Selling gemstones online might seem quite difficult, especially if you have no background on how to market them or connect with legitimate people or platforms that have expertise in this area. However, if you will think about it, all you need is basic knowledge of how to sell gemstones and a trustworthy place to introduce your product.
According to Future Market Insights (FMI), the gemstones market is estimated at $32.38 billion in 2023 and is forecast to reach $55.96 billion by 2033. The market is believed to exhibit a CAGR OF 5.6% between these years. The gemstone market holds 50% of the total gems and jewelry market, as it has experienced really steady growth throughout the years. This growth is due to several factors, such as the increasing demand for jewelry, rising consumer annual spending, and consistently changing lifestyles.
This blog will help you understand more about how gemstones sell, including the different types, gemstone grading, how to sell, and connecting to affiliate programs as well as shops to inspire you in your venture.
Understanding Gemstones: Precious vs. Semi-Precious
Precious gemstones were used to describe those costly, rare, and popular gemstones. Gemstones that are classified as semi-precious gemstones include emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. This distinction was awarded to these four stones due to their high regard for their rarity, value, and excellent quality.
Meanwhile, every other gemstone is labeled as semi-precious. Semiprecious gems include garnets, turquoise, opals, quartz, pearls, tourmaline, amber, aquamarine, moonstone, malachite, and such. These are still valuable gemstones even though the name semiprecious stone implies that they are somehow below those precious stones.
Depending on the mineral as well as the grade, for example, there are actually semi-precious stones that are more expensive than precious ones. Also, some semi-precious stones can look quite like precious stones. For instance, diopside, which is a brilliant green stone, is much like the alluring emerald. However, it is much less durable and can easily break when put through external forces.
How Are Gemstones Graded?
High-quality gemstones are what common people are shopping for. They buy in terms of colors, durability, and uniqueness. People also tend to purchase the gem that they personally prefer. A gem receives a high grade based on the 4Cs — color, clarity, cut, and carat (weight). Gemologists ultimately grade gemstones based on these properties. Below is more in-depth information about these criteria:
Gem color is usually referred to three properties such as the stone’s hue, tone, and saturation. The primary hues are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and purple. While black, white, and brown are identified as tones and saturation.
A gemstone’s tone is attributed to its lightness or darkness. Meanwhile, saturation refers to the intensity of its hue. When it comes to colored gemstones, the highest values go to stones with pure hues and rich colors. With colored stones, the uniformity, looks, and quality of the color is a key determinant of its value.
When describing the gems’ colors, they often use terms like vibrant, deep, warm, and lively among others as it is easier to establish its image in the customers’ minds when using these descriptions.
It is different with diamond jewelry as its color grade is based on how close they come to colorless as it is the highest diamond color grade.
In gemstone grading, clarity is also important. Clarity is a measure of how many inclusions a stone has, and how they significantly influence its beauty and durability. Most dealers usually grade the clarity of a gemstone also based on whether they can be seen using the naked eye or only under magnification.
Gemological Institute of America (GIA), an international gemological lab, classifies colored gemstones into three clarity types such as:
Type 1: Often found without any inclusions.
Type 2: Stones that have inclusions but cannot be seen through a clean eye without magnifying glass.
Type 3: Almost always have visible inclusions that are noticeable even without the use of magnification.
Type 1 includes beryl gems, such as heliodor and morganite. While type 2 includes amethyst, andalusite, and garner among others. For type 3, stones like green emerald and rubellite are great examples.
For colored gemstones, the complexity of the cut does not necessarily affect the reflection of light on the stone in the same way that it will affect a white or colored diamond. Colored stones naturally have their glow, which is only amplified by the quality and style of the stone’s cut. A simple cut can showcase the high points of a colored stone just as well as a complex cut. Colored diamonds are affected by the cut similarly to white diamonds, but still, the most significant factor is how it looks.
GIA introduced five grades of diamond cuts, which indicate how well it affects a stone’s performance.
Excellent (EX). This is considered the best grade, it has high brilliance, scintillation, and an even pattern of light and dark spheres.
Very Good (VG). Diamonds with this cut grade are the same as EX, but expect them to be a little bit darker in the center or around the edges.
Good (G). These are stones that are lacking in scintillation. Stones with this grade might be influenced by its pattern or its weight ratio as if it weighs more than an average gem of its diameter, it will automatically be graded down.
Fair (F). Stones in this category have very little brilliance or scintillation. It may have a very dark ring around the girdle or a dark table area.
Poor (P). The worst grade of all stones is in this grade as it has very poor proportions with very little brilliance or scintillation. These often have nail heads (a black center) and fish eyes (all brilliance washed out in the center).
Other stones are considered more valuable than others due to their size. However, as the grading system also includes color, cut, and clarity, some smaller stones can be more valuable than those big ones. There are stones that are huge in size but on closer inspection have a lot of flaws.
