Here is a price list (US $/carat) for hand cut, certified and untreated gemstones:
Dollar per carat based on average (multi-carat) stones depending on variety (e.g. rubies are generally much smaller than, say zircon)
Rule: bigger is expensive, smaller is cheaper, matched pairs are higher
Prices exclusively for untreated and certified gems in 2019 (if you find stones in our stock that are cheaper they may have been graded in earlier years, snatch them before we notice and up the price)
Precision cuts are works of art and can easily double a gems value
Price span within one group reflects smaller quality issues and differences in size
Presumption: international single item retail (not wholesale or parcels)
- Some varieties like topaz, ruby or sapphire cost only a fraction when treated.
- As a rule Burmese stones are significantly more, African stones less expensive than Sri Lankan gems
- Please ask for standard prices of specialties such as color changers, chrome tourmaline or cats eye alexandrite (these stones are too rare and complicated for a general price lists)
- Subject to the development of the US Dollar vs. Asian currencies
Learn about grading / Ask about pricing
Gemstones on the Web
If you are new to buying stones on the web, you might wonder why apparently similar looking gemstones are offered for vastly different prices.
Compared within one company, the reason will most likely be that the gem photo does not show the stone's true beauty or else hides its flaws. An honest web dealer will set his price based on the stone and not its photo, even if he may discount a gem that refuses to be photographed 'correctly'.
However, a price will also be influenced by the sellers future expectations of the stone's value, his personal taste, the inventory he holds, and the current demand for a particular variety.
If you compare prices between sellers, especially on an international basis, the differences might be even more dramatic.
Here are some reasons:
As a rule, never buy valuable gems without certificates (third-party, not self-made, mind you) and sufficient inspection time.
When you compare carat prices, make you sure you compare on the same level:
Some companies charge extra for transport, insurance, certificates, listing etc.. See our "No Extra Fees" policy.
EBay is notorious for $10 offers on stones that the sellers claim have a declared market value of $1000. Why should someone sell a $1000 stone for ten dollars, unless he is really desperate - which wouldn't give him time for EBay anyway?
You might sometimes find an undervalued bargain on EBay (if you know more than the seller), but you will definitely not get a fine sapphire for $10. If that were so, nobody would be working anymore, let alone mining.
Nobody will sell anything significantly under value. In the gem trade as much as (or even more than) anywhere else the old rule applies: You only get what you pay for!
The $2.99 question: "People sell gems for $2.99 on the Internet! What is wrong with them?"
Simply put: Those are not gemstones. They are synthetics, glass or industrial grade material.
A 'precious gem' for $2.99 is an oxymoron.
For penny pinchers:
While you may find bargains on this website, especially with one of our monthly sales, this is not the place where international misers buy gems. They're welcome to read, learn and have fun, the web is free for all.
To save money, take risks on ebay, try your luck on the many low-cost websites, or be patient and take your time to find a suitable gem in one of the often excellent but small inventories of hobby traders. Take time and bet on auction-sites or search pre-loved jewelry. Even some precision cutters have gems for retail. You can find great almost-not-for-profit bargains on the web (any accountant can tell).
We don't compete on price. Keeping an inventory like ours is no hobby-venture but serious business even if we are a small company compared to NSC, BlueNile or other old-world mammoths gone online over the last decade.
Other than many, we do not use virtual-inventories (meaning gems are owned by company X but sold unseen on numerous websites). We know every gem we offer, personally. Only thus can we judge the quality of each gem, provide realistic photos and write honest describtions. No copy-paste gemstones here.
Personal service and quality never comes cheap. For example, buying thousands of lab reports upfront is not a service for penny-pinchers. Do the math: 2000 reports online today at, say, a low average of $100 each - that is bound capital (not to mention the gems themselves). Many gems have two reports, plus they are re-made every 5 years or so.
Some cost-cutters have asked: why invest in reports? Because it's part of our all-out service commitment. Only with a lab-report already done, can you be 100% sure about what you order. You won't believe how many surprises come back from the labs, even amongst pros.
A 3rd party report also proves that the gem is actually in our stock, not just a photo of a gem which we will try to source after you have ordered it, as practised elsewhere. Furthermore, each gem is absolutely identified with a report and cannot be offered on other websites. Most importantly, however, a 3rd party report kills wishful grading, avoiding subjective opinions on colors, clarity, gem-category, and of course treatments. For those reasons, we have $200K cash bound in reports. That is more than $1k capital cost per month. All for your peace of mind. And it is only one of the many extras we offer.
However, for ways to cut cost read on...
Seen a gem you really like but funds are tight?
Check for a sibling without lab-report, unphotographed, unpublished, with less work attached, and thus cheaper.
Uncalibrated gems are -by definition- unique and never terribly cheap, particularly within our 3*NOS standard. Whenever possible, we source small parcels from which a chosen few are send to the laboratories for testing. Assuming that all is well, we publish the best. The others go into storage. This is where a special bargain may be waiting for you.
Of course, the rarer and valuable a gem, the lower the chance of an unpublished sibling waiting on the sideline yet asking never hurts.
We also have a drawer with gems that will never be published because they don't fulfill our quality standards. Gems with bad windows AND inclusions are not worth our time nor the cost for lab reports, but they do get stuck with us. From those we can be separated easily. Over the years, we even have collected a dozen of treated sapphires and rubies that somebody tricked us into buying or we misjudged.
Hence, if funds are tight, you can ask two type of questions:
a) Do you have an unpublished gem like this (link)?
Works only for 3*NOS gems.
b) Do you have a XYZ-gem with flaws that is unpublished?
It helps to add what kind of flaws you are indifferent to.