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Where to buy small cabs and a thank you for cataract info

Hi Everyone!
So I’ve been smithing since 2009, and in the early years, while I was taking many classes, I was able to acquire a nice inventory of cabs and such. Now, when I finally get a nice slow-roll of custom orders and time to just make pretty things yo learn new skills, I finally need new stones, I’m unable to buy them!! (I have numerous physical issues, so I :heart: the pace I am able to operate at now - no complaints)
Because I’m not actively enrolled in any class (Covid) I’m not considered a “student” and I’m not fully engaged in a business so I don’t have a tax ID or city/state registration papers (I did one - it wasn’t worth the science or hassle - I never have made a profit and it’s ludicrous to shell out hundreds of $$ quarterly for “taxes” - that I will never collect. So I am blocked brim buying from Stuller (I need my Continuum!!) or Statchura (their selection of gems are EXACTLY what I need/want - even though I purchased from them in the past. I’m stuck with Rio for 925/gold (I can deal with that) but their gem quality is quite poor of late. My last order of moonstones - 3 broke before setting and 4 are unusable they are so dull and cloudy. Left me with 5.
I’d love to use more unique gems…open to suggestions about that too.

I’ve asked around on the ‘gram - and sadly no one is willing to reveal their sources….so I’m wondering if any of you can help point me in the correct direction. I’m in need of 4-6mm roundush cabs of many varieties.

By the way way, thanks for the cataract info - just learned I have some - surgery can waita few years but the info you provided here in the forum was GOLD! My eye doc has me ysing +4.5 readers instead of my over-compensated progressives for close work now. Big difference. Just gotta switch em out when I get up from my bench!

Thanks again for being so helpful!
Keep on smithing’
Lori

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Miners-cutters Peruvian gemstones and others -Peru Blue Opal Ltd . Please feel free to contact us .

Lee Horowitz Gemologist

MadeByLori
March 8

Hi Everyone!
So I’ve been smithing since 2009, and in the early years, while I was taking many classes, I was able to acquire a nice inventory of cabs and such. Now, when I finally get a nice slow-roll of custom orders and time to just make pretty things yo learn new skills, I finally need new stones, I’m unable to buy them!! (I have numerous physical issues, so I :heart:the pace I am able to operate at now - no complaints)
Because I’m not actively enrolled in any class (Covid) I’m not considered a “student” and I’m not fully engaged in a business so I don’t have a tax ID or city/state registration papers (I did one - it wasn’t worth the science or hassle - I never have made a profit and it’s ludicrous to shell out hundreds of $$ quarterly for “taxes” - that I will never collect. So I am blocked brim buying from Stuller (I need my Continuum!!) or Statchura (their selection of gems are EXACTLY what I need/want - even though I purchased from them in the past. I’m stuck with Rio for 925/gold (I can deal with that) but their gem quality is quite poor of late. My last order of moonstones - 3 broke before setting and 4 are unusable they are so dull and cloudy. Left me with 5.
I’d love to use more unique gems…open to suggestions about that too.

I’ve asked around on the ‘gram - and sadly no one is willing to reveal their sources….so I’m wondering if any of you can help point me in the correct direction. I’m in need of 4-6mm roundush cabs of many varieties.

By the way way, thanks for the cataract info - just learned I have some - surgery can waita few years but the info you provided here in the forum was GOLD! My eye doc has me ysing +4.5 readers instead of my over-compensated progressives for close work now. Big difference. Just gotta switch em out when I get up from my bench!

Thanks again for being so helpful!
Keep on smithing’
Lori

1 Like

Hi, Lori -

Please contact me off-line. I’m sure we work something out.

StachuraCo@aol.com

Kind regards,

Mary

3 Likes

hi lori,

i have just started to experiment with buying a few stones on instagram. it have been mostly successful, and quite the adventure! two vendors even recut stones to the size specs i needed…

i am sure there might be various levels of price, quality, service…buyer beware…but i have been happy so far…

try searching “moonstone cabochon” etc…

julie

1 Like

Like Julie, I’ve been experimenting on Instagram. There are many lapidarists who do weekly (and sometimes daily) sales, and the first to claim it gets the stone. Some do auctions. I lurked for a long time, studying them and their customers. There are some I found who supply established bench jewelers over and over again, so part of my thinking is these lapidarists are US-based, established, and they have repeat customers. One of them is R2Rockz on Instagram. I’ve gotten a few lovely stones from him.
Echoing Julie, it’s definitely buyer beware. If someone is selling sapphires on Instagram for an insanely low price, chances are good they’re lab being passed off as genuine or very poor quality. There are also several groups on Facebook, usually with the word destash or cabochon destash in them, where jewelers have current stones they are looking to sell, many times at a discount. I’m in a women’s silversmith group, and a few of the women started two different groups for jewelers looking to pare down their gems and stone collections for various reasons: Cabochon BST Collective and Cabochon, Tools and Supplies Destash for Jewelers.

