In the mines of America, Asia and Africa prize gems are being extracted
and collectors pay top dollar to own each gem. At gem trade shows these
collectibles are being bought and sold to people around the world. The
world of gem collecting is exciting and the beauty one enjoys is fulfilling.
As a gemstone wends its way along commercial channels, some straight,
some bent, some quite convoluted, to reach the final customer, the route to
a degree depends on whether the gemstone is alone or in company, loose or
set in jewelry that in turn can be new or antique, and whether the jewelry
offered is legitimate or stolen.
If a gemstone is fated to be sold alone in its pristine or well primped glory,
it probably arrives in the customer’s hands confined to a plastic bubble
and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Unlike a jeweler, who
actually works raw material, a specialist gemstone dealer simply packages
a stone for resale, then hypes its virtues.
However, the two do interact—a typical dealer purchases stones in lots,
separates out those suitable for the “investment” market, then sells the
rest to jewelry makers. If the stone’s destiny is then to be set in
precious metals, its journey takes it through various ports of call inside the
regular jewelry trade, from jobber to manufacturer to wholesaler to
retailer, perhaps playing “seek and I’ll hide” with revenue agencies along
New jewelry is marketed through every conceivable means—from Internet
sellers to mass merchandising chains to exclusive shops. However, if an
item is “estate jewelry,” it might be sold by executors directly to a
jeweler who would then resell it, with or without modifications. It could
also be auctioned.
If the item is sufficiently pricey, it might receive the ultimate accolade
of being put on display in the fancy showrooms of great London-based houses
like Sotheby’s and Christie’s to be knocked down to the highest bidder,
along with other outstanding works of art and antiquity, most of them stolen
so long before as to no longer figure on anyone’s
On the other hand, when something comes into vogue, like the late 1990s
run on antique Mughal gems, interesting things can happen. Some of it was
loot from protected collections in Pakistan and India smuggled off to
London. In addition, skilled craftsmen in cities like Jaipur get busy with
bits and pieces of broken-down old jewelry with priceless gems to resell
these valuable treasures. Gem collecting is a wondrous hobby and it can
make you rich.
CORAL: Coral is known to be very soothing and very protective. It is of an
organic origin, being the skeletal remains of marine animals called Coral
Polyps. Colonies of these tiny creatures build branching structures as
they grow, gradually forming reefs and atolls.
TURQUOISE: It is believed that turquoise tends to bring good fortune,
strength and helps overcome illness. Turquoise got its name from the
Levantine traders called Turks who brought the stone to Europe from
Persia via Turkey centuries ago. Native Americans have prized turquoise
since the time of the Aztecs, who mined it in New Mexico. The natural
variations that occur in turquoise are part of their appeal and beauty.
RUBY: A gemstone, ruby is thought to speed the healing of body, mind and
spirit. It is believed to aid in psychic development while it energizes. It’s
a good stone for just about everyone.
LAPIS: Lapis is the perfect stone for wisdom and fortitude. It is also
believed to be an excellent stone for decision makers. It helps increase
OPAL: Most people know Opal for it's distinctive play of color, it is
semi-transparent solidified mineral composed of silicon and water, and
it gets its name from the Latin word "Oplus" meaning precious stone.
Opal is October’s birthstone. It is believed to release self-consciousness
allowing spontaneous action, and awakens one’s psychic and mystical qualities.
ONYX: It is a semi-precious gemstone, and it is a cryptocrystalline form of
quartz. Onyx is also known to be a calming stone. Native Americans believe it
collects negative energy from you while wearing it.
MALACHITE: It is famous for its radial banding and deep green color.
Popular today for use in Southwestern Indian jewelry, malachite was also
popular in the past with the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. It was
worn as a good luck charm to keep away danger and illness. It is
believed to balance and stabilize ones emotions.
TIGER"S EYE: Also called Tigers eye or Tiger eye is a chatoyant gemstone.
Tiger Eye stone contains a golden yellow reflection on a brown ground color.
The most important source of tiger eye is South Africa, but it is also found
in California. Native American Indians believe it conveys courage and
PEARLS: Pearls are known to stabilize and balance emotions. They are
believed to help your body in using calcium better. For Native Americans
pearls are full of purity and integrity.
RHODOCHROSITE: A mineral mined in the U.S., rhodochrosite is known
to strengthen self-identity; helps heal deep emotional trauma and balances
with a loving vibration.