Do they have any gemmology qualifications? This isn’t necessarily a must as a lot of traders have been in the trade all their lives and they have learned while working. However it reassures you that there is an element of science behind them.
2. Long term relationships with clients
Like with all companies, this lets you know that the customer service is on par and they have been happy with the products they have received for years.
This is one of the key things you should look out for in a gemstone supplier. Find a reputable dealer and build a relationship. When asking questions evaluate the answers. Are they being straight when explaining where the stones have come from or what the treatments are for example? In the world of gemstones not all answers are black and white and in some cases reports on the stones should be presented when giving exact origin or claiming the stone hasn’t been treated.
4. Relationships with suppliers
Do they have a good relationship with their suppliers? Good relationships with suppliers gives advantages to a wholesaler. They can get first picks or exclusive offers before anyone else. And if you are lucky you may receive exclusive prices on some gemstones!
5. Catalogue of stones
How large is the inventory? Would they be able to supply you with multiple types of stones or do they specialise in a particular material? Having a large stock shows wealth in a company as it’s a lot of money to tie up in product. Some gemstone suppliers like to stock multiple types of materials whereas others like to specialise in one or two materials. Neither is good or bad but something to consider when you’re sourcing a gemstone. Some dealer’s specialising in a particular material might be able to give you an array of choices and qualities. Dealers with a choice of materials would be able to give you alternatives and maybe steer you towards something that might work better for your design or if you are just looking for the colour green but not worried about what material it is then there will be a lot to choose from.
6. Customer service
Like with any service you want to be well taken care of and treated respectfully. The world of gemstones can be a bit of a daunting one with a vast amount of information that is ever changing so being able to go to a dealer that can let you know what is going on is always beneficial.
Being up to date with what is going on in a very busy industry is very important. Gemstone sources dry out which is important to know as prices will change due to rarity and letting your customers know first-hand what is and isn’t available is beneficial. There are a lot of rules in the industry as to what things can be called and what you need to disclose. For example, there is a debate as to whether Paraiba Tourmaline should only be called Paraiba if it’s from Paraiba in Brazil or if it’s ok to call it that if it’s a copper bearing tourmaline. Gemstone treatments constantly change and therefor it’s important to know what is and isn’t standard in the industry or there is risk of miss selling.
8. How long have they been in the trade
A significant gemstone trader takes a lot of time and money to build. Therefore you will find that the bigger traders are companies that have most likely been taken over by the younger generation. This shows that knowledge and trading skills have been passed on, giving the company sometimes 100s of years of experience.
9. Do they own their stock?
This might be a strange thing to ask but it is something that can affect the purchasing of your gemstones. A top dealer will own his stock and other dealers may borrow it. This affects the prices, sometimes considerably and therefore affect what you pay for it.
Knowing what your client wants is important but sales can be lost if you aren’t sure on the availability of particular gemstones. If you are asked for something that is unusual then being able to go to your dealer to get the information you need in a timely manner gives your client confidence in you and that can be the difference between landing or not landing the sale.
Gemstone specialist GF Williams supplies a huge range of high quality coloured gemstones and is an expert and experienced gemstone supplier to designers, manufacturers, collectors and private clients.
Find out more about how GF Williams can fulfil your gemstone requirements by browsing our online gemstone catalogue or contacting our friendly team of gemstone experts on +44 (0) 207 405 5477 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.