We offer a strict three day approval period from the day you receive your parcel of rough. Please be sure to let us know within those three days what stones you will be keeping and which you are returning. The value of the returned stones will be credited to your AG/TT account when they are received back in Virginia by Logan. Loss, damage, or non-arrival of materials shipped back to us for returns are the sole responsibility of the sender.
We can, although we encourage you to see if there are any stones you’d like as a replacement, even across a few future lists. That way credit card fees, wire transfer fees, etc aren’t wasted by you or us!
Not generally; each list is stocked with what we have at any given time. If you are looking for something in particular, always feel free to contact us and we can let you know if we anticipate having anything that meets your needs coming down the pike.
At this time we are unable to take additional individual photos of stones; we are working to include more photos at a higher resolution in the posted lists.
We photograph all plates and stones in direct sunlight. Some stones have a light artist varnish applied so that the clarity is more discernible; it can easily be removed with any solvent. Because we photograph the stones in groups, it is impossible to get one shot that shows every stone to its best advantage. Please refer to the written descriptions of color and clarity for more insight; and as always feel free to ask for our take on any given stone- we’ll be honest and straightforward about what we see!
Also, please remember that all computer screens are different, even calibrated monitors can differ from each other, so there will be variations between what you see on the screen and what you see in hand. We do our best to include consistent, accurate written descriptions to help mitigate the differences, but eyes, like monitors also vary. We do have a set of Pantone color cards and will be happy to try and find a color card for you if you also have a set to refer to. If the color is very different than what you expected, please refer to our return policies above.
Semantics, mostly. The US codes are at odds with the South African codes as to what language is appropriate to indicate which goods should be duty free to import. The well meaning people in both places don’t really know what words like ‘cobbed’ ‘unworked’ ‘rough sawn’ or plain old regular ‘rough’ mean in the industry, so they are misapplied and misinterpreted with stunning regularity. We are currently working with US Customs to have a permanent exemption filed and to help them clarify the language. It’s going to be a long process.
In the meantime, we urge you to open disputes with FedEx when you receive a customs bill you feel you shouldn’t have when receiving rough directly from South Africa; we’re taking care of everything that gets shipped to VA first.
There are, however, legit duties that will need to be paid. If the stone has been worked in any way it is now categorized under Harmonized Number 7103.10.40 and attracts a duty of 10.5%. Hilmar is being very fastidious in noting which stones have been rough sawn or ground individually and you should only be charged duty on those pieces, so if you feel the entire order has been charged, instead of individual stones, please open a dispute.
We hope that one day it will not be this complicated, but until then, we persevere.
We are true wholesalers; the US has very strict rules about what makes you a wholesaler and it mostly involves sales taxes. We sell to trade folks, not end users, because we are not set up to deal with sales tax, especially across multiple states. Even if someone tells you they are charging wholesale prices- if you pay sales tax, or should pay sales tax, it’s not a wholesale transaction and dollars to donuts it’s not a wholesale price either.
If you are an international client, you obviously won’t have a US tax id, please contact us and we’ll set up an account for you.
If you are an end user, the public, or in other words, not going to cut or set the stone yourself please contact your cutter and we will be happy to process any transaction through them. If you are interested in rough as a specimen, we can process your request as a retail transaction and we will be charging VA sales tax, so we don’t get in trouble with anyone! If you don’t have a tax id but believe you should be considered trade, please contact us and we’ll consider your circumstances.
Being a wholesale operation, we do not publish our pricing to protect our clients. The decision to disclose their markups and how they set prices is a very individual choice, and we will not make it for them.
All over; here is a brief and not definitively inclusive short list of our countries of origin:
Citrine – Brazil, Uruguay
Rhodolite – Tanzania, Brazil, Kenya
Amethyst -Brazil, Uruguay
Tourmaline – Mozambique, Congo, Nigeria, Madagascar, Tanzania, Kenya
Chrome Tourmaline – Tanzania
Green Garnet – Tanzania
Merelani Mint-Green Garnet – Tanzania
Malaia Garnet – Tanzania
Spessartite Garnet – Tanzania, Nigeria, Mozambique
Yellow Grossular Garnet
Fire Opal – Brazil, Tanzania
Spinel – Tanzania
Sapphire – Tanzania, Nigeria, Madagascar
Iolite – India
Aquamarine – Mozambique, Nigeria
Peridot – Pakistan, China
Ruby – Madagascar
Zircon – Tanzania, Mozambique
Tanzanite – Tanzania
Semi-facet/cab material in
Pink, green and blue Tourmaline
Black Tourmaline in Quartz
Yes, it’s going up. There are minor variations, always, depending on what’s available and what’s desirable in the world market. The new emerging middle class in Asia has had a huge impact on worldwide demand, and thus, pricing. We do not generally go back and raise prices on our older stock, but all new stock is priced at current market value. For fun, and maybe if you feel like crying a little, take a look at our Archive Tab (it’s linked at the bottom of each plate) to see historic prices and trends over the last ten years.
Yes, please make and submit an order from each list, selecting ‘Pay By Check’ when you checkout; then remit payment in full to Logan at African Gemstones. Your two orders will be shipped separately when your check has cleared.