Gem Hunting Season

The Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair arrives on our shores on 22 Oct til 25 Oct! 4 days of sparkle at Marina Bay Sands.

It'll be a great opportunity to meet and catch up with some of my gem dealing friends from around the region. Hopefully, I'll be able to make a few good deals with them.

On my trips to gem-selling countries, I've met other gem buyers who drive prices down to ridiculously low points, refusing to budge even on a five-dollar difference. Personally, I feel this to be very unnecessary. The seller is trying to earn a living, and five dollars isn't going to make or break the bank for the buyer, so why not let the seller have it?

A number of these buyers are re-sellers, who, after paying rock-bottom prices, jack the prices up tremendously before selling them in their home markets. Of course, it is perfectly normal business practice to increase prices when you re-sell, but it needs to be a reasonable margin.

I have found that gem-buying requires patience and tact. Once you build a good rapport with the seller, the prices automatically come down. I rarely try to drive prices too much lower than the asking price. Of course, I need to know the rough value of the gem I'm looking at, and that takes experience.

True, I may end up paying slightly higher prices than the hard-bargaining buyer at the next stall, but I believe that we live in a world of abundance, and not one of lack. I believe that both buyer and seller can mutually benefit, and one cannot succeed without the other.