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Diamonds are a girl's best friend – they're also a $41 billion global business. Though there are a lot of people involved in the diamond trade from miners to distributors, diamond traders are the ones responsible for putting these gorgeous gems in the hands of customers. Whether you enjoy surrounding yourself with fine jewelry or are fascinated by the science of how the Earth forms a substance so brilliant with only one single element – carbon – a career as a diamond trader may be for you. So, how do you get started?
What Does a Diamond Trader Do?
Behind every perfect engagement ring is a diamond dealer who's well versed in the three 4Cs: cut, clarity, carat and color. Their careful eye is unmatched when it comes to finding the true value of a precious gemstone. To the naked eye, inexpensive cubic zirconium is indistinguishable from a perfect natural diamond, until you look at the price tag. Diamond traders make sure you don't get duped, while they're making a fair chunk of change.
The Industry Can Be Exclusive
According to The Guardian_,_ the diamond trading industry is extremely exclusive. For most diamond traders, it's a family business. Those families buy and sell to families already known in the industry. That's not to say it's impossible to break into the business. You need to raise some capital and find a dealer willing to sell you some precious stones. Money talks, and since there is a finite supply of natural diamonds, it's quite expensive to gather your initial inventory.
Get An Education
It's not necessary to get a formal education, but it helps boost your career. Schools such as the Gemological Institute of America will teach you everything you need to know about diamonds. Remember, this is a highly specialized skill because the price of a diamond varies so widely, depending on what you see through a microscope.
Work Your Way Up
The best way to get started in diamond trading is to work your way up. Take an entry-level or junior role at a jeweler or stone dealer to gain experience. Remember to hold onto your contacts, because the industry is all about trust. Diamond trading is a "who-you-know" business and the more connections you have, the more people who may buy from you in the future.
Work With A Gemstone Association
The more contacts you have, the better off you are in an industry that's all about sales. For this reason, many diamond traders choose to work with an association like the Gemological Association of Great Britain. This organization provides a list of local members to diamond-trading novices. How you use this list is entirely up to you, but reaching out to local members can help you gain experience and contacts.
If All Else Fails, Open an Online Store
You don't always have to sell diamonds to jewelers or illusive collectors. You can sell them directly to customers. To do this, open up an online business. Use your connections and experience to gather your initial stock and list your diamonds online. You can also seek out wholesalers and place ads in jewelry publications promoting your business.
Always Certify Your Diamonds
Before launching your business, make sure all your diamonds are certified. The Gemological Institute of America, the International Gemological Institute and the American Gem Society all certify diamonds for the 4Cs. Also, a Certificate of Authenticity, issued by the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab, serves as verification of your diamond's quality. Certification gives customers a promise of worth and creates trust. Diamonds are a major investment, and this tiny piece of paper proves they're worth it.
- The Guardian: How To Become A Diamond Trader
- Elite Daily: My Job As A Diamond Dealer Prepared Me For Life
- U.S. Customs And Border Protection: What are the requirements for importing diamonds, jewelry, stones, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, pearls, jade, etc.?
- The Telegraph: Antwerp's secret heart of the £31bn global diamond trade
Mariel Loveland is a small business owner with an editorial background in lifestyle and technology. Her work has been featured in Alternative Press, Vice and HelloGiggles. When Mariel's not writing, she can be found swishing her hair on stage with her punk band and managing the ins-and-outs of self-employment.
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