It is with great sadness I'd like to announce Dr. Hanneman passed away on December 12, 2020. His legacy will live on forever!
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 Post subject: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:21 am 
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I would like to facet some stones to gift to my nieces and nephews, mounted in a necklace or ring, that will have a selling-value of around $500. Ideally the rough would be much cheaper to buy, and the faceting will add value. I think it would be a nice keepsake for them to have, but I'll also tell them that if they ever get into a tight spot, they can sell the jewelry with my blessing. It would be a mini-emergency-fund they can have for a rainy day. My thought is that they're all kids now, running the range of 4 to 17, so the timing can be spaced out at a leisurely pace for a few years.
What are some stones that are good to wear as jewelry, but also gain a nice value after faceting? Another factor to consider is how easy that stone might be to sell at a jewelry store, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:14 pm 
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You know...Gemstones are not investments. They are at best exotic assets, and not necessarily easy to sell, much less at a profit.

I don't want to rain on your parade but it's just not a great idea. The investment part that is; the idea of cutting stones and giving them as mementos to your family members is really sweet.

As far as which stones are suitable for jewelry, it all depends: what type of jewelry? A ring will be subjected to much more wear and tear than a pendant.
For occasional or daily wear? And of course how the wearer will take care of his/her jewelry.

The safest spot is to pick a material with a hardness > 7 and not too brittle, i.e. spinels, chrysoberyl, ruby/sapphire etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:26 pm 
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Yes as well as Topaz and Quartz of the lower cost gemstones, no real dollar return on total investment excluding fine imperial topaz of course.

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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 12:35 am 
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Agreed. Gems are only an investment if one owns a jewelry store.
Of course, a piece of jewelry is a "forever" gift. Heirlooms go from one generation to the next.

But a couple shares of Tesla or Apple or Disney will always be liquid investments and Disney offers some perks.


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:30 am 
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Given the way shares move around at the whims of news and idiots with money to burn, it doesn't seem like a reliable investment. My own suggestion would be to use the money for gift appliances and transport that are reliable and reduce their running costs, it's not so useful in a pinch but it can prevent the pinch from happenning.

Can't make that yourself though, if you want to make gift them jewelry see what sort of significance they place on things, at such a young age direction and self-identity can be useful.


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:55 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire, FGG wrote:
Agreed. Gems are only an investment if one owns a jewelry store.
Of course, a piece of jewelry is a "forever" gift. Heirlooms go from one generation to the next.


Yes very true, I a jewelry store owner mainly using colored gemstones with diamond as accent only, find that the gemstones are only the embellishment to the jewelry piece these days. But Barbara's new tanzanite ring is the exception but I don't think that was meant for invest monetarily, as is most jewelry. The main hurdle someone has in investing in gemstones is acquiring good rough at a invest level price, you can't purchase rough at hundreds of dollars a carat and with cutting lose making that even higher seeing that as a good investment. The investment is in the metal, a stone can always be removed, and right now with gold and silver being at a high is not a great investment unless like said have money to burn and believe that it will continue to climb. When we started manufacturing silver jewelry more than a decade ago silver was running in the low 30$ range p/oz., and since 2008 or so it has been in 10-15$ range so half what we invested in the making of the jewelry. Jewelry is based on fashion in the most part and emotional and sentimental value to the giver and the receiver, it can always be recycled and redesigned as the world changes and right now has it changed and continues to.

I agree with the others here do not look at cutting gemstones as a monetary investment, cut gems that are in your reach in sizes cut for jewelry, design nice current fashionable pieces to put them in be happy with your cutting and giving them to your special people. Years from now when they are older who knows the value they may become.

JMHO... some may say, you just didn't do it right or started at the wrong time.... timing is sometimes everything.

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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:47 pm 
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I'd still go with Disney. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:21 pm 
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Peridot, Imperial Topaz, Mahenge or color shift garnet, zircon and tourmaline in the better colors are not terribly expensive in rough form and are worth faceting. They wouldn't be worth much in a pawn shop as colored stones are popped and discarded or sent in with the melt, but in the secondary market of Ebay and Etsy they do hold some of their value. Stones over 3 carats generally hold more value; anything less than 2 carats not so much.

It's difficult to get money for gemstones; you have to have an informed purchaser, and most folks aren't. That being said, there are so many imitations and synthetics out there, genuine gemstones are still rare. I have recently been astounded at the prices that the good Pakistani peridots are fetching; I need to get faceting as I have a small hoard of them.

I think that your relatives would value a well-cut gemstone set in a nice setting, regardless of what they'd get in the marketplace. I wish I'd had an uncle like you!

