some gemstones in the context of how to buy gemstones online
June 19, 2020

How to buy gemstones online

If you are thinking of buying gemstones and searching for a guide on “How to buy gemstones online? ” , you have landed on the correct place. This article will cover,

  • Advantages of buying gemstones online
  • Some recommended sellers
  • Things you should be careful of

Let’s go through the list one by one.

Advantages of buying gemstones online

Number of advantages in the online buying process continues to increase as sellers and platforms keep introducing new features to increase their customer bases. However, buying gemstones online brings certain unique advantages.

Let’s go through this list of advantages briefly before discussing about buying gemstones online. (These advantages are almost similar to the advantages I described in the “How to buy jewelry online” article. If you have already read that, you can skip this section and move on to the next section.)

Wide range of choice

Since there are many reputable online sellers, the choices you have are practically endless.

You can easily browse through a lot more gemstones when you are checking online as opposed to walking into several physical gemstone shops.

Platforms like Etsy have given the opportunity for sellers from anywhere the world to present their products to the global audience


Probably the most common reason for online shopping to become so popular is the convenience. This is no exception for gemstones as shopping for gemstones online is definitely more convenient than walking through many shops.

In addition to saving time and energy, there are many other aspects to convenience in shopping jewelry online. For example, you will often want to get others inputs when making a decision. When shopping online, you can easily send the link to quite a few people and get their thoughts before making the purchase. You cannot of course do this so easily when you are in a physical shop.

Online shops also offer online support and you can clarify all the questions you have and request for more photos and videos if needed.

Lower Cost

Very often we tend to perceive low price items as low quality. But what we first need to understand is that how those online sellers are managing to offer lower prices compared to physical stores.

Physical stores have a lot of overheads such as building rent, staff salaries of shop assistants, utility bills and so on. But when it comes to online seller, most of these costs are either very low or don’t exist at all.

When buying through platforms such as Etsy, you get direct access to sellers who are from gem mining countries. Prices offered by them will definitely be much more attractive than the prices in physical shops.

Therefore, in a nutshell, lower cost doesn’t mean low quality always. Having said that, there are certain things you need to be careful in order to make sure you are buying a quality jewelry. I will cover these in a following section.

Your Privacy

Going along with convenience, another important advantage when shopping online is the privacy you have. The gemstones store staff are well-trained to sell and they can be so convincing and persuasive so much so that you can end up buying something totally out of your budget or something that you didn’t really want.

When buying online, you have complete freedom to make your own choice after properly evaluating all options.


Many online sellers often give you percentage off coupons or credit card easy payment schemes. Some sellers also offer coupons when you chat with them for more questions. So just contacting them to see whether there are any offers will not be a bad idea as some support staff will give you coupons anyway as they are going to get a commission for the sale.

How to buy gemstones online?

Since you are now more convinced about buying gemstones online, the next step in learning “How to buy gemstones online?” is, selecting a trustworthy website to make your purchase.

There are hundreds and thousands of online sellers and here I will introduce a couple of those. Even if you have already selected a different party to buy from, you might find some useful tips to ensure that you are making the correct purchase.

The options

I will recommend you three options here for you to consider in your shop options.

1. Etsy

Etsy is an awesome place to start with since there are literary unlimited options. Etsy is an online store with so many sellers from around the world. You can find a wide range of gemstones, ranging from semi-precious to precious.

When you go to a listing, in the top right corner of the listing, the seller’s name along with the number of reviews for the store is listed. When you click the name, you will be able to enter the shop of the seller and there you will see all the other items of that particular seller. The total number of sales done by the seller so far is also listed in the store.

image 1 : Etsy store front

The overall rating of the store and also number of sales done is a good indication of whether you can trust the seller or not. But there could be new sellers as well who are selling awesome products possible at a lower price as they are trying to get more sales initially.

