New Gemstone sources needed

Hello all-

I am a bit at my wits end here. Just spent 6 hours looking for new
gemstone sources with no success. It seems every place I find wants
me to send $10 to $30 for the privilege of buying from them. :slight_smile: And
although a lot them look promising I really don’t have a couple $100
to gamble with right now. So here I am back here where I should have
started in the first place to ask for help, recommendations and

Right now I am ordering all my faceted gemstones from Rio. I have
been a customer for ten years and I love them. Great quality,
marvelous customer service but for what I am doing right now their
prices are getting a bit shall we say prohibitive. Particularly since
my utilities all went up last month. My budget is still smarting from
that lovely little hike. :slight_smile:

I am a small one person operation. Recently found a kind of cool
niche to supplement the income I get from selling my own designs.
Twice a month I sell gemstone jewelry on the university campus. Simple
post earrings, rings and pendants. The college students love them but
of course cost is an issue for them. So what I need is Rio quality
stones but not at the Rio price. If such a thing exsists.

I haven’t looked around for new sources for about five years and I
was really surprised and not to mention a bit dismayed by the fact
that all the gemstone sources I could find are charging for their
catalogs. So before I spent my very hard earned cash on catalogs
here’s my question.

Who is your favorite gemstone and or cast setting supplier? I don’t
need a huge amount of gems at a time and nothing really exotic
(amethyst, garnet, etc). And just standard cast sterling and 14K
settings (die-strucks are not my favorite quality wise).

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you a thousand times
in advance-


Rio has to be one of the more expensive suppliers that I have ever
come across. Why don’t you give Gem-O-Rama a call, They always seem to have pretty nice
quality stuff at reasonable prices, but their selection changes from
month to month.

Hello Amy I don, have any kind of a catalog right now for gemstones but
I am still working on my website. If you tell me the type of gems, mm
sizes, ct/wt. you would like I can supply you with a wholesale price
for the gems. You can Email me at @Fazio_Jewelers. if you


have you considered looking on ebay? I know, I know - there’s no way
to ensure quality. But if you know what the average price should be,
you can get some great deals. Plus, there are companies that sell
gemstones AND auction on ebay ( is one) and they seem to
be reputable. I have purchased several good buys on ebay.


Dear Amy, Thank you for your post on orchid , I am a fellow orchidian
who supplies Precious and semi precious calibrated gemstones at very
low prices…

I keep my cost low by buying supplies form the source cutting them in
my own factory and selling them Direct to you the consumer …
There is no middle men to interfere.

My Stocks Are in Colorado for speedy delivery and prices which are
below wholesale.

Please visit

And see my prices…
Ahmed shareek

I use Darling Imports. 1-800-282-8436. The stones are excellent. The
service is excellent. Fun people to talk to. They can supply matches
to missing stones if you send the piece to them. I have never had to
return a stone for quality reasons!

For 14K cast pieces, try Stuller at 1-800-888-8777. You can’t find

Please do not sacrifice quality for price (cheap). It is a habit that
is very, very hard to break as your work grows.

Wish you well and profit.

Amy, You should contact the American Gem Trade Association in Dallas
and ask for one of their books that list their members. Then you will
have a list of hundreds of gem dealers,some of whom will be happy to
deal with you. I have never had a gem dealer charge me for a catalog,
nor would I ever pay for one. If they want your business enough, they
won’t be stupid enough to charge you.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers

Amy - I have had good luck with Lambert Holding Co., 807 Silom Rd,
Bangkok, Thailand. I needed a specific size of red zircon cut and
they did it for me no problem - nice stones. I have since ordered
other stones from them, they sent them on approval. I have been

I would suggest e-mailing Dave Glickman, the managing director with
your needs. That’s how I started. He is at: Lambert’s website is at:

I hope this helps.

Kay El in Texas is great and the quality is too some of their cuts are
very different. They also have diamonds and pearls. There is also
Indo jewels in NYC which has great prices and what you are looking for
but not unusual and rare stones. There are tons. What I might
suggest is the gem shows travel fairly close to many of the major
cities and you can have alot of fun. Not only can you spend hours and
hours browsing but you can also meet who you are dealing with. A good
solid relationship with your gem dealer can be an important thing
especially on deadlines and special projects.


Hi Amy, I would like to respond to your post as follows:

Benad has a secure online catalogue with more than 600 items
pictured of a variety of If it is all calabrated material
you want please email or call me and I should have what you need.
(The majority of items listed on the web are free forms and one of a
kind. however there are some calibrated shown. One of the reasons I
have this online catalogue was because of the cost and time it was
taking me to print out cataogues for the mail. I had around 30 pages
and it would take me approximately 3 days to print 4 to 5 catalogues
together. is very service oriented and with
calibrated I will quote you a price if you tell me which materials and
size you need. If you do not like the goods then you can return them
if it is done immediately. Small orders are welcome.


    Who is your favorite gemstone and or cast setting supplier? I
don't need a huge amount of gems at a time and nothing really exotic
(amethyst, garnet, etc). And just standard cast sterling and 14K
settings (die-strucks are not my favorite quality wise). 

Amy, I, too, sell to the High School (Prom jewelry!) and College
crowd. I buy all my stones on eBay - many hundreds in the last 2
years. They have by far the best prices and the most unique items -
cabs and faceted, carved stones, etc…stuff you won’t find anywhere
else. After a bit you can find sellers you can buy from direct and
save even more - especially when you need 8 or 10 for a bracelet. I
have a big collection of very inexpensive standard and unique colored
gems that the kids just love to look thru - they had no idea there was
such a variety of colors and types of gemstones - many on-the-spot
orders. Try seller “” auctions, and e-mail Gary if you
need something.