Debbie K


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:48 pm 
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A $500 investment in Apple stock AAPL 20 years ago would have gotten you 384 shares. Todays value is $444 per share or $170,769

I don't think too many gemstones would have done that.

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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:53 pm 
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If one invested $1,000 in Tesla in 2010, they would now have $36,000.

Disney has had up and downs, $1000 in 2010 would now cash out at $4,600.

And all of those investments are liquid.

I dare say if one walks around trying to sell their peridot, amethyst, topaz, tourmaline or opal pendant in the secondary markets available, they would be lucky to recover 25¢ on the dollar.


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 4:41 pm 
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All very true, but it's difficult to know what to buy.

I was replying based on he's probably going to facet stones anyway, and ones that are good choices to have their value increased by their being faceted. Amethyst or citrine are not good choices, the others have more value.

The gold in those pendants your referenced is worth twice as much today as it was this time 10 years ago, and silver half again as much; so there's that.

On the whole, I agree, unless the stone is exceptional and rare and untreated, it's not a good "investment". But if you're faceting for fun anyway, some things will be worth more than others when you get done, otherwise, what is the point of what most of us are doing here on this forum, anyway?

Debbie K


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:38 pm 
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I don't know about Amethyst not being appropriate. What if he could buy top quality Rwanda Amethyst that would cut 5 to 10 carat stones, for $4 per gram? Finished stones like that retail between $30 and $75 per carat. Wholesale about 1/3 rd of that. His cost finished should be about $3.00 per carat. No appreciation is even required. Assuming he can make the jewelry at a true wholesale cost, the pieces should be able to sell at a profit even now. He can buy castings at spot plus a small labor charge if he can finish and set himself.

Of course he couldn't just walk into a jewelry or pawn shop and expect to get fair prices. But a little effort on the private to private market should make the whole concept economical.

This of course is not a passive investment that compounds over time like a good equity does. It is an emotional thing that makes some economic sense if handled correctly.

It makes sense with a number of stones species as long as they are acquired at proper prices.


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:58 pm 
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Debbie K wrote:
Peridot, Imperial Topaz, Mahenge or color shift garnet, zircon and tourmaline in the better colors are not terribly expensive in rough form and are worth faceting.


Like Barbra said non commercial sharing of gemological information, but as long as we are sharing, would you like to share some of those sources of not terribly expensive rough sources????? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:17 pm 
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Get a belt run from the Spectrum mine (about $200) Cut and sell the best ones. set the next best ones in jewelry for your relatives. Sell the best ones on facebook and (after subtracting $200) give the money to the relatives.

:-D


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 Post subject: Re: Good stones to cut for investments?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:16 pm 
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GLHays:

Since I'm a gemstone carver, I've always been really selective about the rough I buy, especially in the transparent stones. There is a fallacy that "carving material" can be lesser quality than faceting grade, and it's just not true. The cracks, feathers and inclusions are just as problematic in a carving as they are in a faceted stone.

I go to my local gem and mineral shows (or used to, before the pandemic) and have found some nice things there, mostly imperial topaz, amethyst and garnet and once some really good chrysoprase. I often make a point of going to the mineral dealers and asking if they have any bruised specimens, as they command less money than pristine ones and have found some nice things (sphalerite and aquamarines) with them.

I belong to a fabulous Gem and Mineral Society, and they have auctions of donations, mostly from older members who are not cutting anymore or who have died. I have gotten emerald and other beryl, some really great color peridot (although not many were over 15 cts), color shift garnet, blue and white topaz, so-so tourmaline, spinel, sunstone and other feldspars, kunzite, apatite, opal, corundum and lots of nephrite and some jadeite at these auctions, or from members who want to sell them. I've been buying rough for years and feel really lucky to have acquired what I have, at very moderate prices. I'm amazed at the prices they are asking for at some of the websites I view for faceting rough.

I've only been to Tuscon once and was so overwhelmed that I only bought a half a kilo of Nambian amethyst and a piece of Turkish chalcedony. But I did get Bill Hanneman and Alan Hodgkinson to sign my books, the highlight of the trip!

I also know an Ethiopian opal dealer and an American miner who travels to Vietnam who have some interesting stuff from time to time, and a friend who has a connection with a Brazilian dealer. And I was good friends with two old timer rock collectors/dealers that have retired, who taught me a lot.

I would strongly recommend anyone wanting to learn more about rough and make connections to get some find a Gem and Mineral Society in their area. If there's not one nearby, I guess I'd suggest Etsy as some of the mineral dealers on there sometimes have things that aren't too pricey, but you really have to know what you're looking at and be willing to take a big chance to try it. I always want to see and feel what I'm buying. Some of my friends buy off of Ebay and Etsy with mixed results, both good and bad. I'm just not willing to do that.

Debbie K


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