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 Post subject: How do people become gem buyers for established companies?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:02 am 
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Does anyone know what experience is needed (besides FGA/GG/etc) and what route should be taken to pursue colored stone/diamond buying? Any sort of appreticeship that is valuable?

Is the job market for being a buyer fairly saturated like alot of other gemology-related work?

Thanks for any info :)

- Harper

EDIT: one more question... I hear about quite a few gemologists who are able to get their employers help pay for gem school. How did they make that happen? (They must be valuable employees!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:26 am 
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Marry the owners daughter. lol

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Unfortunately, it's one of those "experience needed" kinda things. One has to prove buying acumen before being hired as a buyer. i.e., you have to be a buyer to get hired as a buyer. The jewelry trade is notoriously hard to break into.

I'm not sure there is a direct path to such a position, short of building a business for yourself, proving you can do it profitably and then seeking a position where you get to buy with someone else's money.

I suppose another path might be to find a mentor in the trade who is either willing to train you in the basics and/or refer you to someone who can train you. But you won't find such a person in want-ads. Your best bet here would be to get a job, any position really, with a recognized goldsmith or jeweler in the area you want to buy for -- you won't be wasting your time as you'll be building experience and, hopefully, a good reference as you show interest & your employer gives you new opportunities (I don't know about paid gemology school, but maybe some hand's on bench training? sorting stones? sales training?). Being in such a position will help you have access to the kind of people you need to meet to make head-way and hopefully the one person you need to be your mentor in the trade.

Hope that helps.

peter

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Ah, another Catch-22 job. Someone from here mentioned that it'd be a good idea to work with a pawnbroker for free to learn how to buy and sell.

What types of gem businesses do people usually create? Faceting or selling rough stones for profit? By the way, I took a look at your website and I think that the kite cut Aquamarine is very beautiful...

Thanks for the rest of the advice, it does help.

- Harper


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Hello,

I started to buy gemstones before I got a diploma in gemology and, I guess, like many other I made quite mistake about jugging the value of some stones.

After following courses in gemology in different schools, I have to say that no much of them where teaching anything about pricing and grading.

The best start I hade was following the Colored Stone Grading and Pricing course at the AIGS. The course look easy but you can learn a lot from the teachers who’s got a lot of experience in that field and they will teach you what would make a gem expensive or not. The course will help you to see in fact where you are in the way of judging and pricing a stone, because it is not easy at all. Many people are judging with they heart and it is not always the right thing. For example, some people like a kind of color I do not like, or like very unsaturated colored sapphires and pay the highest price for them. In that case, the price paid for the stones was not matching the market price, even if you love them like that. The job here is not to judge the way you think is good, but judging using the market rules. So it is a good exercise to learn how to grade a stone and how you price it using the market law and to understand why it is like this. As I already said, following this kind of courses in Bangkok is a must because the market is right at your feet and you can try yourself to see if you are a good buyer. Theory is good, but you must add some practice!

On the other side, the AIGS have like an amazing quantity of stones to play with, you will see how your eyes is working when judging color as you’ll have like every color saturation for Spinels, Sapphires, Rubies, Garnets, etc. I am still so jealous about there collection.

Best Regards

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:05 pm 
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You might start by reading Richard Wise's book.

http://www.secretsofthegemtrade.com/

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Jewelry TV is looking for an assistant buyer


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:22 am 
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allen wrote:
You might start by reading Richard Wise's book.

http://www.secretsofthegemtrade.com/


Thanks, will do.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:05 am 
99.9% of the positions in the industry, besides retail, are Catch-22. No-one would or should hire a 'green' gemmo, lab worker, buyer or appraiser with a surplus of out-of-work experienced people also available.

Basically you are looking to either:

- Work somewhere for free, if your finances will allow.

- Someone to take a shine to you and take you under his/her wing. i.e. be in the right-place at the right-time - a.k.a 'get lucky'.

- Have family contacts within the industry, or have grown up around it.

- Start your own project, to show you can do a job with your own money and resources.

Apprenticeship culture, in the formal form, is long dead in most industries. People are too willing to learn and then leave, and it is just not worth it for an employer to be nothing more than a stepping-stone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:20 am 
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or, a combination of the above... :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Kyriakin wrote:
99.9% of the positions in the industry, besides retail, are Catch-22. No-one would or should hire a 'green' gemmo, lab worker, buyer or appraiser with a surplus of out-of-work experienced people also available.

Ok, thanks for the shot of reality. I suppose I need to rethink my strategy for gaining experience and finding work later on.
Quote:
Basically you are looking to either:

- Work somewhere for free, if your finances will allow.

- Someone to take a shine to you and take you under his/her wing. i.e. be in the right-place at the right-time - a.k.a 'get lucky'.

- Have family contacts within the industry, or have grown up around it.

- Start your own project, to show you can do a job with your own money and resources.

Apprenticeship culture, in the formal form, is long dead in most industries. People are too willing to learn and then leave, and it is just not worth it for an employer to be nothing more than a stepping-stone.

Good point regarding apprenticeship. Maybe I could pay for training if they were willing to take on extra work :( What kinds of projects or business ventures do people usually start to prove their aptitude in the industry?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:


Is it just me or does no one in the jewelry business ever want to post a salary range? The GIA search engine is a prime example.

Harper to get back to your question; the best advice I can offer is that the jewelry business is a people business. Millions of dollars woth of small stones being dropped in the mail every day on little more than a promise from someone you've never met in person that they'll buy it or send it back. The good news is that most in this business love it and love to talk about it. The best way to get to your goal is just to get into the business, keep in mind the direction you want to go, and make every contact you can. You'll be amazed at how quickly your contact database will grow.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:39 am 
I like that GIA search engine. It shows that GIA look out for their graduates and students. Glad they didn't make it GG-only, with passwords etc.

However...

- Do US firms (which make up 99% of the GIA-advertised vacancies) ever hire Europeans?

- Most adverts say GG/DG. Is this just based on assumption that most people have these over there? Or is there a genuine anti-FGA/pro-GG bias in the States?

I never get replies from those GIA vacancies, and wondered if it was due to greenness, Britishness, Gem-A/FGA or whatever.

The dreaded E-word does normally pop up on those adverts though - including that JTV one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:34 am 
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The GIA list includes international positions. Although, there are usually very few listed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:56 am 
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I'd like to know the answers to Kyriakin's questions too...


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