Emerald dealer shares risks and rewards

Arthur Groom
Arthur Groom & Company
Interview with Arthur Groom, Arthur Groom & Company
International gem dealer Arthur Groom says that even when you’re learning about gemmology, you’re thinking business. In this exclusive interview with GIA conducted at the 2013 Tucson Gem Show, Groom delivers a highly instructive tutorial on the critical nexus between gemmology and business.

In the course of the interview, Groom holds up two different emeralds and talks with great detail and clarity about the aesthetic as well as economic decisions that must be made about cutting the rough. He demonstrates the ramifications of those decisions for both the ultimate beauty of the stone and its value. One side of a piece of rough that he shows off, he says, will go for $300 a carat; the other side for $1000. The sawing is everything, Groom proclaims.

His focus in the interview is on emeralds, for which he expresses enormous affection. This affection is undiminished by the acknowledged difficulty that emeralds present to dealers. Groom says that because they are the most complex of coloured stones, bidding on them is equally complex. But he offers some of the expertise that has enabled him to show off beauties like two featured in this video, valued at $15,000 to $18,000 per carat.

Groom also discusses the Afghan market at length, having recently travelled there. He surmises that if peace and mechanisation ever come to Afghanistan, it will finally realise its potential as the world’s richest source of coloured stones. As it is, he reports, the material coming out under the crude current conditions is pretty outstanding. It has a higher than average yield of 33% crystal clear, deeply coloured rough. For Groom, the risk for the coloured stone dealer is in the rough, andu all other factors being equal, Afghanistan is well worth the risk.

Mr. Groom is an expert on the emerald market as well as on emerald enhancement. His business encompasses buying rough emerald from sources around the world, including Afghanistan, as well as emerald cutting and enhancements, wholesale trading and retail sales. In his interviews, Mr. Groom discusses the Afghan emerald market, evaluation of emerald rough and describing emerald quality. During the interview, he describes a variety of emeralds that he has on hand.