Do you want to start a business selling crystals? If YES, here are the full details of how you can make money selling crystals for a living.
Indeed, there are many people who collect and sell crystals and gemstones for a living and many more people with careers dealing with rocks and minerals. You too can make money and even a career out of selling crystals, but like many other instances of hobbies-turned-careers, it is not easy and requires some perseverance, a whole lot of know-how, a few secrets, and more than a little luck.
Many careers in the jewelry industry depend on the concept of buying a gemstone and crystals, adding value to it, and selling it for profit.
First and foremost, you will need to secure a few wholesale options for your crystals and other precious rocks and make some initial purchases, in order to display items for customers. These initial orders will come out of your pocket, so choose wisely and don’t overspend.
You will also need to acquire a business license, insurance for you and the business, and invest in some start-up advertising to make customers aware of your new business.
If you operate out of a shop location, then you have to factor in rent and utilities. Some crystal selling businesses choose to operate out of a warehouse or from home. While this can be a cost effective option, you would ultimately lose the benefit of foot traffic and walk-in business.
If you are more of a wholesaler, or if working from home is a better option, you can offset your lack of walk-in customers with a more involved online presence through a website and social media.
Note that a good website and continued social media presence is an added cost, but it is advisable for all business types to extend customer reach. In case you are not an avid rock hound or do not live somewhere where you can easily find crystals, rocks, and other gemstones, there are also options for you.
You may also like to tumble, polish, paint, or carve stones, or even make, buy, sell, or trade jewelry. Crystal selling shops are in fact very rare, but some shops are known to sell and carry fewer raw materials and more gemstones, jewelry, and other mineral products.
If you are more interested, the jewelry industry is huge and has many different places where you can buy and sell crystals. In these cases, your hunting process may take you to auctions or wholesalers, and your skill set should involve knowledge of appraising, faceting, setting, or displaying your precious stones.
There are also many rock enthusiasts who buy crystals or polished minerals at wholesale prices, work with them, and sell end products. This often entails creativity in creating jewelry or other artistic works from the stones, but can also be extracting crystals, appraising a collection and selling the most valuable, and many other things.
Steps to Start Selling Crystals for a Living
Whether you just want to sell the crystals and stone themselves or you want to delve into jewelry and other gemstone uses, you can make a lucrative part- or full-time income doing either. Here are steps to take or consider;
- Learn as much as you can about crystals and gemology in general. Although being an expert in this does not require a degree, it is necessary to become very knowledgeable in the different types of stones, instruments, and laboratory services that are available. Contact the Gemmological Institute of America or another gem trade organization, and take their online or on-campus classes.
- Put together a business plan that extensively explains how you intend to sell your gems and stones. Some retailers work strictly online and sell through online auction outlets and websites while others have retail stores or go to craft fairs and festivals to make their sales.
- Arrange to acquire your crystals and stones through a dealer. If you live in an area that is known for a specific stone, such as Quartz, you can purchase your stones locally and then polish and set them as you like. If you want to deal in nonlocal stones, locate a dealer through the Gemmological Institute of America, the American Gem Trade Association, or a mineralogy club, and contact them about purchasing their stones and gems for resale.
- Rent or acquire your retail outlet, if you intend to have a store. Note that once you have your business address, you can apply for a business license from your city or county, if necessary, as well as a Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. If you intend to start your business from home, whether online or working at fairs and festivals, your business address is your home address.
- Acquire your packaging and shipping materials. Crystals and precious stones need to be well-protected, so purchasing small, padded boxes for each stone is necessary. Also, you will need to mail your stones in padded envelopes or small boxes if shipping to other places. Design labels to put on the boxes so your customers know how to contact you for another order if need be.
- Extensively market your business by attending local events and setting up a website whether you intend to sell online or not.
Brochures that explain what type of crystals you deal in as well as other services you offer are helpful for handing out to potential customers. If you have a retail location, it is advisable you consider holding a grand opening and offer different types of events throughout the year to encourage new business, such as gem cleaning or an informational seminar.
10 Most Popular Crystals to Sell for a Living
Selling crystals requires an extensive knowledge of the different types of crystals, the criteria used to judge their quality, and experience assisting customers.
While your knowledge and expertise with regard to the crystals is important, you can build this over time and still remain successful. They tend to be more common crystals that are relatively inexpensive, occur as larger specimens and be quite colorful, and they are very rare ones too. So, here is the list.
The striking, purple variety of quartz which is well renowned for occurring in large, crystal encrusted geodes is mined in Brazil and Uruguay. Amethyst gets its purple colour from naturally irradiated iron inclusions within the quartz crystals.
