I thank Aparna (Melisma Wirework), who is a wire work artisan I featured before, for this tip on Colorado based Ray Gabriel's gemstone store on Etsy. I can see why she is a fan because there is a wide range of lovely gemstone cabochons available at affordable (wholesale) prices.

The vast majority of his listings are under $10. Shown above is a gorgeous faceted green tourmaline.

So it's no surprise when I found out that Ray's gemstone importing business is precisely aimed at jewelry artisans and students, instructors and art departments and has done so for over 35 years. The business is now operated entirely from the Etsy store.

Spessartine Garnet, Trillion cut, South Africa
Ray has been traveling the world over since 1975 to source gemstones from cutters and dealers. So he is exceedingly knowledgeable about gemstones and is willing to field any questions about them. He notes what flaws (inclusions) there are and shares what he knows about gem treatments.

Shown here are some lovely specimens from his store.  One could learn more about gemstones just by wandering through!

Tourmalinated Quartz Cabochons
His wife, Hannelore, is also a metal smith like him. Both of them attend juried national craft shows around the US.

Cat's Eye Scapolite Cabochon
Canadian Ammolite Fossil Shell Cabochon (doublet)
Before You Go :
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips