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Gemstones - A new Business

I have started a new business; or rather I am in the process of starting one, to buy and sell gemstones. My 'alpha' we sire currently resides here.

I started my interest in sapphires in 2008 when my business partner, John, and I set up an office in Sri Lanka for our Internet Service Provider business. The trip to Sri Lanka often involved a transit stop over in Bangkok. John had been buying beautiful stones and jewelry for his wife for many years in Australia, and was kind enough to pass on to me a contact in Bangkok which I visited and consequently bough some of my first pieces there.

It is almost impossible to travel to Sri Lanka without seeing absolutely gorgeous gem stones and jewelry displays in every hotel, office building and street shops.

I have been travelling to Sri Lanka about six times a year for the since 2008, and each time I would seek out a nice stone, usually a sapphire, to bring back as a present for my wife. Sometimes I would also have them made up into jewelry, and occasionally buy matching stones to have made into ring/pendant/ear ring sets.

Over time I have built up trusted contacts at the wholesale and mine owner level, and found some very good goldsmiths along the way.

Comparing the prices I was paying in Sri Lanka and Bangkok to jewelry shop prices in Australia and on-line, it looked to me like I was paying one quarter or less for the stones I was buying, which were also larger, and better quality.

Coincident with my interest in gems was the popularization of poker, which I had been playing at an amateur level for some years. The poker boom of the mid 2000's saw me playing regularly on weekends in casino cash games, at which I was moderately successful at low stakes.

What I would do is take the bankroll I had built up playing poker and use that to buy gems when I went to Sri Lanka. It seemed a perfect combination.

My interest in gems developed, but had to take a back seat to running my business. However I had a lot of interest and some requests from friends and family about the gems and jewelry I had been buying. On request, I sourced some very nice pieces for friends, which I was happy to do as a favour.

It became clear that the potential was there to use the contacts and knowledge I had built up to source gem stones of quality and that simply aren't available in retail jewelers, or if they are, cost tens of thousands of dollars. Which I could source one quarter the price or less, and often twice the size.

In May 2013 I sold my share of the Internet business. My plan it to now find out just what potential exists for a gem and jewelry business.


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