Buying gemstones from Scrap gold shops

Hello all,

I’m relative new here in this nice community and studying since june this year the “professional Gemologist Certification course”. My goal is the trading gemstones in the future.

To have a start I want to buy loose gemstones from gold buying shops, for practice and selling online.
I was wondering what a fair price could be per ct for a mixed lot of loose gemstones (with a little hope for some good stuf) :slight_smile:

Who can share his/here expe rience?

thanks a lot Eric

To buy mixed parcels from gold buyers is difficult. They put everything inside synthetic, natural and the most important broken stones too. Broken stones have to be repaired if you want to make certificates and sell them online. Synthetic broken is a loss because not worth to repair. Synthetic ’ s you can only sell as synthetic because selling them as natural is cheating. And worth maybe a few $ if you have already a buyer. Then you must be able to identify the naturals some are more worth than others. Citrine, Topaz, Amethist are low ranges. Spinel, Tanzanite, Peridot, etc worth more to come to Ruby Sapphire and Emeralds go higher but you can have low graded too. So all this has to be considered before you make an offer on a mixed parcel. You must be able to identify all this and not be naive for their words. Because they want the highest price!! A good calculation of percentages and you will be successful. Do some price research first of each item, is a good advice.


Hi Eric,
I tried buying broken stones from pawn shops in my area (East Tennessee) at one point, but the pawn shops sent their scrap gold to a central office (they were chains) for processing. They are probably mostly interested in reselling the diamond melee. You might have some luck with jewelers, as they seem to accumulate stones that are damaged in setting. Most will probably over-value what they have or refuse to sell it. Professional cutters who are looking to drum up business and who do gemstone repair will sometimes go around asking after damaged stones that they can recut…if they are good at gemology they have a chance at some good rough for cutting and if the jeweler wants his stones recut and returned, it turns into a repair job.

The chances that you will run into something that is damaged that is worth much are very slim. Someone with some expertise is likely to look at it at some point after it is removed from the mounting and if that’s not true, the psychology of owning gems is such that people almost always overvalue what they have rather than undervalue. That’s why the jewelers have a collection of damaged stones in a drawer…they can’t seem to turn loose of them for almost nothing and lose money. Most of what ends up in pawn shops is low level stuff anyway…amethyst, citrine, blue topaz, ametrine and various synthetics. You wouldn’t want to pay more than a few dollars per carat for such stuff, esp. if it is damaged. If you had some idea that it was sapphire, for example, then you’d need very good valuation skills to keep from buying an imitation or a synthetic worth less than $3 a carat. If you are wanting to practice your gem ID skills, I do occasionally see some loose gemstone lots on sale on Ebay, but they aren’t great bargains. I sympathize with your desire to get your hands on some gemstones to evaluate, but your best bet might be to get some work in a jewelry store. Professional cutters often have some wonderful inventory, but a lot of them are fairly private and secretive individuals and not likely to invite you over to look at their inventory. I hope this helps.

Thanks for sharing, it would not be easy, for sure. It will be alway’s a gamble ánd a learning experience for me.
good luck

Hi Royjohn,

Thanks for your tips and advice… The psychology ablout value I know from my own experience.
I will go for a hunt share my experience here on this forum…
Have a nice day

Hi Roy,

I am a diamond melee buyer for secondary goods. All sizes all qualities all shapes. What city are you located ? I used to go to NY and LA to buy. Do you have in your environment good relationship for such goods ? I buy them all mixed

Thnx best regards,

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Eric, i just responded to Lou who posted here.

Im trying to liquidate my stone inventory for health reasons.

I have a lot of stones that are larger size but just regular lower priced types like citrine, amethyst, quartz, etc.

I also have nicer better stones like rubies, alexandrite, emeralds, demantoids, tanzanites, etc but i dint think thats what your looking for.

My experience with gold buyers, pawns etc. Are unless its a diamond or unusual stone they don’t even bother, they’re more concerned with selling the metal.

Thanks for reading.


If interested let me know and maybe I can be of some help.