Note that one carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams. Previously, gems were weighed in hand-held balance scales with two pans, but, today, we utilize electronic digital scales to weigh gemstones.
How Do I Sell Gemstones Online?
The gemstone jewelry industry has a wide market. Of course, among the key drivers of the gemstone market is the evolving fashion industry. Most fashion designers are diverting their focus on producing one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces that have high-quality gems, which has automatically driven demand for almost all kinds of stones. Also, manufacturers have become more integrated in the entire production of both gemstones and jewelry, which further fuels the ongoing demand.
Here we listed the channels or platforms on which you could start selling gemstones. These are just one of many, you can start with these and unlock the other opportunities that will come by because of these options.
Sell Gemstones Privately
Selling gemstones privately means directly communicating or contacting individual buyers. This gives you more power over the entire selling process. You hold more authority over the price value as well as the terms of selling gemstones.
You can begin by listing potential buyers who you think are willing to buy your gemstones. You can look through social media group pages in order to find those who have expressed interest in gemstones or people who are known to be collectors. After that, you can immediately reach out to them with information of what stone you are selling. Tell them about the type, clarity, color, carat, cut, and other specifics.
When the potential buyer shows interest, then it’s time to negotiate the terms as well as the conditions. Discuss the terms of payment, payment method, and shipping. Prepare a contract in advance for a more official approach.
Sell Gemstones Through Dealers And Auction Houses
In case you find it hard to connect to individuals privately, try to inquire about auction houses and dealers. These are third parties that focus on buying and selling gemstone jewelry. The process is somehow similar to those in private gemstone selling.
When looking for dealers of auction establishments, make sure to study their gemstone specialty, professional background, authenticity, and pricing. Submit your gemstone for appraisal once you chose there right one. The auction house will take a look at it and provide you with an estimated value.
Once you are set, your gemstones will be included in the next auction. Make sure that you have a contract as well when done with the negotiation. Complete the sale by passing on the ownership to the dealer or auction house.
Sell Gemstones on Shopify
Shopify is a great option if you want to sell gemstones online but don’t want to go through another selling channel. You can seamlessly register or sign up for a Shopify account. Once you chose the plan that fits your budget and needs, you can set up your shop. Shopify made it easy for its merchants by providing a wide range of templates and customization features for your store. There is also PageFly, for example, which has tools to design your store theme and optimize your website.
Immediately add and upload your gemstones to your store, with product descriptions, high-quality photos with different angles, and pricing information. Don’t forget to set up the payment and shipping options. If you’re all good to go, it is time to promote your store.
Sell Gemstones on Other Ecommerce Platforms
Just like on Shopify, you need to have a seller account. After filling out the needed information, create a listing for each of your gemstones. Of course, photos, product descriptions, payment options, and shipping as well as pickup methods must be properly stated.
As long as your listings are live, be sure to manage it well by answering customers’ questions, updating the listings if there is any new information for accuracy, as well as properly monitoring your sales. Once you received an offer from the shopper, you will have to complete the sale by transferring ownership of the gemstone and receiving payment. Each e-commerce platform has its own selling instructions you should be aware of.
Sell Gemstones Through Affiliates
Affiliates are those people who earn commissions by marketing another person’s or company’s products, commonly called affiliate marketing. The affiliate can simply search for a product they enjoy, such as gemstones, then promotes that product through any platform and earns a percentage of the profit from each sale they make.
There are tons of brands that offer affiliate programs. You can gain access wide media library of gemstones for free. You can then sell it anywhere you like, Facebook, Instagram, you name it.
Suppose you already have an active website with an established audience where you upload original content, you can actually use Shopify for your affiliate marketing website and apply to the Shopify Affiliate Program, letting you start referring your audience to Shopify merchants directly through the program. Having your Shopify website allows you to earn a percentage of the sales as a commission.
Gemstone Affiliate Programs
Imagine all you needed to make money online was a single website that can do almost everything for you. You don’t even have to create or buy your own gemstone products or offer a service to jewelry buyers. It kind of sounds good, isn’t it? Well, that is what affiliate marketing does.
According to Statista, business spending on affiliate marketing programs hit $8.2 billion in the United States in 2022. The Influencer Marketing Hub estimated that the gemstone industry will continue to grow to $15.7 billion by 2024.
Here are some of the affiliate programs brands offer in order for you to earn money or commission while promoting their wide range of gemstones product:
Shiree Odiz offers fine designer jewelry and gemstones directly from designer to customer, which are accessible to anyone. They are known to have a wide selection of loose diamonds at affordable prices. Their average sale is $2500. Shiree Odiz, through FlexOffers, provides its affiliates with banner ads, text links, logos, and daily updated data feeds. The commission is at 10% and 7% for coupon sites.