Note that the more low level irradiation it has been exposed to (over millions of years) the darker the color. Up until the 18th century amethyst was considered one of the most valuable gemstones along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds until the discovery of large deposits in South America.
While most of the amethyst on the market still comes from Brazil and Uruguay, amethyst can be found worldwide with countries such as Mexico, South Africa, and Namibia producing beautiful specimens.
Pyrite (Fools Gold)
Also known as iron pyrite and fool’s gold, pyrite is a golden, metallic mineral that forms a number of different crystal shapes.
It’s well renowned for occurring in perfectly formed cubes that don’t look like they could possibly be natural. The best known source of these pyrite cubes is the famous Victoria Mine in Spain. Another interesting type of formation is known as a pyrite sun, found in the coal mines of Illinois.
Pyrite is frequently found associated with other metallic minerals like galena and sphalerite as well as often being found with quartz crystals.
Rhodochrosite is a vibrant, pink to rose red colored mineral. It’s quite uncommon only being found in a few locations around the world, most notably Argentina and South Africa. Note that well formed crystals of Rhodochrosite are very rare and highly coveted by collectors.
More frequently rhodochrosite dissolved in water will accumulate inside of cavities within a rock formation. Over time this will create banded formations similar to agates. These banded formations are often cut and polished into slabs, eggs, spheres, and other decorative items.
Quartz in general is the most common type of crystal people search for. Note that it is fitting given that it’s also the most common crystal on this planet. It comes with dozens of color variations depending on the types of naturally occurring mineral inclusions within the crystals and their surrounding environments. The most common variety is the plain old, white to crystal clear quartz.
Azurite is a vibrant, blue, copper-based mineral that is mainly associated with malachite. Note that the blue of azurite is exceptionally deep and clear, and during antiquity, it was used as a popular painting pigment.
It tends to form small, prismatic crystals but also is frequently found in massive fibrous forms or nodules. One particularly interesting azurite formation is the disk-shaped azurite suns found exclusively in the Malbunka Copper Mine of Australia.
The coloration, along with the contrasting patterns it forms when associated with other copper minerals makes it a hit among collectors.
Celestite or Celestine is a strontium based crystal that is popular for occurring in clear to pale blue colorations though it may also be light yellow.
Note that the vast majority of the Celestite crystals being sold are coming from North western Madagascar where celestite often occurs in large geodes. Like amethyst, the affordability of large Celestite geodes and crystal clusters lends to its popularity.
Citrine crystals are one of the most well known searched for crystals according to Google. But, most people don’t know what real citrine looks like. 99.9% of the crystals sold as citrine are not actually citrine but are rather amethyst that has been heated in a furnace to make it orange.
Natural citrine is quite rare and yellowish in color. Citrine is naturally formed as smoky quartz is slowly heated inside the earth, so citrine often contains smoky phantoms within it.
Fluorite is a very colorful mineral that comes in a wide range of colors and crystal habits. Note that it also tends to be highly fluorescent under UV light. Some of the most frequently seen colors are green and purple though it may also be commonly found in yellows, purples, and pretty much any color of the rainbow.
It often forms natural cubic, octahedral and dodecahedral crystals. Fluorite is very popular among mineral collectors due to the huge variety of colors and crystal shapes it can be found in.
Garnet simply refers to a group of silicate minerals that have been used since antiquity as gemstones and abrasives due to their hardness.
There are over a dozen species of garnets with some of the more common being Almandine, Pyrope, Spessartine, Grossular, and Andradite. All of these types of garnets have similar physical properties and crystal forms but differ in chemical composition.
Malachite is a dark green, copper-based mineral. It can grow in botryoidal masses or stalactite and reniform formations, more or less as a tight cluster of fanning fibrous needles that make up a seemingly solid mass.
As layers continue to stack during formation, a banded pattern can sometimes begin to take shape, which details the rings in all shades of green that are seen on most polished malachite specimens. Malachite has been prized since ancient times, first as a copper ore, and then as a decorative stone.
It is most often seen available for sale in a polished form rather than raw crystals. It is very often associated with other copper-based minerals like Azurite and Chrysocolla.
Precious stone dealers and retailers consistently make money, as there are large numbers of people looking for new and unique stone and jewelry options. Presently the traditional jewelry business is facing greater competition from cottage industry Jewellers.
The biggest part of your success will depend on your interaction with customers and other gem dealers. An ability to build personal relationships and provide customer service will be key to creating and continuing a career in precious gem sales.