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Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: The Gem Merchant by David Epstein

The Gem Merchant: 
How to be one; How to deal with one
The Manual On How to Buy & Sell Gemstones
Third Edition

by David Stanley Epstein

In this the third edition of Epstein's manual for gem dealers and buyers alike, he tackles the changes in the Gem Industry as well as the new Social Media Platforms.

With all of the news of synthetic diamonds, hydrothermal gems, lead glass filled ruby, it is nice to have a place to go that helps you find resources to help you look for the clues that will keep your business on track.

...and the entirely new Social Marketing is so smartly covered.  He doesn't try to detail every platform or the book would be out dated before you even get started.  Instead, David gives you the concept of selling through social platforms...BRILLIANT!

Let me walk you through a couple of the terms defined in this book.   The author starts where a gem business should start...Buying!  At some point no matter which end of transaction you call your career - everyone is a BUYER!

"A Gem Buyer Doesn't Need To Identify Stones. He or She Needs to Verify Them!"     ~ The Gem Merchant, David Stanley Epstein

Epstein arms you with the basics...what to look for, and with fabulous diagrams and color plates he explains different issues that can affect price on a gemstone.   

Color - Clarity - Cut - What Is A Meet Point - Windows - Proportions - and a variety of basics,  like the name of the different parts of a faceted gem...buyer or seller terminology can make the difference in how someone treats you.

Business Planning - it is nice to see a business guide that actually encourages even the smallest business to write up a Business Plan.  You know the saying,  if you don't know where you are going how will you know when you get there?

Determining what to purchase - what the price should be - negotiating prices and terms - and how to present your goods.

Next up and probably the chapter with the most NEW information...Marketing.  It doesn't matter where you are selling, Epstein covers everything from traditions brick & mortar Jewelry Stores to Internet Auction sites and print ads to Pay-Per-Click!

Wrapping up with buying rough and cutting, picking a cutter, commercial vs  custom faceting....and a chapter on Projections for the Jeweler with key points for educating staff and sourcing info, David Epstein has done it again!

It is hard to improve on a good thing, but if you don't already have a copy of The Gem Merchant on your reference shelf  you need to pick this up.  If you have an earlier edition - this new book is worth the cost to replace it!

Description on Amazon:
The Manual on How to Buy and Sell Gems is the sub-title. That is exactly what this book is. The Secrets of 5000 years, which were constantly used to beguile the uninitiate are revealed here. The book clearly lays out in interesting easy to follow language with entertaining stories what to expect when buying or selling gemstones. The scope covers how jewelers should buy from a gem merchant, and how to research, plan, execute and adjust a gem business.

Previous editions have helped thousands avoid painful losses and increase their gains while trading gemstones. This edition Is more step by step with a business planning chapter and an expanded marketing chapter. Other improvements have also been made.

It could be said that this is the worst book on the topic, or that it is definitely the best. There is no other. For those who have an interest in the romance and profit of the gem trade, this book is a must.

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