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Get to know the closest rock and mineral club. There are many. In non-covid times they sponsor shows where you can find the quality and quantity of lapidary material that you are looking for. Good luck…Rob

Hi, Lori! I agree that this is a great place to look for info.

For your gemstone search, try Joopy Gems. They sell retail and if you buy in bulk, you can get a discount. I find they have high-quality stones. I like ordering from them if I want a bunch fo the same type of stone, or matching pairs. They also sell one-of-a-kind stones and specialize in rose cuts and cabs, including in the smaller sizes you mentioned. A clean and well-organized website. https://joopygems.com

I have also purchased one-off stones on Instagram. I like @stonehoarder. The drawback with Instagram sales, besides those already mentioned by a previous poster, that you’re only getting a few at a time. If you want ten 4 mm moonstone cabs that are somewhat matching, I am no sure Insta is the best place to fill those needs. Maybe someone else has a resource for that need. Anyway, the auctions can be both fun and frustrating. If the seller is popular, you have to have a great high-speed internet connection and be on your toes to win.

I have also had some good luck on Ebay. Buyer beware. I check the vendor, how long they have been in business, and read their ratings. Ebay has a robust search engine, and you can be very specific when typing in your search. You can also find many vendors offering “buy it now” products rather than competing in an auction.

I second a previous post that recommended trying to find a local rockhound group and buying through them. This could be a great resource if they are providing specifically what you need.

Wishing you all the best.

Nancy

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Thanks so much to everyone for the replies. I’ve got several sources to investigate now!
I’ve been seriously researching IG sellers - I have already bought from one, and have had in-depth convos with others all over the world. Some are reasonable, some are just outrageous. But it is a hit or miss process. Most accounts are run by middlemen b/t mine owners and larger scale resellers / and there MANY scam/dupe accounts - the honest sellers will tell you that up front. I save screenshots from IG accounts - then I compare - after a week or so of doing that I started seeing the exact same pictures being offered by many different accounts. THe trouble is finding which one is real - i have figured out how do that by DMing the accounts and asking for specific pics of one or two stones in the lot. If they cant do it - I don’t trust them,

I’ve destashed in a couple of FB groups before. Not had the best luck with buying there though. Plus I hate FB in general.

I have a go-to person in Maine i’ll pick up a few unique cabs from one a year (only place i’ll buy from on Esty - I was ripped off pretty badly on there 3 times - different sellers. One place was selling cab stone fakes made from clay!)

I agree that finding jewelers that are going out of business/retiring is a great way to find some pretty nice stones for low $$.

Lori
…in central MA waiting for Spring. I heard rumors it is supposed to happen soon!

-sent via the interwebs🖖🏼

Hi Lori,

If you haven’t already, you should contact Mary at Stachura. She posted earlier in this thread. They’re located in Uxbridge, MA. They have a wonderful selection of stones. You can shop online or visit their showroom.

Pam
Worcester, MA

2 Likes

Hi Pam.! Yes I did. I’d purchased from her in the past at Metalwerx. :wink:

-sent via the interwebs🖖🏼

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No one has mentioned Etsy. There are quite a few excellent lapidaries who sell on Etsy. and some will also do custom cutting.

We can’t use Stachura? Oh no! I really just make jewelry for fun and not a business.

Please contact me off-line at StachuraCo@aol.com. I’m sure we can work something out.

Kind regards,

Mary Stachura

1 Like

Like one other above, Joopygems on Etsy is a favorite of many. They specialize in small rose cut cabs, many are calibrated and round with beautiful cuts and high domes. The plus is that a store that has hundreds or thousands of 5 star reviews on Etsy can’t easily fake that. I’ve bought many on Etsy. Obviously buy a small amount the first time. I’ve had great luck with several on Instagram as well. Always good to chat with them on DM to get a feel. Another well established US seller on IG is hausofstones . A bit pricey but reputable.

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I agree about Joopy Gems, and see her shop recommended often in Facebook groups.

I don’t trust Etsy in general. Too many bad experiences. There’s only one lapidary I have bought from that wasn’t a scam.

A lot of shady sources of gemstones on Etsy. You don’t always get what is in the photo. I try to stick to US or Canadian lapidarists but I got burned by one on Etsy that said they were in the US and they were actually in India and I never got the stones I ordered.