Where to Buy Stones
We have a short list of vendors that we know as reliable. Some specialize in stones—modern or classical—while others can supply quality display tables or carved custom bases for stones. We do not recommend one dealer over another, but are simply listed here for your convenience. VSANA does not receive any commissions or remunerations from any of the dealers listed below.
There are numerous large stone markets in major cities throughout China. Each market place may have hundreds of shops and vendors selling stones, minerals, and stone products. We will try and list as many of these major markets as we have accurate information about them. Preference is given to those markets we have personally visited.
Knowledge of the type of stone or stones you are interested in purchasing is important. Travelling to provincial level markets where the type of stones originated typically provides for a wider selection and often at a more reasonable price. Bring plastic bubble wrap, tape, and other packing supplies with you. Do not expect these items to be readily available at the markets.
The greatest challenge to purchasing stones in the interior of China is weight and shipping. While many of the major stone exhibitions in the interior of China have provisions for shipping stones domestically, they usually do not have provisions for shipping internationally. Don’t purchase larger, heavier stones with the expectation that it will be easy to ship them to the United States, Europe or elsewhere. Prior arrangements need to be made with reliable companies holding a export license before buying a large, heavy, expensive stone.
Markets in Japan
People interested in purchasing stones in Japan have the option of visiting individual small shops in different cities or by attending one of the major stone exhibits, usually in Tokyo or Kyoto, where several dealers will bring stones to sell in the vendor area associated with the exhibition. Few dealers have the capability to see stone via the Internet. Japan does not have the large stone markets similar to the ones that exist in China. As a result, VSANA will feature several of the individual dealers where quality stones can be purchased.
It is not always possible for people to travel to the various stone markets in China. Fortunately, there are a few good opportunities in the U.S. for people to purchase quality Chinese stones with confidence. We will provide you with the names and contact information of the businesses we know that are importing authentic stones.
Many Chinese stones are offered on eBay from suppliers in China. These are often lower quality stones that may be suitable for beginning collectors, but we do not recommend this for serious collectors unless you personally know the seller.