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I'm Just 16

Hi all!! My name is Bella. I’m just starting out in this industry (I’m 16) and I’ve just set up my own online shop - I made my first sale last week!! I am an utter glutton for gems and I love gemmology so much (hope to do the course this year!). Do you guys have any tips for a beginner?

If anyone is interested, here is my Instagram page ( - I have some beautiful stones (gem rough, cut and jewelry) for sale! Tsavorite, Grandidierite, Sapphires, Burmese rubies, beryl - you name it!! I get it all cheap from a reputable Aussie supplier so I can sell it super cheap! I want to learn as much as I can as soon as I can so I don’t care about making much of a profit. I invest all my money in gems!!

Anyhoo, hope y’all have a good day!


The best thing I’ve learned is network. Ask other people questions and be open to criticism and new ways of doing things. This applies to everything in life, in my opinion.

I started live streaming my faceting a while back and I get experienced faceters that watch and ask questions. I always make a point to ask them how they approach what I’m doing. As a result my faceting has improved over the last 2 years because of the tips and questions from my viewers. if ya wanna join some time! I’d love to pick your brain as well!


16 is an EXCELLENT age to start in the gem business! I will assume you live at home, this is great because you are going to want to turn your profits into inventory and grow your business as quickly as possible, not paying for rent or food will be a big help!

Few words of advice:
A refractometer is your best friend in the world, along with some other basic knowledge of gems, it will ‘answer your question’ 99% of the time (maybe more?)

Subscribe to every trade email list you can, dedicate yourself to reading no less than two to three articles per day FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! (I’ve been doing it for 22 years, I’ve missed days, but not many) This will only take 20-30 minutes a day and eventually, you will be the smartest gem person in the room in almost any situation.

High grade the best material out of every parcel, even commercial quality parcels, always put a couple/few of your best picks ‘away in the vault’, this is more or less ‘your savings fund’, you will be able to pick out the best of the best down the road, put $1000-$2500 into gold & diamonds to set it up, put it in an auction and when you sell it fifteen years from now for 20x your purchase price, it will feel like ‘free money’ :smiley:

‘The best gems always sell’ Super fine quality always sells, I had several dealers and jewellers balk at my price on this 8.65ct Tourmaline at the wholesale price! “I’ve never paid that much for a bi-colour tourmaline”

There is only one answer to that: ‘Because you have never SEEN a bi-colour tourmaline like THIS one!’

It sold yesterday because an East Asian client wanted to own it during lunar new year, he even rushed to pay me yesterday!!! :slight_smile:

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Awesome, thank you so much!! I’ve started keeping a book with facts on most gemstones…in my head I’m up to 150? Yeah I’m living at home, most of my time is spent helping in the family business but my spare “work” time is spent building up my Instagram (it’s only been open a month) and scrolling IGS. I used to spend that free time online gem browsing lol.

That’s a wonderful idea! It justifies the fact that I keep stealing my stock for my own collection :flushed:

And thats is an excellent marketing ploy…I’ll tuck it up my sleeve!

I bet it was a snazzy bicolour, love those.

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What great advice! I have read many of your posts and always respected you, but my admiration just grew, a LOT. As for Bella

                                             YOU GO GIRL !!!!!
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The dumbest question ever asked is the one NOT asked! Save your nickels and dimes to buy good tools for your trade. Ask here about what tools to buy and possibly find them cheap from some of us old timers that may have a spare to share, so to speak. We are always upgrading our equipment and sometimes looking to clear out space for the new to sit on the bench. Be patient and do your homework. It will pay off in the long run.
All the best in your new fun future.

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   What a great age to start with gemstones. I started late, but my fascination was intense. Most import thing is the tools. You can pick up a Refractometer on E-Bay for cheap along with the fluid you need, you may be able to pick up some equipment from some other gemologists or tradesmen upgrading their equipment that will sell theirs for cheap, along with other equipment you will need later. The Refractometer is your best friend, and will alllow you to seperate stones quickly. The second most import thing is books that will educate you on the specific number at which a gem refracts light. this will tell you the exact gemsyone you have. You said you have a reputable gem dealer in Australia, but how well do you know them, ? I have done deals with many people then they send me something that is not so good. Find a few lapidaries so you have many contacts. I have actually bought many parcels from Skygems and have received beautiful gems. Educate yourself. It seems you have definitely taken steps in the right direction. I wish you all the best, keep looking for your treasures, I have many treasures, if you are ever looking for something specific let me know, I have quite the collection. I would love to help expand yours


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Hi Bella, below is a link to my book Practical Gemmology which may be of benefit to you. Do let me know how you get on.
Best wishes
Adrian Ryder


You might invest in Secrets of the Gem Trade, Second edition, and also try to read about the energetic properties of gems. Now that we have synthetic stones that are cheaper and in some cases shinier, prospective buyers would be interested in knowing that, for example, emeralds bring calmness and healing.