Gotta agree with Wintermte. Pawn shops are for sure the way to
go for buying diamonds - both cheap and not so cheap. To begin
with, you MUST to know what you are going after and what you are
looking at when/if you find it. Pawn shops don’t pay much for
their stuff, and I have found that there is a lot of “room” in
their pricing. BUT, you MUST know what you are looking at. Pawn
shops are always my first stop when looking for a diamond.
Since I use primarily small to medium stones, I can usually find
what I want. If not, then call the dealers.
I have had years of dealing with the local shops and have built
a rapport with these guys. Just be prepared to pass or play when
the deal is struck. Cash works best when dealing. Pawn shops are
pretty cash flow sensitive, so they really don’t like to hold on
to too much for too long.
Not only can you get diamonds, but they are a good source for
metal (in a pinch). Usually the people that work the counters of
the shops don’t know beans about jewelry, so the occasional
colored stone also pops up - at really low, low prices. I have
found nice rubies, sapphires and other stones that I have been
able to get for next to nothing. Some of these stones were so
cheap (almost felt guilty - almost) that I couldn’t pass up the
deal. I bought them as an investment and shoved them in the
safe. For instance, an 8 carat NICE aqua for $10.00, a 2.78
carat nice ruby for $15.00. I was buying gold, and the stones
were included. They weren’t interested in the stones, and I
wasn’t interested in educating them. Walk in, see what they have
to offer and listen to the deal. Keep your mouth shut and don’t
try to show off your knowledge or you may blow any future finds.
Don’t try to educate them - most of the counter help isn’t
interested, anyway. Keep a poker face when you find that
"sleeper" and you may walk out with a treasure.
I have a friend who has made a living for the past 10 years
buying from pawn shops and selling to anyone who’s interested.
He’s not getting rich, but he calls his own shots - works when
he wants and plays when he wants. So, go ahead and cruise the
pawn shops occasionally. Get to know them, play fair with them,
and who knows what you may find. Just be sure you know what you
are looking at. Returning money isn’t on their list of things
they like to do. You’ll pay for it in the future one way or