Who is The Gem Trader?

The Gem Trader is owned and operated by a G.I.A. Graduate Jeweler Gemologist, Brad Payne, who has had a passion for colored stones since childhood.  After an education in art history, Brad pursued his interest in gemology at the G.I.A. campus in Carlsbad, California and subsequently started The Gem Trader.  While the business is based online, Brad travels widely throughout the year to better develop relationships with those interested in gems.  

About TGT

We are dedicated to finding stones which are some of the finest and most unusual available, we also strive to keep costs very near a wholesale level.  Rest assured that very few of the stones available on this site would be found at a retail jewelry establishment and almost none at the prices we can provide.

All of our stones are either selected individually from the stock of wholesalers and dealers around the world or cut directly from rough that we have purchased.    Everything on the site is a natural gem, we do not carry imitations, simulants or synthetic gem materials.  We try to select those items that would appeal to the gem connoisseur, the collectors of the rarest gems, and the custom designers looking for goods significantly above and beyond the commercial level.

We do all our own photography and pride ourselves on getting clear and accurate shots.  We resize and crop the raw images and rarely, if ever, adjust any color settings.  We know that buying colored gemstones in this manner is less than ideal and if anything appears unclear or you need clarification please ask and we will make any and all efforts to accommodate.

Please enjoy the site.

Clarity Grades

Colored gemstone clarity descriptions vary widely and, despite some efforts, there are no universally accepted guidelines.  At The Gem Trader we have come to a consensus which describes the majority of colored stones we see in the market.  Our clarity descriptions are described as follows.  As individual stones permit, we may grade on a scale between grades, for example, Eye Clean to Slightly Included.  In this example, a stone may have a very minor inclusion that is not seen without some difficulty.

Eye Clean (EC)

The highest grade that we give to stones in our inventory this term means that no inclusions are visible to the unaided eye.

Slightly Included (SI)

One or more inclusions may be present and are visible with some effort.  Such inclusions generally have a minor effect on appearance and no effect on the durability of the stone.

Moderately Included (MI)

Inclusions are clearly visible and have some effect on appearance, though very little on the durability of the stone.

Heavily Included (HI)

Significant inclusions are present and have a significant effect on the appearance and durability of the stone.  This designation is generally used only on the rarest faceted minerals intended for the collector, stones therefore unsuited for use in jewelry.

Opaque (OP)

This is used mainly for cabochon material and refers to the fact the material is too dark to allow light to pass through it.