I’m a hobbiest and am looking for small good quality diamonds (1 mm
and 1.5mm). I found Hoover and Strong which looked great but they
only sell to businesses, which is understandable. Where can I buy
diamonds of that small size online if not a wholesaler? Thanks,
Maybe try Alpha Imports in NY. I have had a few quality issues with
them, which they quickly made right. I’m anxious to see everyone
else respond to this one, too.
ginger meek allen
You can try eBay; I’ve seen stones like that in the past, usually by
the 20-50’s. Quality and clarity etc. are all unknowns in that market
Another option is: Ken Glasser of http://www.DiamondRough.com
I haven’t dealt with him so can’t vouch for him, but I have heard
good things, YMMV.
I'm a hobbiest and am looking for small good quality diamonds (1
mm and 1.5mm). I found Hoover and Strong which looked great but
they only sell to businesses, which is understandable. Where can I
buy diamonds of that small size online if not a wholesaler?
Last time I checked, Rio Grande carries diamond mellee, along with
all sorts of other things (tools, displays, etc.). Decent firm to
deal with, good consistant quality, good service, etc. Their diamond
and other gem prices might not be the lowest you could find if you
have access to true “wholesale only” dealers that businesses may
deal with, but they are not that much higher, and of course way below
retail. Their “middleman” prices are quite justifiable if you
consider that they’re happy to sell you just one or two stones at a
time if you like, and they’ve taken the time to match and grade the
things carefully enough so you’re reasonably assured of getting what
you expect. If you’re not buying large quantities, they’re a quite
reasonable source. Where I work, as an example, we buy our mellee
from any of several sources in New York and elsewhere, generally in
larger quantities (at least several carats at a time), and Rio’s
prices are too high for our needs as a manufacturer. But in our same
building are a number of diamond dealers who claim to sell
wholesale, as well as to the public. Typical small office building
non-descript offices who mostly deal with other local jewelers. These
are mostly wholesale dealers, yet their prices are every bit as high,
and often a bit higher, than Rio’s when you only need a couple
specific stones in a hurry (the “hurry” bit probably raises the
Also, if you’re in a somewhat larger city, it may be big enough to
have some area with a sort of “cluster” of jewelry businesses (lots
of larger cities have a small area the denizens of which might refer
to it as the local jewelry ghetto, where lots of the local small
wholesalers and custom jewelers and the like seem congregated. It
makes it easy when you’re working on something, need a part or a
stone, and someone else in the building can supply it…). If you’re
near to such an area, just asking around that area can often find you
various small businesses dealing in stones, or lapidary work, or
other jewelry specific services and materials. Meet these people,
introduce yourself, and you can find lots of convenient sources for
things. Not just small diamonds.
You can try eBay; I've seen stones like that in the past, usually
by the 20-50's. Quality and clarity etc. are all unknowns in that
market place though.
I post this with a degree of trepidation and with the fear that I
will get lots of flack!
Ebay seems to have a bad name on Orchid when it comes to buying gems
so I didn’t answer this question publicly when it was posed, but did
recommend ebay in my offlist reply. Think about it - you’re buying
on trust, just like ANY other online company you buy from. There are
some very honest, decent and fair sellers on ebay, just as there are
in any market place but for some reason, the bad ones tarnish the
opinions of many people.
I have bought diamonds from ebay from a jeweller in Hatton Garden
(London’s jewellery quarter) who has very good feedback. I’ve also
bought most of my coloured gems from ebay, both from the London
supplier and direct from companies in Thailand as well as others in
the UK and the States. The first two diamonds I bought from ebay
were from the Hatton Garden supplier. They were listed as VVS1-VVS2
clarity, G-H colour. When they arrived I could immediately see that
they were more like I1-I2 clarity as one was very cloudy and the
other one had a visible swirl around the pavilion and visible carbon
spots under one edge of the table - and that was without using my
loupe and they were only 6 pointers! Needles to say, I emailed him
and then sent them straight back on his instruction. He had had some
problems with his supplier and so was changing to a new supplier. The
two I got were from the original stock. Perhaps he was hoping I
wouldn’t notice - I don’t know. He said it would be a few weeks
until the new stock arrived and so I waited. I’d done plenty of
business with him previously and had been perfectly happy with most
things and had sent back anything I wasn’t happy with and they’d been
replaced with ones I was happy with - so I trusted him. I waited and
didn’t leave feedback. After the few weeks he said it would take, he
emailed me to say that I would be very pleased with the replacement
he’d just put in the post. Sure enough, the next day my two VVS
clarity, G-H colour VERY sparkly and “alive” diamonds arrived and I
was able to complete the transaction by leaving very positive
feedback. I will happily buy diamonds from him again in the near
future. From my ebay experiences,
I’ve learned some valuable lessons:
Only buy from sellers who post a photograph of the actual gem
they are selling. It’s easy to tell by looking at their inventory.
If the same pictures are cropping up repeatedly then they are not
the actual gem for auction and you may well be disappointed when it
turns up. As soon as they arrive I compare them to the photograph to
ensure it’s the gem I bid on. If it’s not the same or I’m not happy I
send it back for a full refund.
Only buy from sellers with excellent feedback (above 99.5%
positive) for both the transaction and communications.
Read feedback thoroughly. Find out what they’re like for returning
things if you’re not happy and generally get a feel for other
customers’ experiences with that seller.
Test communications by asking seller questions. If you don’t get
a satisfactory answer or even an answer at all, walk away.
