May 18, 2023
Selling Gemstones

Selling Gemstones: Sell gemstones safely and at a fair price

Gemstones such as diamonds or even colored gemstones, both as jewelry and as loose stone is very popular as an investment. This is reflected in the prices, because those who want to sell gemstones can enjoy a strong price increase in recent years. There is a great demand for colored gemstones, especially for the three colored gemstones: sapphire, ruby and emerald. Gemstones are cut minerals that are rare, transparent and have a high gemstone hardness. Anyone who buys a particularly rare and high-quality gemstone also thinks about how they could possibly sell it again, with a corresponding return on the increase in value, and where they need to go to sell it in the best possible way. Exactly for this reason the following report is to bring clarity and to point out from expert view ways and possibilities, how you can sell your gemstone again in the best possible way.  

What classifies as a gem and what are the types of gemstones you can sell

Gemstones are made up of minerals that are rare and precious. There are a variety of different crystals such as diamonds, the three-color gemstones (sapphire, ruby, emerald) or gemstones, which are also called semi-precious stones. There are many different types of gemstones, which can have very different values due to their rarity, hardness, color, clarity, refraction and luster, among other things. Cutting and faceting gemstones brings out their brilliance and beauty. Selling uncut gemstones is rarely practiced, as their value increases with a beautiful cut, unless the quality of the gemstone is not given to faceted.  

Especially rare gemstone types and gemstones of outstanding fine quality are suitable for selling gemstones. Depending on the rarity, beauty and desirability, different prices can be achieved in the sale. The sale of diamonds is certainly the easiest since standardized criteria help in the valuation and reference prices are accessible to estimate the market value.  

For all other gemstones, it takes a bit more knowledge and the help of an appraiser or someone with gemological expertise to determine a serious assessment of quality and therefore value. There is always a market for gemstones, people who want to sell stones and market participants who buy gemstones. The following natural gemstones are commonly traded, as loose stones or worked into jewelry: Aquamarine, Diamond, Opal, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Spinel, Tanzanite, Topaz, Tourmaline.

Different types of gemstones that are commonly traded
Different types of gemstones that are commonly traded
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Real gemstones and what looks like them

Natural gemstones that have their origin in the earth and have been formed over millions of years by pressure and heat are called genuine gemstones. All other non-natural gemstones are syntheses that have been artificially created. The question of how to tell if a stone is artificial or real is legitimate. So is the question of how to tell if a stone is valuable. This is only possible through expertise and examination equipment. A jewelry appraiser or a gemological laboratory provides this service. To conclude purely from the appearance on the authenticity can be fatal, here must be solid proof that it is natural. The age of a piece of jewelry or a gemstone does not give any certainty that it is not perhaps of synthetic origin.  

Synthetic manufacturing processes have been developed over time for almost every gemstone. Here is an example of synthetic corundum. Auguste Verneuil, has developed already at the end of the 19th century a procedure for artificial production of rubies and the materially related sapphires. After the production of syntheses according to the Verneuil process had become suitable for mass production around 1910, stones in red and blue (ruby and sapphire) were produced on a large scale and set in rings, necklaces, brooches and other jewelry.  

Many people could thus afford precious stones, even if they were not of natural origin. However, these synthetic stones have no market value and cannot be sold. Only a natural stone has a value and a corresponding value development, as gemstones have been traded for thousands of years and enjoy constant high popularity in all cultural circles worldwide.

False Gemstones: Imitation & Semi-precious Stones

Jewelry often gives its wearer a certain social status. Therefore, it is not surprising that real, that is, natural gemstones were replaced by cheaper minerals or artificial imitations, in order to make beautiful jewelry accessible to a wide mass of people, where you cannot tell at first glance whether they are real or fake.  

In costume jewelry of the 19th and 20th centuries often processed stones of the quartz series, which were real, but also synthetic. Purple amethysts, brown smoky quartz, yellowish citrine and also pale pink rose quartz and crystal clear rock crystal very often decorated the ladies in these times.  

A few examples of various gemstones illustrate the development and evolution of artificial imitations. Diamonds were thus replaced by other white stones such as rock crystals, lead crystal glass or rhinestones. Since the mid-1950s, diamonds have been produced synthetically. The artificial diamonds of newer generations are not easily distinguishable from real stones, but for experts and renowned laboratories, this is possible.  

