Getting Started on the gemstone trade - Blue Sapphire

Hello everyone,

I am a new member to IGS and an alumni member of GIA. I am just about to make my first purchase of Rough Blue Sapphires from Nigeria. My plan is to have them cut in Thailand and then send them for appraisal at the GIA. Once Get the stones back then I believe hard part begins - finding a buyer.

I would appreciate it if the experience members of the forum could give me some guidance, please. Am I on the right path or do I need to take a step back?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


Hey Shein, my name is Fredrik, Iam also new to gemstone playground.
A very good thing is to join some mineral groups on Facebook, because you get very good pointers from people all over the place. And if your lucky, you might even find a buyer there. My point is because of Facebook, you get ideas from professionals and layman at the same time.
Good luck to you

Hello, My name is Bret and I am a gemstone dealer. I just read your post and I may have some useful information for you though I do not know your exact situation, what you know, and what resources you have access to, but I though I would offer some advice assuming you do not know anything. I outlined a few concerns I hope they help.
(1) Firstly do you know where you are going to sell the sapphires and how much you can honestly get for them. I have seen a lot of people buy stones that they thought they could sell based on a retail price but the reality was they could not get half of what they hoped. If you do not know where to sell them I would strongly reconsider. If you are sure you can sell them I would recommend taking the amount you are 100% positive you can get and reducing it as much as half then see it you still want to go through with it. This will account for unforeseen expenses to help you avoid taking losses.
(2) Secondly how familiar are you with cutting rough? I ask because it is not uncommon to start with a 5 carat piece of rough and end up with a 1 carat final cut stone, so a 20% return and 80% loss. Of course this depends on many factors like the type of rough, quality, shape, cut style, and skill of the cutter. I like to think of rough in terms of grams because it is a good indication of the final cut weight since a 1 gram is equal to 5 carats a safe estimate for a 1 gram stone is it will yield a 1 carat final faceted gemstone.
(3) Another concern to be aware of when sending your rough off is who you are sending it to, do you know them and more importantly trust them, references are something good.
• Sometimes the rough you send off for cutting is not the same as what you get back, especially if you come across some really nice rough. It is hard to say the stone you got back is the same rough you sent or maybe just a lower quality of the same variety that looks somewhat similar.
• Also keep in mind if you have some really nice high quality rough it may be a better choice to pay more to have a experience lapidary who can provide you with custom or fancy cuts. This can be a tough choice since it is much more expensive to get custom high quality cuts compared to sending off a bulk parcel to be cut quickly and cheap. You need to weight both sides before making you decision. I would say really super nice rough with excellent color and flawless clarity, in a stone like sapphire may be worth spending the extra money for a superior ideal cut but if the rough is just good, nothing special having them cut cheap may be the way to go as it may not be possible to make back what you need if you spend too much to cut a average stone. I have seen rough come back from a cheap bulk cutter that was cut purely to maximize carat weight and had facets that did not line up perfectly seem to seem or they were cut to shallow or deep, leaving an unappealing window. I do not know where you are planning to send it, they may be excellent and trustworthy I do not know it’s just a good idea to be aware of what could happen, god forbid.

I really hope I was able to help…
If you have any questions feel free to contact me and I will do my best to answer your questions. You can contact me at:

Best of Luck,
Bret Honea, B.B.A
Independent Owner
Genuine Earth Mined Stones


My name is Joan and it a fantastic advice thanks for sharing.

1 Like

It is very nice intormation.