Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Navneet Argarwal from Navneet gems and learn more about how and why he entered the trade.
Today, Navneet is known for having a wide range of semi precious as well as for his love of teal sapphires!
Navneet, the floor is yours,
Navneet Agarwal is with us today - Photo Credits: Navneet Gems
AsiaLounges: First of all thank you for being with us today in the Lounges. Can you tell us more about yourself? Who are you Navneet Agarwal?
Hi, thank you for having me over today. It is my pleasure to represent Navneet Gems and Minerals, yes my namesake, which was founded by my father Suresh Agarwal in 1993. I’m a certified Gemmologist from the Gemological Institute of America, in Carlsbad campus in USA. Since I joined the business in 2014, we have focused on fine loose wholesale gemstones and there has been a higher interest in finer precious gemstones.
AsiaLounges: Further to the first question, can you tell us more about how and why you got into the trade? We mentioned in introduction that you were following your father’s footsteps, is this all there was to it or was it a real passion?
I come from a long line of gemstone craftsmen turned businessmen. I’m the third generation to pursue this in my family and my passion was primarily ignited by watching my father working with beautiful gemstones. I just wanted to learn more about them and my stunt at GIA definitely gave me an in depth understanding of this trade, and since then with passion moved into the fine gems direction.
Here is Navneet in a very Nomad's like picture with one of his prized teal sapphires -Photo Credits: Navneet Gems
AsiaLounges: You guys, at Navneet Gems, like to define yourselves as specialists of teal sapphires, why choosing this gem and origin in particular as opposed to any other gem and origin?
Teal sapphires have a potential that has yet to be harnessed. We have studied this gem in depth and no matter how much we learn about them, there is almost always something new that'll surprise us. Take for example, the fact that no two teal sapphires in the world are alike. Each has its unique colour composition. Another fact that attracts us is that since teal sapphires are a relatively new discovery, its sourcing has not been exploited yet. While the world needs no introduction to teal sapphires, their increase in popularity have pulled customers to ask for more of them as time went by.
Best of both worlds, the "mermaid" sapphires according to Navneet Agarwal - Photo Credits: Navneet Gems
AsiaLounges: On your website your customer can choose from a wide range of natural gems and also, more surprisingly so, of synthetic / man made gems. Why this choice?
We believe in catering to a wide range of customers. Everyone has a different budget and expectations, so it is only fair that they get a choice. Sometimes customers expect our fine gemstones, especially the calibrated ones, to be extremely clean and to have a perfectly matching colour, but with natural gemstones it gets very tricky and so for them we offer man made gemstones.
AsiaLounges: Further to the last question, as you probably know by now, we have been asking everyone who came here, in the Lounges, about their views on ethics in the trade and the traceability of gems. Is the use of teal sapphires as well as synthetics your answer to this issue?
In a way, yes. Australian mining is primarily mechanical which leads it to be highly regulated. This means that each and every step is scrutinized to prevent any illegal or unscrupulous activity. For us at Navneet Gems and Minerals, we also have tried to make our wholesale topaz as close as possible to being socially responsible.
AsiaLounges: Actually, what is your take on ethics in the trade, fair trade practices and traceability?
I think of it as fraternity of sort, we have to consciously make an effort to make the entire trade as transparent and fair as possible. Such beautiful things as gemstones, that are supposed to be harbingers of love, hope and happiness should not be associated with the spoils of war, poverty, bonded and child labour or environmental destruction.
An excellent example of ethical sourcing that always motivates me is Australia. A small hub for exceptionally beautiful gemstones, Australia has always looked out for everyone in the supply chain, from the miners, to cutters, craftsmen, dealers, suppliers and the end customer. Taking a page from their notebook, we have to strive to encourage such practices, to finally put an end a pandemic like “blood diamonds”.
Padparadscha Sapphires and "Mermaid" Sapphires are two of of Navneet's Favourites - Photo Credits: Navneet Gems
AsiaLounges: You are the third generation of gem dealer in your family, does this make life easier or more complicated as you establish yourself in the trade? Is family and history paramount to succeed in our trade in your opinion?
I cannot deny that having been acquainted with this trade so intimately since my childhood was what initiated my interest in gemstones. Also, to be fair, with my family’s knowledge, I had an upper hand. However, while I’m extremely thankful for their legacy, I also have the added motivation to push myself to excel and do better, breaking boundaries and creating a new scale of excellence. Therefore, I’m constantly looking for new exclusive varieties of gemstones that can set NGM apart from the rest.
AsiaLounges: Should you be free from any and all market pressure and could only work with one gem, your favourite, which one would it be and why?
Oh, without any doubt, it would be the stunning teal sapphires. A subset of these teal sapphires are the gorgeous mermaid sapphire which are a 50-50 mix of an oceanic blue and earthy green. In my opinion, teal sapphires can very well become the next Padparadscha sapphires!
Here is an example of what Navneet calls a "Mermaid" Sapphire - Photo Credits: Navneet Gems
AsiaLounges: We are slowly reaching the end of this interview and I’d like to ask you to provide three advice for the Loungers that would like to follow in your footsteps as well as three books that you believe any gem fanatic should have in his library?
Keeping the present circumstances in view, I would like to give the following advice:
To remember that our industry supports many families who are generations of expert miners, craftsmen and cutters. While sales may be a touch lower now, it is important to support them so that they can eventually help us stand up together again.
Encourage your employees to come up with new attractive campaigns and strategies, while working actively to create a foot beyond the rest.
Conduct meaningful research and discussions to stay at par with the current scenario’s.
Before giving my top 3 recommendation of books, I would like to say that being in this trade, we constantly have to keep at the top of our game and the only way to do this is by keeping updated. Read journals and research articles to be informed about the latest trends and developments. Another way to garner information is to be active on social media and catch onto trends early. So yes, coming to my top 3 book recommendations:
ROCKS AND MINERALS
Ronald Louis Bonewitz, Dorling Kindersley
SECRETS OF THE GEM TRADE: SECOND EDITION
Richard W Wise, Brunswick
GEMSTONES OF THE WORLD
Walter Schumann, Sterling
AsiaLounges: Last but not least, could you please let us know where the loungers can reach you and follow your work should they wish to?
Write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about us. You can also contact me on whatsapp at (+66) 985498500.
You can also follow us on social media channels where we actively make posts:
AsiaLounges: Thank you very much Navneet for being with us today, I am convinced that our readers, the Loungers, have enjoyed this interview as much as we did enjoy writing these lines.
As for us, we will meet you again soon in the Lounges with more exciting content! If you have enjoyed this interview please let us know by liking, commenting and sharing our work with your family and friends on your favourite social media platform. Don't forget that you can also support A Gem Dealer's Journal through our Patreon's Page. It helps us a lot and takes but a second!
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See you again in the Lounges,