The same thing happened with colored stones. For the blue sapphire, just as for the ruby, synthetic stones were often used, which can be produced in the same flame melting process according to the Verneuil method. But also, glass imitations were often used instead of real sapphires and rubies. Emeralds were imitated with colored glass, peridot and verdelite, the green tourmaline. The light blue aquamarine was replaced with spinel of the same color just after the Second World War, but often it was imitated with glass only.  

Synthetic diamond overview
Synthetic diamond overview
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Why sell gemstones

Because of their rarity and beauty, there is a worldwide trade in gemstones. As a loose stone or incorporated into a piece of jewelry. Also crucial is their longevity and resilience due to the individual hardness of a gemstone. Depending on properties such as color, hue, inclusions and fracture surfaces, gemstones are cut and faceted in a specific cut. Diamonds and corundum (sapphires and rubies) are particularly popular due to their hardness and do not show color changes over time. Minor traces of wear can be easily repolished and thus shine in their former glory, for generations and millennia.  

Diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald also each have a specific symbolism that gives the jewelry a unique value. Jewelry with gemstones is therefore often heirlooms or part of important life events. Diamonds, for example, are a popular choice for an engagement ring. Why selling a gemstone? Simply if you want to exchange the value of a gemstone or piece of jewelry with a diamond, sapphire, ruby or emerald for money because you need the money, you have no connection to the gemstone or you don't like the piece of jewelry. Depending on the quality of the gemstone, you may be able to get a hefty amount for it. Gemstones as an investment enjoy increasing popularity, so there are many collectors and also investors comparable to the art market, invest their money in particularly rare and beautiful gemstones to sell them again with the aim of a later return.  

Do you need assistance in selling sapphires and rubies? Just send us an email and we will try to support you in the best possible way with our expertise and industry contacts.

How selling gems works

There are a few ways you can sell your gemstone or gemstone jewelry. First, however, it is important to get a reputable appraisal of who can appraise gemstones. Some jewelers offer this, but from an independent source, a gemstone or jewelry appraiser is recommended. Independent third-party appraisal and valuation is a service and therefore costs something. This is however advisable, since this can make apart from the exact determination criteria, the 4C's (Color/color, Clarity/cleanness, Cut/cut, Carat/weight), also a value statement, in order to look then for a suitable buyer, who offers your fair and marketable price.  

It is important to know with appraisers that the value written on the appraisal is a resale value on a retail level. Likewise, this value is usually an insurance value in the event of a loss in the future with price increases taken into account accordingly. A market actor will not pay the resale value, due to its level of trade. Rather, the appraisal is about getting the exact criteria of the gemstone. What type of gemstone? Is it natural or synthetic? Has it been treated or is it untreated? From which country does it come? It is advisable to send the gemstone or the piece of jewelry to a gemological laboratory to obtain a certificate, a kind of report about the gemstone, which is the basis for the valuation. The following are the possibilities of where to sell gemstones.  

Ruby and sapphire gems
Ruby and sapphire one of the most popular and rare colored gemstones
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Where can gems be sold

Where is the best place to sell gemstones is a frequently asked question that is not always easy to answer, but you should consider some criteria to find the right decision for yourself and find out the right addressees.  

Selling gemstones can be done in many ways. One way is through online auctions such as eBay. This is very easy, but also carries a risk. Since estimating the exact value of the gemstone is expert work, there is a relatively high chance that the gemstone will be offered for sale at far too low a price or have an unrealistically high asking value.  

A safer way to sell your gemstones is to go to a reliable jeweler. After a reputable appraisal, it is a good idea to visit several market participants and ask for an offer on the gemstone. These can be jewelers, goldsmiths, or gemstone dealers. Since there are different levels of trade, the prices can also differ significantly. It is important to sound out the best offer for yourself and also to consider factors such as expertise and trustworthiness.

Particularly high-quality and unusual gemstones can also be sold through traditional auction houses at a jewelry or gemstone auction. When selling gemstones, avoid pawn shops that also buy gold, for example, here you usually do not achieve an optimal sales price. If you give a gemstone or a piece of jewelry to an auction house to resell it in this way to a highest bidder, you can set a minimum price, whether a large international auction house or a regional one that specializes in jewelry and art.

Another option is to contact galleries, jewelers or goldsmiths who offer to sell the stone or piece of jewelry on consignment, this means they must be patient, but usually achieve a significantly hear price. If you want to sell quickly, after a serious appraisal or valuation is often recommended to go to several market participants to get different offers for the right decision.  