I am also looking for new suppliers of Sterling cast settings. Would
appreciate any help here, too.

Jim Marotti
Lancaster, TN

Hi Amy, As a certifiable gemstone addict - no interest in
rehabilitation - one of my greatest passions is a gem show. You get to
see what you’re buying, and can usually find some great bargains and
unusual stones you might not otherwise buy. You have to have a handle
on the relative value of stones, but since you’ve been buying from
Rio, you have a benchmark in mind.

There are, in my experience, two types of gem shows. Retail shows,
usually sponsored by a local gem and mineral club, and wholesale shows
(most notably G&LW shows). To access the wholesale shows you normally
have to have some sort of formal business, and register when you
enter. I prefer the wholesale shows - for hopefully obvious reasons -
but still attend and buy from retail shows. Sometimes you will find
retail and wholesale shows in conjunction with each other.

I also love to attend these shows to obtain slabs of cabbing rough.
You really get to see what you’re buying, and buying slabs minimizes
waste and may eliminate the need for a hefty slab saw. Also, buying “a
slab of this and a slab of that” allows you to have a greater variety
of material than buying a multi-pound boulder of one material.

I believe the best resource for finding shows is Lapidary Journal.
They maintain a list of shows around the country (and world) and it’s
published every month in the magazine. I haven’t checked, but it might
also be available online on their Web site. And there is usually a
G&LW advertisement listing their shows in the coming year.

Just an afterthought… you might also consider eBay - I’ve purchased
some great rough and finished stones there. Keep your wits about you
regarding your maximum bid and you can really get some great deals. If
someone is getting in a bidding war with you, let it go and try
another day. There’s enough stuff on there that you can usually get
what you want, at the right price, if you’re patient.

I should also give a plug for Robert Lowe, an American expatriate in
Brazil, who is also on Orchid ( Now,
there’s a man who understands the gemstone addict’s weaknesses and
exploits them! :wink: Truly awesome tourmalines, quartz family gems and
just about anything else coming out of Brazil. Maybe not the guy to
contact for a single 4mm round amethyst (although he’d certainly have
'em), but a valued resource in my gemstone palette! If you’re a
high-end designer looking for awesome stones, I’d definitely drop him
a line! He does come to the U.S. for the Tucson shows, and potentially
other times of the year as well.

Hope this helps!

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

I’ve read most of the replies to a new source for gems and was
wondering if anyone has had any experience with World of Gems out of
Little Switzerland, North Carolina?


Tripps in Socorro NM has a nice assortment of heads for sterling or

Dear Amy: I wil have the posibility to export some small amounts of
gemstones from Latin America for people like you. If you need more
you can e-mail me out of this net. Regards Adriana
Beniscell in Santiagoof Chile

Hello Amy, You’ve been given lots of suggestions for gem suppliers,
so I’ll add a few for castings. Be sure to have your sales tax
certificate for these companies. For silver castings, try Tripps and Indian Jewelry Supply I also am very pleased with Stullers for gold
castings No connections, just a
satisfied customer. Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Amy, I work with a very wonderful gemstone dealer in New York City
called Emkay. They have a huge selection of stones in standard sizes
(nothing too exotic which is the good news and bad news) but they can
get anything you want. They are polite, even welcoming, and have lots
of inventory. They also have sapphires, emeralds, rubies. As far as I
know, they don’t have a catalog. Just call them and tell them what
you need. Emkay International–Ask for Mauritz Klugman.
212-730-0366. Good luck.

Diana Widman at Birch Tree Studio

Hi Amy, I have to agree with Dave Sebaste on Robert Lowe as a
fantastic source for just about any stone, any quality and any size.
We have the InterGem Show in Dallas twice a year, and Roberts prices
are as good as, and better than most of the whole sale prices at the

I have purchased numerous stones from Robert, and have been satisfied
with them all. Emeralds, Tourmalines, Sapphires, Amethyst, Citrine,
Topaz, Aquamarine, Kunzite, Opals…just to name a few. Many of
the stones I have purchased from Robert are on my Web site, not for
sale, but just so my friends can look at…(and get jealous
of…hahahaha…). He comes to the states several times a year,
but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy anything from him , sight unseen.

Last year, I put out a post asking if anyone had ever heard or seen
of Rutilated Amethyst. No one had ever seen it. I asked Robert if he
would look into it and bring me some if there were such a thing…I
now have several pieces of Rutilated Amethyst…they will be on my
Web site as soon as I facet them.

Roberts email is:

Love and God Bless
Home 214-321-6253
Work 469-775-6650
Cell 214-280-7775

Amy, There are only six large cutting centers in the world which all
the suppliers buy inexpensive stones from. I buy native cut stones
from all these locations to recut into custom stones. The cutting
centers are Brazil, Thailand, India, Korea, SriLanka, and China
coming on strong. (there are other smaller operations, but they do
not produce near enough to be a market influence). Europe and Israel
cutting centers produce much more expensive goods, as the quality of
their cutting is much better. Within these five cutting centers
quality of finished products varies widely. Large distributors like
Rio Grande and Stuller have a monumentous task buying the best
quality and insuring that the stones are natural and not synthetic.
That is why their prices are more expensive. They do not buy the
cheapest goods available.

Your choices are to pay a little more or buy lesser quality at no
guarantee. May I suggest that you go to synthetics? They have a
place in inexpensive jewelry and do not jeopardize your integrity by
not knowing if your stones are real or synthetic.

You want to see a few custom stones cut from native cut stones see my

Gerry Galarneau