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View Full Version : Importing Gemstone from India in the UK via Etsy, rules, regulations & custom charges



themaker
27-03-2019, 10:48 AM
Hello,

Iíve already searched on this thread canít seem to find anything about this specific topic, so Iím going to ask and see if anyone else is in the same situation or have experience in this area.

Iím looking to buy semi precious gemstones but after a lot of research I canít find any good supplier in the UK. I mean thereíre a quite few suppliers but theyíre all very expensive in comparison to what you can get from abroad.

I landed on Etsy and a lot of suppliers from India are selling these gemstone with 1000s of good reviews, so I was wondering if anyone has experience dealing with these suppliers through Etsy or directly and want to share their experience? Iíve spoken to a few suppliers from India and they have sent me pics and videos etc which are looking good.

I know thereís custom charges when you get anything from abroad, every product you get has itís own code etc and the rules are different if I was buying diamond or other high quality precious gemstones. But Iím mainly looking for semi precious stones, like opal or moonstones (to be more specific) as I would be selling my pieces eventually for £20 - £60.

I know you register directly with HMRC for getting goods in and out for larger quantities but Iím talking here about once in a while so I think in this case mainly the courier dealing with it will be sorting this already and if thereís any charges theyíll let me know. Something like when you buy things from eBay sometime they charge you and other times it just goes through customs.

Certififying Semi Precious Gemstones- I donít think I have to certify semi precious gemstones, these include ruby, opal, sapphire etc by law unless Iím selling diamonds etc?

I want to do things the right way and put the foundation right from the beginning, so any help, tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you

pearlescence
27-03-2019, 12:09 PM
I can put you in touch with an actual opal miner in Australia - met her earlier this month in hong kong (yes,,Her!)
You don't have to certify anything. This is an American thing because they do not have our strict consumer laws (eg trade descriptions act etc)

For small packets you can leave customs clearance to the importing shipping agent who will do the clearing for you (and charge a fee)
For just a few gemstones have a look at https://www.gemcollector.com/en-gb/ . Steve Bennett is an avid gem person who knows his stuff. Family company based near brum
Later you may even want to go to India and select stones yourself - much more fun! (or you can go to the huge trade fair in Hong Kong) Then come back and ask me how to hand carry your imports through customs and save the fees and shipping charges

china
27-03-2019, 12:14 PM
Can't help with UK customs etc, just want say that Ruby and Sapphire are precious stone not semi precious.

themaker
27-03-2019, 12:28 PM
That sounds amazing! Yes currently just looking for a few gemstones so I would look at Steve's website. I was always worried about certifying them but this sounds great that I don't need to. I love Australian Opal, I'll be in touch when I need larger quantities! Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge :) xx

themaker
27-03-2019, 12:31 PM
Ah I see, I was always under the impression that the lower grade ones are semi-precious gemstones as they're so cheap. Perhaps I should go and do some more research online, thanks for letting me know! :) xx

theresa
27-03-2019, 04:37 PM
I buy a lot of stones from India, and so far, fingers crossed, I have not paid any customs, although every packet I get from the US carries a charge! Also, the stones have on the whole been really good. You get what you pay for really. I don't sell very expensive jewellery and like my stones to have 'character', ie inclusions, veils, etc. If I need something special I usually go to Wards.

pearlescence
28-03-2019, 08:30 AM
A really rubbish sapphire is still a precious stone.

Sheen
28-03-2019, 08:44 AM
The only thing that worries me about buying from sellers who are offering cheap stones is how ethical their practices are towards the enviroment and their staff. I'd like to buy direct from artisanal mines less good quality stones (therefor cheaper) but most fairtrade and ethical projects seem to mainly deal in your high end stones :(.

CJ57
28-03-2019, 12:24 PM
I know this to be a family run business and mine, I’ve met Maira at fairs and she posts occasionally on our Scottish Jewellers group https://gemstonesbrazil.com/

themaker
28-03-2019, 04:13 PM
I buy a lot of stones from India, and so far, fingers crossed, I have not paid any customs, although every packet I get from the US carries a charge! Also, the stones have on the whole been really good. You get what you pay for really. I don't sell very expensive jewellery and like my stones to have 'character', ie inclusions, veils, etc. If I need something special I usually go to Wards.

Sounds good! Yes I got a few things from US and each time ended up paying a lot of money in custom charges so I know youíre pain. 🙂

themaker
28-03-2019, 04:15 PM
I know this to be a family run business and mine, I’ve met Maira at fairs and she posts occasionally on our Scottish Jewellers group https://gemstonesbrazil.com/

Thank you Caroline, I’ll have a look at their site! ��

themaker
28-03-2019, 04:47 PM
A really rubbish sapphire is still a precious stone.

I’ve worked for many years in tech/marketing and currently work for interior design company, we import and export many furniture components from various different countries but when it comes to gemstone and precious metals etc I don’t have much experience so please forgive me if my question is a bit daft.

How do you market precious stones, is there any rules regulations in the UK what you can and what you can’t say when marketing a precious stone of lower grade or higher grade?

So if I buy emerald for example I’ll just go based on purely how it looks and what the supplier says, can I then describe it as emerald and sell it or do I need to find out the grade etc. if I’m honest I wouldn’t know the purity myself unless I take it to certify gemologist.

I noticed some people just describe them as A, AA, AAA quality etc

themaker
28-03-2019, 04:58 PM
The only thing that worries me about buying from sellers who are offering cheap stones is how ethical their practices are towards the enviroment and their staff. I'd like to buy direct from artisanal mines less good quality stones (therefor cheaper) but most fairtrade and ethical projects seem to mainly deal in your high end stones :(.

I think you make a very valid point. A few suppliers I spoke to from Etsy are small family run businesses they don’t have massive mines etc. They mainly work with their families and the business is passed down from generation to generation.

There’re various reasons why they can sell it so cheap not necessarily you have to compromise with the quality. Like you said most fair trade and ethical projects deal with high end stones so for someone like me it’ll be challenging to start with but with time and a bit of research I’m hoping will figure good ethical supplier in the long run.

pearlescence
28-03-2019, 05:29 PM
Mines will only supply rough usually. They won't do the cutting. Good cutting makes an okay stone great or a great stone into rubbish

CJ57
28-03-2019, 05:31 PM
Out of interest are you just planning to buy and sell stones or are you planning to make jewellery with them? I would think there would be no point in going to companies such as I suggested if it’s the former

themaker
28-03-2019, 07:05 PM
Out of interest are you just planning to buy and sell stones or are you planning to make jewellery with them? I would think there would be no point in going to companies such as I suggested if it’s the former

I’m mainly looking to use gemstones in the jewellery pieces I’ll be making, not looking to buy and sell gemstones.

P.S I looked at MaŪra’s site, it looks great! Prices are also not bad.

CJ57
28-03-2019, 09:07 PM
I’m mainly looking to use gemstones in the jewellery pieces I’ll be making, not looking to buy and sell gemstones.

P.S I looked at MaŪra’s site, it looks great! Prices are also not bad.
They are rather nice and she seems to have some unusual cuts