Private sale of gemstones

On online platforms, gemstone exchanges and the like, loose gemstones are offered for sale in addition to jewelry. However, this type of private sale is only recommended for collector's stones and low value jewelry. High-value gemstones must be appraised and offered by experts, whether they are auction houses, jewelers, goldsmiths, or gemstone dealers. Selling gemstones privately is easy if you turn to experts, they know the market and can give a realistic price estimate and guarantee the safety and professionalism of the transaction. Here it is worthwhile to research and to give their stone into professional hands, which in their sense achieve the desired result.  

Sale through auction houses and gemstone dealers  

Points of contact for the sale of gemstones are large auction houses, gemstone dealers and jewelers. In the case of stones that have been made into jewelry, it is a good idea to go to a jeweler or an auction house that specializes in jewelry to be able to assess the total value of the piece of jewelry in relation to the material value. When reselling through professional vendors, it is of course important to consider what costs might be involved. Many gem dealers also offer consignment sales, as they have a large network of potential buyers and have experts dealing with gemstones and business clients every day.

Loose gemstones and gemstone jewelry
Loose gemstones and gemstone jewelry
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What prices to expect when selling gemstones

When buying gemstones, you need to be clear on what level of trade you want to be on. Online auctions and auction houses offer private to private sales. Experts and market participants such as jewelers, goldsmiths and gemstone dealers have wholesale prices and therefore one must expect a discount in value. However, here is a serious assessment, and value determination guaranteed as a private person without gemstone knowledge cannot provide. That's why there are experts who know what they are talking about and who can advise you or assist you directly in the event of a sale.  

Price assessment for set stones / Price evaluation of set gemstones in jewelry

If the gemstones for sale are set in jewelry, the price evaluation of the stones, especially aspects that are relevant for resale. These are, among other things, the quality of the stone, its value in its current condition, resalability of the jewelry and especially with old jewelry, whether the original condition has been altered or not. Here the overall impression is important, the gemstone in combination with the piece of jewelry and its attractiveness to potential new buyers.  

Are you wondering what your piece of jewelry or gemstone is worth today? Then it is best to have an appraisal done. We do not offer this service. However, through our industry contacts we can give you a trustworthy contact as a recommendation. Just send us an e-mail.  

Prices when buying loose gemstones

The price when reselling loose gemstones is determined, in addition to the size and quality, mainly by the demand for the stone in the particular cut. For many gemstones or semi-precious stones, it is the stone color and cut, which in each case has its time and is therefore also subject to fashion. For exactly the reason, unfortunately, many stones, even if they are beautiful, are practically unsaleable. With diamonds and the three colored gemstones (sapphire, ruby, emerald) this is different. Because of their rarity, these are always sought after and selling them can be very rewarding. As described, an independent appraisal and also valuation makes sense in order to achieve the best result for oneself here.  

Rare gemstones remain rare and the value development for gemstones shows that almost no gemstones in fine quality have ever lost value, on the contrary, fine stones record significant value increases and price increases from year to year. Therefore, a serious assessment by experts is indispensable to know whether you are carrying a small treasure or simply a beautiful stone that, despite its beauty, has no market value.

Tax on selling gems / Tax on the sale of precious stones

A private seller sells without VAT at the net price, because you do not have to pay VAT. On the profit from the purchase and sale of gemstones, there is currently no VAT in Germany, if you have owned the gemstone for more than one year.

GIA Gem Project Corundum
The variety of sapphires in all colors of the rainbow
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What do you need to sell gemstones?

The most important thing is a certificate, a gemstone findings report, an assessment on the criteria of the gemstone from an independent gemmological institutes and laboratories. These confirm the authenticity of the gemstone, its natural origin. Furthermore, they indicate if the gemstone has been treated in any way, as there are common forms depending on the type of gemstone that are tolerated by the market and those that are subject to labeling and significantly affect its nature as well as its value.  

For colored gemstones, certificates from Switzerland are particularly recognized, e.g. from the Swiss Foundation for Gemstone Research (SSEF), from the Swiss Research Gemlab (GRS), Gübelin Gem Lab, C Dunaigre Gem Lab. As well as from European institutes Deutsche Stiftung Edelsteinforschung (DSEF) from Idar-Oberstein, Antwerp Laboratory for Gemstone Testing (ALGT), Bellerophon Gemlab in Paris, etc. For diamonds, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certificates enjoy the best reputation internationally.  

