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 Post subject: Hello from Thailand
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:34 am 
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Hello,

I am Harri from France. I am 29 years old and living in the north of Thailand, Chiang Mai, since about 9 years.
For the last 9 years I have been traveling around Asia to play poker. I went to Macau mostly, HK, Cambodia, Las Vegas, but most of the time I play poker online. It's a lot more relaxing to be able to work from home.
However, the poker boom is gone, with the economy crisis and different legislations in various EU countries, a lot less players are playing poker these days, and the general skill of players improved a lot since 3 years.

So, recently, I have been thinking about retiring from poker and do something else.
When I was little my mother would buy me some weekly magasines about stones, coming with a small sample and since then I always have been interested by gems.

From what I read, I seem to be lucky, Thailand seems to be an amazing place to learn about the gem trade and meet people in the industry.
I think I would be more interested in trading gems than working/studying in a laboratory, or only doing appraisals. I am not exactly sure yet what my objectives would be, but I like the idea of starting a trade business.
A few questions that came to my mind:

- Is there any type of gems that are typically easier to trade (sell)?
- What type of gems are usually sold with the highest markup?
- How difficult it is to be able to sell gems to "main" jewelry brands? I guess those brands work closely with sellers that have earned their trust since a long time, but how hard would that be for someone relatively new to the industry?

To start I was thinking about studying at the GIA campus, or at the AIGS campus in Bangkok. Would you recommend one school more than the other? Is it possible to build a network of people working in the gems trade while studying at these schools?
How hard would it be to get a job in the gems trade while studying there? I am willing to work for a very low income, my goal is to learn as much as I can!

So many questions, and I could write a lot more! I apologise if I could have found my answers on the forum. I am going to keep reading it.
I hope to hear from you soon,

H.S


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Thailand
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 9:42 pm
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I will start answering your questions with my experience (which may differ from others.)
What gems are easiest to sell trade? - it all depends on the price, but I find that they come in waves. I have lived through a wave of turquoise being "hot", Malachite being "hot", blue topaz, sugilite, morganite (recently) and now malaya garnet seems to be taking off. Of course the idea is to buy low and sell high.
Generally speaking people don't like to go through their older materials and up the prices when they suddenly become "hot", so you can sometimes get deals that way.
Since, aside from diamonds, there is no set price for gemstones, prices vary wildly. I can sometimes buy a nice tsavorite for $10 that is a real deal at $100, and normally would sell for $400 retail. The secret I find is in knowing the approximate price people are selling things for, what seems to be "hot", so that when you see a real deal (and they are out there), you can jump on it. Of course you have to know enough to know that what you are buying is genuine. Do learn how to id stones and get some instruments.
If you are looking for something in particular - say an orange tourmaline of 2 carats or more - you will pay a lot unless you are willing to look for several years. So I find the best thing is to buy stones that 1) I like 2) are big enough for me to do something with and 3) cost less than 1/3 of current "wholesale" prices I have recently seen. I prefer 1/5 or less.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Thailand
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:29 am
Posts: 142
HS.CNX wrote:
I think I would be more interested in trading gems than working/studying in a laboratory, or only doing appraisals. I am not exactly sure yet what my objectives would be, but I like the idea of starting a trade business.


Welcome aboard, Mon Ami!
Get as familiar with the gems as you can, especially with the tools and techniques used to identify them.
If you know what quality you are looking at, or if they are what they are supposed to be, you will be able to serve your customers better, and earn their trust.
I wish I could answer more of your questions, but I will let the experts go from here.

-Tom


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Thailand
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:22 pm
Posts: 19837
Location: San Francisco
Hi and welcome.
I would try to land a job with someone with serious experience in the trade....even if it is answering the phone or emails. Absorb as much info as you can. :smt112
I think we all need to pay our dues before getting admitted into a club where no one knows you. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Hello from Thailand
PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:30 am
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dchallener wrote:
I will start answering your questions with my experience (which may differ from others.)
What gems are easiest to sell trade? - it all depends on the price, but I find that they come in waves. I have lived through a wave of turquoise being "hot", Malachite being "hot", blue topaz, sugilite, morganite (recently) and now malaya garnet seems to be taking off. Of course the idea is to buy low and sell high.
Generally speaking people don't like to go through their older materials and up the prices when they suddenly become "hot", so you can sometimes get deals that way.
Since, aside from diamonds, there is no set price for gemstones, prices vary wildly. I can sometimes buy a nice tsavorite for $10 that is a real deal at $100, and normally would sell for $400 retail. The secret I find is in knowing the approximate price people are selling things for, what seems to be "hot", so that when you see a real deal (and they are out there), you can jump on it. Of course you have to know enough to know that what you are buying is genuine. Do learn how to id stones and get some instruments.
If you are looking for something in particular - say an orange tourmaline of 2 carats or more - you will pay a lot unless you are willing to look for several years. So I find the best thing is to buy stones that 1) I like 2) are big enough for me to do something with and 3) cost less than 1/3 of current "wholesale" prices I have recently seen. I prefer 1/5 or less.

Good luck.


Thank you, very interesting. I think, my plan will be to specialize in one or two kind of gems at first. But that might change quickly depending on people I meet and advices received

Tom Herman wrote:
HS.CNX wrote:
I think I would be more interested in trading gems than working/studying in a laboratory, or only doing appraisals. I am not exactly sure yet what my objectives would be, but I like the idea of starting a trade business.


Welcome aboard, Mon Ami!
Get as familiar with the gems as you can, especially with the tools and techniques used to identify them.
If you know what quality you are looking at, or if they are what they are supposed to be, you will be able to serve your customers better, and earn their trust.
I wish I could answer more of your questions, but I will let the experts go from here.

-Tom


Thanks Tom, I definitely will get courses at GIA or AIGS and work hard on the side to get as much experience as I can :)

Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Hi and welcome.
I would try to land a job with someone with serious experience in the trade....even if it is answering the phone or emails. Absorb as much info as you can. :smt112
I think we all need to pay our dues before getting admitted into a club where no one knows you. :wink:


I agree!


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