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Emeralds - source in Bolivia

Hi All My daughter is living and working in Bolivia for a while. She
has indicated that she wants to invest some money in gold and maybe
emeralds. Bolivia is supposed to be one of the world’s largest
emerald sources. Does anybody know about how to find a reputable
dealer or source in Bolivia? What should she be looking for as an
investment? She says that there is a lot of gold set with emeralds
and the price reflects the price of the emeralds and just the weight
of gold. Would this be the ‘best’ way to purchase?


I’d respectfully suggest that unless she knows a great deal about
emeralds you advise her to leave the entire idea alone.

Emeralds are notoriously difficult stones to dabble in and there are
so many different scams out there that buying from a reputable dealer
at market price where you return the purchase if it turns out to be
fake or fraudulent is the only way to go. Even then you will not be
able to sell back the material that you buy at a profit. The
sell-back is always less than the investment because dealers have to
make a percentage. Even after you keep them for years the inflated
value would not increase that much more, if at all, than putting the
money in a bank and accruing interest.

Stones can crack, loose color, split, turn out to be tourmaline,
glass, dyed, painted, fused, synthetic. Unless you test, and have the
skill to do it well, you’re heading for a disaster.

Buy stones because you love them, want to own them - because they
thrill, delight and make you sing - for the joy!

It’s the same thing with gold. It’s not really an investment item -
except as part of a much larger portfolio.

“Gold at cost” never is! You’ll pay for the workmanship and more in
an inflated price for the stone. There is no such thing as a free

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

If your daughter has money to invest she should put it in the stock
market. She would have a far better chance of making money there than
in investing in gem materials without proper knowledge. In all
honesty only extremely top gems will have a chance of appreciating
over the years but there is no way that without a gemological or
practical jewelry background she will be able to identify top gems,
especially in the emerald market where treatments are the norm and
you must also have a background in how different types of treatment
effect the value and look of the stone. Now if she wants to buy a
few stones to wear regularly and enjoy herself that is another
story. But invest her money in them with the intent of selling later
for a profit? Forget it.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140