Regardless of whether the seller is new or old, you can still ask them for more photos or even a video of the gemstone you want. If the seller is very new and do not have any sales or reviews so far in the profile, it might be a good idea to start a conversation and get a feeling of the seller before making a purchase. If you are not confident enough, then it is better to go with a more reputable seller as there are unlimited options.

If you cannot find the exact stone you want, you can try writing to some sellers you like and ask them whether they can supply you with what you want. Many sellers will definitely be willing source your exact requirement.

2. James Allen

James Allen is another place to buy high quality gemstones. They offer sapphire, ruby and emeralds.

One major challenge in buying gemstones online is that you are not able to get that touch and feel. James Allen offer a 3600 photo to overcome this issue. You can rotate photos of all stones by 3600 and get a good feeling for the stone.

James Allen also offer worldwide free shipping to any destination.


3. Leibish & Co.

Leibish is a more exclusive shop and they mostly sell blue sapphires, ruby, emerald, tanzanite and aquamarine. Leibish also offers money back guarantee, free returns and great customer service. More details of Leibish can be found here.

image 3 : Leibish store front

Cost of a Gemstone

When you are calculating the cost of an item, make sure you add in the shipping and tax components. Even though some Etsy sellers do not offer free shipping, the cost including shipping might still be a lot cheaper than other places.

The shipping is free with James Allen and Leibish. The other cost component you need to consider is the tax. Tax depends on the country you reside and you will be able to find out the exact amount with a bit of research.

If you are in the states, there are some states with no sales tax. You can ship the jewelry to a remote mailbox in one of these states and get it forward to you and avoid the sales tax. Currently there are five states without sales tax and those are Alaska, Delaware Montana and New Hampshire. This might change in the future and therefore please double check at the time you read this article.

Ask for more from the seller

Regardless of how reputable the place you have chosen to purchase gemstones, ask for everything you need to make sure that you are buying a quality stone. I can recommend a couple of things for you to ask from the seller to ensure a great purchase.

1. Ask for more pictures and even videos

This will be highly useful if you are buying from a marketplace like Etsy where there are many third party sellers with limited photos of their products.

Getting them to send you a video will make you even more comfortable as it helps you to get that touch and feel experience to a certain extent.

2. Certificates

If you are buying an expensive gemstone, you can always ask the seller to provide you with a valid certificate for the gemstone (You can certainly request for a certificate even when you are buying a less expensive gemstone. But the seller will add that cost to the price of the stone which will most probably make a considerable difference). Some countries have branches of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and a certificate by them is highly trusted.

But some countries like Sri Lanka where so many wonderful natural gemstones are found, there are no GIA branches. They have either GIA authorized partners or government bodies to issue certificates. When the seller provides you the certificate, certificate includes the name of the institute which provided that and you can do a bit of research to see whether that institute is trustworthy.

3. Purchase protection

Before buying, check whether the seller accepts returns. Also, read more or ask them about the guarantee conditions.

Avoid Getting Scammed

One major issue of purchasing online is the large number of scams that are out there. This is the main reason why you should be buying from reputable sellers. But even then, checking few more things of the product will help you to make safe purchases.

1. Price

After doing your research on the gemstone you want to buy, you will have a basic idea about the price range of similar stones. If you happen to find a stone with remarkably low prices, it is always better to be suspicious and do more digging or not consider that product at all.

2. Certificates

For a considerably valuable gemstone, if the seller is unable to provide you a certificate from a reputable institute when you are asking for one, this is for sure a bad sign.

3. Images and description

If you want to go another step forward in trying to verify the seller, ( this step will be useful if you are considering a third party seller in a seller store like Etsy) save the product images and do a google image search to see whether the same image appears in stock image sites.

If it does, then it is always best to avoid this seller.

Final Thoughts

Buying gemstones is always a tedious task given the wide range of options and prices. The objective of this article was to give some basic guidelines on “How to buy gemstones online?” as online purchasing of gemstones has become very popular.

I hope you managed to learn something new. Please let me know if you have any question or require any clarifications.

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