an uncut rough gem to a retail purchaser, it will lead to some undue embarrassment and will immediately mark you as an inexperienced seller. Some less than scrupulous buyers will obviously not hesitate to take advantage of your inexperience, so you'll need to keep your wits about you if you're hoping to collect the largest sum possible.
First tier: Sellers of rough and first-generation cut gems. These sellers will generally distribute their wares to the tiers that follow. If you have a rough gem, talk to these guys.
Second tier: Corporate entity purchasers are looking for people selling gems in massive amounts. This tier generally consumes a huge portion of stock from the first tier.
Third tier: Collectors that resell to even more dealers at a slightly higher markup make up the third tier. These are the purchasers that end up selling to 'guild level' retail stores.
Fourth tier: This tier focuses on buying and selling 'commercial gems'. They also carry some fine goods to support their credibility, but they generally don't invest very heavily.
Fifth tier: The fifth and final tier is the retail gem purchasers. They might get their gems from dealers, shows, or estate sellers but they generally aren't looking to resell.
Note that these contacts are for precious stones. Things like tumbled stones might look nice, but they definitely don't hold any monetary value for the average consumer.
Determining A Path
It should be fairly obvious which type of buyer you will need to get in contact with in order to sell your gemstones. Raw gems to the first, bulk quantities to the second, single high quality stones can usually be sold to the third, lower quality gemstones can be sold to the fourth. Finally, if you're looking to sell quickly and easily there are the dealers, gem shows, auctions, and estate sales.
A gigantic percentage of gem sellers will want to make contact with one of the gemstone buyers in the fifth tier. Once you know what type of gem purchaser you're looking for, a quick trip to Google will offer exactly what you're looking for in huge abundance. Do be wary about who you're dealing with. As with most areas of the internet, there are no shortage of scammers lurking to try and make some quick money.
You'll want to make sure that any gems you're selling look their absolute best before going to market. Tougher gems can take a trip through an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner for the deepest clean possible. Less hardy stones will need to be cleaned with the gentle cleaning kit.
Insuring Your Gems
Knowing the value of your gem is important. If you've had the gem professionally graded you can easily attain an estimate and even a certificate to prove the grading of your gemstones. Some of the higher-priced gems might need to be hand delivered. The maximum amount that a registered mail package can be insured for is a mere $25,000.
Particularly expensive gems can easily reach six-digit price ranges, and in these cases there are third party courier services that can hand-deliver your gems. Do note however, that as with most things related to money, you'll want to ensure that they are reputable and verified. It's quite easy for a low-quality courier to see a half-million price tag on a gem and consider the old cut and run.
Where To Sell Your Gems
The moment that you've all been waiting for! A list of online gem purchasers that you can make contact with. Once again, Simple Shine does not endorse any of the following businesses. You will need to vet the purchaser thoroughly before following through with any sort of sale.
There are many B2B (business to business) marketplaces out there. Anyone can sign up so you'll want to deal with verified users for the most part, but it can be a quick and easy sale if done properly.
Gem and jewelry shows can be a great way to showcase your gems and easily find a buyer. The above link features a plethora of shows where you can go to sell your gems and jewelry to eager buyers!
If auctions are more your speed, you can easily list gems for sale on sites like eBay but you'll probably have better results if you're utilizing an auction site that is specifically for selling gemstones. The above link is a decent place to start.
Our final stop is the dealers. The above link encompasses buyers, importers, and purchasing managers. You can sell almost anything here, including rough gems that might otherwise require a first tier contact.
You can sell jewelry on consignment for almost zero legwork, but I wouldn't recommend it as the consignment shop will take a rather large bite out of the sale price. Pawn shops are a terrible option, check out our blog on why pawn shops don't buy diamonds for a bit of enlightenment there.