Gemstone buying & consulting at Ceylons

We are a gemstone producer and wholesaler specialized in sapphires for our business customers, goldsmiths, studios and jewelers. We have the expertise to evaluate gemstones, but we do not buy stones. We have established our transparent and sustainable supply chain from Sri Lanka and our customers appreciate this. However, we can provide advice that we can recommend appropriate appraisers, institutes and laboratories, as well as market participants. The world of gemstones is small and reputable suppliers and addresses know each other.  

For this reason, you are welcome to contact us, and we will try to help with a recommendation and provide a seller with appropriate contacts. Often, we are asked if we offer gemstone seminars and pass on our knowledge, this is also possible on a purely informative basis, without the direct purchase or sale of a gemstone from private customers. In special cases, for very high-quality colored gemstones we have offered a commission model, suitable for all sides: You as seller, us as reseller and our worldwide customers - for a perfect win-win-win situation.

If you wish, simply contact us. We will be happy to support you with our expertise and our international network.

Send us an Inquiry or Book an Appointment


When is a good time to sell gemstones?

It is best to sell when the demand for the gemstone in question is greatest. Commercial gemstones, such as colorless round cut diamonds, are very dependent on the economic context. Therefore, in times of financial crisis, it is better to keep these diamonds for a while. Colored diamonds or other rare gemstones such as certain types of emeralds, sapphires or rubies belong to a niche market and are therefore less affected by the economy. If you want to sell this type of gemstones, it is advisable to get assistance from an expert. Finally, sufficient knowledge of this niche market is necessary to determine the right time to sell your gemstone.

Why should I sell my gemstones?

This is always a personal decision. If one cannot do anything with the loose gemstone, has no connection to it, a sale may be financially worthwhile. It is important to have the gemstone appraised by an expert to assign a realistic market value to the gemstone.  

Is collecting gemstones illegal?

No, it is not illegal. As with art, stamps or jewelry, a gemstone is a commodity that can be collected indefinitely and is not subject to legal examination. 

What are my gemstones worth?

This depends on the type of gemstone and the 4C’s of gemstone valuation. In addition to quality, rarity as well as supply and demand play a critical role in determining value.  

Which stones are valuable?

Diamonds and colored gemstones (sapphire, ruby, emerald) are the most valuable. Gemstones, or semi-precious stones, have a lower value due to their rarity, hardness and longevity.  

What makes gemstones so valuable?

They are a rare mineral found in nature. This cannot be produced at will. Depending on the quality of the gemstone, high values can be achieved, depending on supply and demand.  

What are the most popular gemstones?

Diamonds and colored gemstones (sapphire, ruby, emerald) are the most popular worldwide because they are traditionally the rarest and have been traded and valued for thousands of years.  

Which gemstones increase in value?

The value and its performance is measured by the rarity i.e., the rarity of the gemstone. Colored gemstones such as the sapphire, ruby and emerald show the greatest increases in value, even significantly higher than white diamonds.  

Which is worth more: ruby or sapphire?

Rubies and sapphires are the same mineral, referred to as "corundum". Because the red variety, the ruby is rarer due to its chromium content, which accounts for the red coloration, a ruby of comparable size and quality is worth more than a sapphire.  

Are gemstones a good investment?

Yes, gemstones can be a very lucrative investment. Provided one has some knowledge and good access to fine qualities a good purchase price. Gemstones as a rare and rare natural product are subject to a significantly increasing demand, which significantly increases their value from year to year.

Where is the best place to sell gemstones?

After an appraisal, gemstones can best be sold at jewelers, goldsmiths, gemstone dealers or even auction houses, this depends greatly on the type of gemstone and its quality.  

Who can appraise stones?

Gemstone and jewelry appraisers can estimate the resale value of a gemstone. This is not necessarily equal to the market price paid for it depending on the level of trade.  

Do I have to be present at the appraisal?

No, a reputable gem lab or institute will examine the stone without the owner's presence. Smaller jewelry and gemstone appraisers may well take a "close look" at the gemstone in the owner's presence and do more advanced microscopic analysis. However, chemical analyses and spectroscopies then take place additionally in a commissioned laboratory.


CEYLONS | MUNICH stands for the finest Ceylon sapphires. A brand committed to responsible mining of Sri Lankan gemstones obtained in an ethical manner.

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