In 1987, Ash Harrison working as an engineering manager for AT&T, traveling back and forth from NC to the San Francisco, CA area regularly for a project. He was in the market for a diamond at the time and with a background in physics, he was fascinated with the optics of gemstones. This inspired him to take a course in Diamonds and Diamond Grading with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). He gathered such a strong knowledge of diamonds, coupled with his background, he found that he had more knowledge of diamonds than the vast majority of the diamond dealers he was working with.
Ash started Ashmore, Incorporated in March of 1988 and began buying and selling gold and diamonds at that time. He continued on in his studies to include the Colored Stones and Colored Stones Grading courses at GIA. Ashmore, Incorporated was operated as primarily a wholesale business for about 10 years, but the one major factor that Ash took to heart was that he really dislikes the incredible markup of the retail business. He knows that there is a place for both the retail and the wholesale side of the jewelry business—it is just an amazingly contrasting difference. It is not unusual to see markups over 500% on jewelry in the retail side, where the wholesaler may struggle to make 7-10%. Nevertheless, the “wholesale” jewelry business lines up very well with the coin business, because the coin business has similar profit margins.
For 27+ years now, we have built this business based on the business model with a 7-10% net profit margin. For the first 15 years, the business had to be “part time” as we built a client base and a brand. But, about 2003, Ash was able to go “full-time” in the coin/jewelry business and retire from telecommunications. Since that time, Ashmore, Incorporated began doing business as Ashmore Rare Coins & Metals, but we have maintained our status as a diamond dealer in the area. If you need to buy a stone, you can get one at what would be considered a wholesale price at Ashmore. We are always happy to help you understand all about diamonds and the diamond.