One of the best things I get to do in my job is buy gemstones. First of all it's a great way to spend money and not feel guilty about it! Over the years I've developed a more limited number of suppliers who can supply the quality of goods that I need along with offering products that meet my ethical needs (proper disclosure, sourcing, etc.). Most of them have become friends over the years and we all recognize how codependent we are. If they offer me a great product at a fair price, I can sell more of their product.
It's always fun to sort through hundreds, or even thousands, of loose gemstones to find that one or two that just moves or inspires you, or you know is simply so beautiful, that someone will come along who loves it as much as you do. I have different sources for different types of goods; some I only buy one or two types of things from, usually because they're specializing in a particular product, but some carry a range of goods that I buy. My primary sapphire dealer also carries beautiful tourmalines, garnets, peridots, etc. but doesn't sell pearls or opals. My opal/pearl supplier doesn't carry anything other than that.
My latest purchase was from Penny who's a West Coast based dealer who carries a lot of cabochon gemstones and a wide mix of goods. She always has some interesting pieces, more funky than my traditional stone suppliers, and while I don't buy a lot of goods from her I can always find something that excites me. The drusy chrysocola pictured in my previous posting (7/17) came from her in my latest purchase. The stones pictured with today's posting also came from her.
In my next posting I'll talk about how the design came about for the drusy chrysocola.
Pictured: Rutilated quartz, carved onyx, Argentine agate