Help: lapidary

Hi! Background; We are a small NGO based in India. . We run projects
on employment generation for women, girls and unemployed youths
living below poverty line.

The plan is sanctioned and in about a month, we are going to start a
lapidary Training cum Production centre, which will later expand
into rural areas also. In this project, we start with 45 faceting
machines for colored CZ faceting.

Now, as a planner and promoter, I am worried about the marketing/
consumption of faceted stones produced by us. Please advise;

  1. Is there any craft/ jewelry product in your mind for value
    addition, which we can think of manufacture in-house for easy
    domestic/foreign market? I had in mind of producing diamond/ colored
    stone studded chains (continuous type). From where I could get more

  2. Can we get bulk faceting contracts? how?? where??? I think after
    one year, when the project expands we could produce 2.5 M faceted
    pieces annually.

  3. Is there any specific machine for fastest faceting of CZ ?

  4. Any other suggestions are most welcome

eagerly waiting for your replies.

Thanks in advance
Sandeep Saxena

Dear Sandeep, I am curious to know how it is that you perceive cubic
zirconia to be a market opportunity. It has little market in America
and is already so cheap that even Indian labor costs would be hard
pressed to market it cost effectively.

I would suggest that should you be interested in producing melee
goods you might consider sourcing rough in Kenya, Zambia, or
Tanzania. The East African gem producers generate copious amounts of
very small facet rough. Nairobi, Kenya has a vigorous rough market
as does Arusha, Tanzania… As for modern faceting machines, I am
inclined to believe that modern versions of the old jamb peg
machines can cut circles around the contemporary machines. The Thais
have pioneered the aformentioned . You should bear in mind that the
Chinese as well as other Eastern nations, have made huge investments
in lapidary technology wherein the latest technology is combined
with the cheapest labor, making them awesome compeitors. You might
wish to study their output before making any long term commitments.
As with any competitive marketplace, you might more effectively
compete by finding a niche not being satisfied by the larger,
established competitors. Good luck, R.Mills