Shiree Odiz has 180 cookie days. Cookie days are the span during which a sale can be attributed to a specific affiliate.
Allurez is a go-to destination for fine jewelry and diamonds. You can earn up to 8% of all sales and up to 2% for coupon sites that come from your site. Allurez has a $2,000 average order size, with 30 cookie days.
They have weekly, monthly, and seasonal promotions. Customers can also design their own engagement rings from their selection of almost a hundred thousand loose diamonds and gemstones.
Brillianteers offers steady income from your website’s traffic. They will provide you with your needed marketing material, product links as well as a backend to properly manage your commissions and withdrawals.
In Brillianteers, you can receive up to 10% commission. Their average order amounts to $2,000. All orders and customer service will be handled by their staff. The Brillianteers Experience includes free-shipping, 30-day returns, and a limited lifetime warranty
Diamonds-USA, which is being managed by a third-generation diamond cutter, claimed to be one of the first and largest online retailers of loose diamonds and diamond jewelry. They offer an extensive selection of the highest quality diamonds with several types of engagement rings, loose diamonds, pre-set diamond rings, diamond wedding rings, and more. All jewelry can also be custom-made in any combination of the customers’ preferences and in the metal of their choice.
Their average sales value is US $2500. They pay a 6% commission on all sales and their cookies are tracked for 90 days to ensure that payment for all referral sales. They have affiliate managers to assist those interested in their affiliate program.
Shopify Gemstone Stores for Inspiration
There are tons of stores, including gemstone stores, that display a very creative spirit and excellent purpose of telling the benefits of gemstones as they create, design, and sell gemstone jewelry online and offline. All of these attributes reflect who they are as a brand, how they feel, and what they value most. Aside from these Shopify website examples, let us look through shops that sell gemstones.
With their commitment to high-quality products and service over the years, they have been among the most trusted brand in the world. Take them as an example and inspiration for your dream of starting your own gemstone business. Meanwhile, if you somehow have example themes in mind, and having a hard time identifying what exact theme it is, you can use the Shopify theme detector to immediately find out which Shopify Theme is being used. But, for now, let us look below:
Kelly Naturals offers different varieties of gemstone jewelry at a fair price. They have earrings, rings, necklaces, hoops, and bracelets. All the items they make are unique and will never be able to be reproduced in the same exact way.
They strive for next-day shipping on all of their orders that were received Monday thru Friday. Those orders received during weekends, Saturdays, and Sundays, will be shipped on the following Monday, not including holidays. Among their best-selling products are raw gemstone stud earrings, gemstone hairpins, and such.
All orders are shipped via USPS First Class shipping. If your total order amounts to $34.99 and up, customers can avail their free shipping, while a flat rate of $4.49 for all total orders below $34.99. They also accommodate those orders that need to be shopped immediately or those rush orders. USPS Priority Mail (2-3 days) is available for $8.49. While, for international shipping, packages are calculated by Shopify Shipping.
Carmin & Flint uses 925 sterling silver, gold, pearls, and gemstones to design timeless and one-of-a-kind heirloom pieces. They use various jewelry techniques for buyers, such as lost wax and metal oxidation to create all sorts of gemstone jewelry. They have a workshop in Mont Saint-Hilaire in Canada.
“Carmin” refers to the color of “jeweler’s red”, the red paste which is used to polish jewelry. Meanwhile, “Flint” is a sacred stone that has been utilized since ancient times to create the spark used to light a fire. Fire is a key component for silver jewelry creation.
The owner shares a passion for the technique of silver clay jewelry by conducting creative workshops. If you want to experience making silver jewelry, you can actually make it in just two hours, with the help of Carmin & Flint.
They also have several pop-up markets throughout the year in order to reach tons of target buyers. They mostly put it up in Quebec and Ontario. Among their new collections include turquoise and chalcedony gemstone pieces of jewelry. Here are more other Shopify jewelry stores to look out for as examples.
The growth of the gemstone market means an extensive rise in the income of gemstone businesses. As consumers become more financially secure in life, they are seemingly turning to luxury goods, including that gem-studded jewelry, in order to successfully express their status, and fashion taste, well, also to flaunt it as an investment. This has driven demand for a wide range of gemstones, from diamonds and rubies to sapphires, pearls, emeralds, and topaz.
To further boost demand, as a manufacturer and retailer, you have to employ a range of promotional strategies and advertisements, including entering the affiliate marketing program, to showcase the real beauty and value of the different gemstones.
Some gemstones are treated to somehow resemble other jewelry stones, establishing a wider range of options for different types of shoppers or consumers. Work to operate a well-diverse business by starting slowly and surely. Learn more about gemstones and emeralds by making this blog a reference.