Have REALISTIC expectations. If you see something that looks too
good to be true then chances are it is too good to be true. For
example, I found a company selling “genuine earth mined tanzanite”
and “genuine earth mined” pink sapphire, both in very large sizes
(12ct), perfectly clean and for only a few UKP38!!!. Now anyone
with an ounce of sense, ie most on this forum will immediately know,
as I did, that you CANNOT buy such things as 12ct tanzanites and pink
sapphires for a handful of UK pounds or US dollars. Even with my
limited gem buying experience, I’ve noticed that pink sapphires tend
to come in much smaller sizes and if there was a 12ct pink sapphire,
it would probably cost a fortune! The 6x6mm one I bought from
Thailand for 15 UKP was closer to a realistic price. The same goes
for tanzanite but even more so. Clean tanzanite fetches plenty of
money even in very small carat weights. I reported that company to
ebay. They were clearly CZ, even just looking at the colour of the
If a gem you want is an auction item (rather than a buy-it-now
item), it’s easy to get into a bidding war with others, so set a
limit for what you are prepared to pay and don’t exceed that limit -
just auction common sense in general really.
Don’t bid early and then keep bidding so that you’re the highest
bidder - you’ll just push the price up for yourself if you win or
for others if you don’t. I watch the item and bid in the last twenty
seconds. If I win I win, if I don’t then c’est la vie. You know what
they say “all’s fair in love and war” - and in business in this
If you think something is worth 12 (UKP or USD or whatever
currency) to you, don’t bid 12.00, but bid something like 12.01 or
12.51 as your bid will beat anyone whose highest bid was 12.00 or
12.50 - obviously.
Don’t leave feedback too early. For example, if there’s a delay
with shipping the item (especially if it’s coming from the other side
of the world), don’t leave negative feedback saying you never
received it. Email the seller and try to resolve the matter. Wait a
little while longer and hopefully your item will turn up and you’ll
be able to leave positive feedback. A lot of people are too quick to
leave negative feedback for sellers and that can ruin the buying
experience of others and of course the seller’s reputation.
Most of this is just common sense, but I’ve been surprised at just
how little common sense people use when buying on ebay and I’ve
learned a lot, to the point where I can bid with confidence on items
I’m interested in and 99% of the time I am more than happy with my
purchases - and if I can pass on such tips to help others who are on
a budget but want to buy nice gems, then all the better.
There is a good dealer in Vancouver Canada named J.W. Histed. he
sells in small amounts as well as wholesale to the trade up here. He
has a webpage so can be easily gotten ahold of.
I found a company selling "genuine earth mined tanzanite" and
"genuine earth mined" pink sapphire, both in very large sizes
(12ct), perfectly clean and for only a few UKP38!!!.
That should have read 8 UKP not 38. My apple keyboard doesn’t seem to
like me typing the pound sign. So the fraudulant company I was
talking about was trying to sell huge carat weight “genuine earth
mined” tanzanites and pink sapphires for roughly eight UK pounds.
They were clearly CZ.
It’s companies like that that give the decent, honest sellers a bad
name - but you can get very good deals on very good gems if you buy
Ebay seems to have a bad name on Orchid when it comes to buying
gems so I didn't answer this question publicly when it was posed,
but did recommend ebay in my offlist reply. Think about it - you're
buying on trust, just like ANY other online company you buy from.
There are some very honest, decent and fair sellers on ebay, just
as there are in any market place but for some reason, the bad ones
tarnish the opinions of many people.
I know that, and yet having read the question a couple of times, and
based on what he was after I felt (and still do) that it is a
reasonable suggestion under the circumstances.
I’ve bought a few stones of eBay and usually been happy, although I
have been burnt too, one of the reasons I said quality is an unknown,
yeah they post a picture, but you have no way to know it is the
actual item or what they have done to the picture before posting it.
I won’t make any suggestions about “safe” buying on ebay, as that is
a tautology, so enough said.
PS if you want to see some of my “rock” collection let me know off
list and I’ll email you a link…
We’re actually in agreement, ie we are both recommending some of the
honest sellers on ebay. My reply recommending ebay to Robert was for
coloured stones as well as diamonds and in many of the gems I buy,
you can tell from the picture whether it’s the actual gem. Gems such
as various jaspers, opals, malachite, carnelian, rhodonite,
rhodochrosite, moonstone, etc that have distinctive marks, it’s easy
to tell whether it’s the actual gem.
I’m fortunate in that I’ve not really been burnt by my ebay
experiences, as I always apply certain rules which I stick to. If
I’m not happy, they get sent back for a full refund or replacement
and so far I’ve always been pleased. I am very choosy in what I buy.
I’m no gemologist but have a healthy interest in gems and have read
about and known the four C’s of diamond buying for a number of
years, so whilst I couldn’t pinpoint a colour grading (apart from
being able to tell when a diamond has a yellow cast to it), I can see
when a diamond that’s supposed to be VVS turns up as I2-I3 because of
clearly visible inclusions to the naked eye, so again if I’m not
happy it goes back.
When I said about comparing the picture with the gem that’s
delivered to you, I was talking more about the coloured, distinctly
marked gems as stated above rather than diamonds, but if you are
buying diamonds either through ebay or through some other online
source where you don’t get to examine the stone first, you should be
clued up to the point where you can see if the stone falls within the
grading that you bid on and as Robert is wanting to buy diamonds,
presumably he has enough knowledge to know if what he gets is what
the description says.
As I say, it’s about being informed, having realistic expections and
using common buying sense.
If you are in the trade (Have a business License) Sirgold in NYC has
been a great supplier of small and medium sized goods for us.
Talk to Avni 1 212 840 2794
Just a happy customer
Thomas Cavagnaro, G.G.