I agree try to find a USA source. several reasons, with first hand
I spent over two years along with a group of fellow artists trying
to buy a bulk order of a special and expensive photography chemical.
It took that long because each batch had to be tested for purity and
usability. 2 years later we finally had a batch that would serve us.
Quality was the issue.
Husband use to work for a large catalogue company that also has a
vast store front network. They routinely had to send back any where
from 1/3 to 1/2 of their order because the items didn’t meet quality
control on a minimum level.
I have a friend that use to own the WahWah mountain bixbite mine.
They sent to china nearly 400 pounds of crystals to be cut. This is
almost 8 years since, and they have received a whopping three stones.
While that company continues to sell the bixbite (red emerald) in the
I have another lapidary friend. He sends to china many times a year
several 55 gallon drums of rough material to be cut. I understand
losing weight due to cutting the stones, but they are lucky to get
back even 5% of what they sent over. As a result the two mines he
owns he will not send them rough from them. They are rare stones and
he doesn’t want to lose stones to have them show up on the market
It was explained to me by a neighbor that had moved to this country
from Shanghai, That it was normal for half or more to be retained by
the company. It is how it had always been done. Yet to us in this
country, we scream about such practices. As to quality control, they
don’t care and if caught sending substandard goods, only then will
they try to fix the problem. The next time an order is placed, you
have to worry will the process of finding substandard work happen all
over again. Frustrating enough to deal with things like this in this
country, but try to deal with it over seas in China if you are not
going to be there to stand over them and watch.
In the end, Good luck with your project.