As jewellers, we sometimes forget that the sparkling jewels in the showcase are really just rocks that have been cut and polished into the gems we all know and love. These same rocks in their natural state are not only beautiful but can be a valuable addition to your store.
Mineral collecting is a popular hobby world-wide.It seems that almost everyone is drawn to mineral specimens at some time in their life. Fine crystal formations are fascinating and profitable. Even very small specimens can be very expensive if they have a blend of beauty and rarity.
Smaller pieces are an attractive way to display jewellery in your showcase. An Amethyst necklace draped over a natural cluster of Amethyst crystals catches the eye and gives you a great way to start a dialogue with your customer. Clear quartz clusters can enhance any colour of gemstone jewellery. Smaller specimens are usually inexpensive, often similar in price to typical jewellery stands. They add texture and interest to your displays. I would suggest having several in stock because your customers will want to buy them from you. Don’t be afraid to give them a strong mark-up; at least triple keystone or more.
Gem crystals of Ruby, Sapphire, Aquamarine, Topaz and many other gems are readily available. These offer an excellent way to show your customer what a gemstone looks like before it is cut and polished. Very fine, facetable gem crystals can be expensive but off-colour or heavily included stones that show a nice crystal formation are affordable. If you know a gem-cutter you can make an educational display showing the steps to create a gem: a natural crystal, a trimmed piece of rough, an unpolished pre-form and a finished gemstone. It is not only interesting to the customer; it demonstrates your knowledge and expertise of the process.
Medium sized specimens are lovely accents to your store’s décor. Displayed on a pedestal or shelf, they add colour, texture and interest. Mineral such as Agate, Petrified Wood and even chunks of Amethyst cluster can be found cut and polished as bookends to accent your book collections. Again, buy these in quantity as the will fly off the shelf.
Larger specimens can draw people into your store from across the street. Amethyst cathedrals that are 3-6 feet in height can be found for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Super-sized specimens are certainly available if you have the space and budget. Don’t be afraid to sell it if a customer is interested. Save the profit to buy another beautiful piece. Large mineral displays can add marketing value. Light them well and encourage your customers to take selfies with them to post on social media. Just be sure that a copy of your store’s name and logo is positioned to be in every picture. These rocks will pay for themselves just in the free marketing.
Finding mineral specimens is easy.In the US there are rock and gem shows in almost every part of the country, but the Tucson shows are where you will find the exceptional pieces at the best prices. In Asia, there is a brand new mineral show in conjunction with the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair: Mineral & Gem Asia. This should prove to be an exciting opportunity to obtain fine minerals for your store. Don’t miss it!