Looking for adventure in Cleveland, Ohio? Bluestone Trading Company’s founder RB Grampp, Sr. took a gamble that paid off in the precious metals industry.
The year was 1978, and RB was living life on two wheels, traveling in every direction that his motorcycle took him. Roaming in the hustle and bustle of Cleveland, he stumbled across a street sign that read Bluestone. From there Bluestone Trading was born.
Starting from the bottom putting in the long hours, RB began buying precious metals from local stores; visiting newsstands in Cleveland, going through newspapers from all over the country, shifting through ad after ad, contacting and building relationships the old fashion way, with Midwestern values and his word.
From there, RB continued down the road to success. He served on the National Pawnbrokers Associations Board of Directors for about 15 years. He was also a member of the Board of Directors for Polygon until they sold in 2004. Well priced offers, rock solid values, hard work, honesty and integrity fueled his company’s success.
Balancing running a business and caring for his family, RB worked hard to instill his midwestern values and morals into his company and into his children. RB “Ritchie” Grampp, Jr., currently Bluestone president working alongside his CEO father, says, “those values that he ran his company with, he imposed on us. People like to work with us. We’re down to earth, and we treat people the way we want to be treated.
“We’re fair guys; we are buyers and sellers,” Ritchie says. “With lots of people in the industry, you can only buy from or sell to, but most of our clientele speak the same language,” he adds. “We buy fairly and sell fairly – and we’re not looking to get rich on every deal.”
Large Inventory, Free Overnight Shipping
Bluestone Trading maintains a large inventory, dealing in loose diamonds from small melee up to 10 carat plus certified and non-certified diamonds. The company also buys and sells estate jewelry, new production and everything in between.
“When my father started the company,” Ritchie says, “he transitioned from buying metals into buying diamonds; at one point we were a very big diamond importer from overseas. In the past five years, we’ve branched more into jewelry, especially estate jewelry. We now do everything from family trusts and big estate lots to store buyouts and going out of business sales, as well as our original background of wholesaling diamonds. We’re really a one-stop shop for buying and selling anything jewelry or diamond related.
“Times have changed, but our old fashion ways of treating people the way we want to be treated haven’t. We offer free overnight shipping, whether we’re buying or offering on something,” RB adds. “When customers want to sell us something, we use FedEx or UPS, whichever they prefer. We pick it up at their store and the next day we’ll have an offer for them. If they like the offer, we can either overnight them a check or wire the funds the same day. If they don’t like our offer, we can overnight the goods back to them at our expense, so it doesn’t cost them anything to find out what their goods are worth.”
New to Bluestone Trading is their “No Cost To You” buying software where they use your computer, their software, their money, and your profit to streamline the process of taking in inventory from customers, and allowing them to track their goods from start to finish. This software helps stores to buy goods they might not normally offer on due to cash flow or knowledge.
How it works – the software is embedded in the jewelry store’s website. From there you will receive an overnight air bill. The goods are then shipped to Bluestone Trading’s secure facility where they will be reviewed by trained gemologists. The jeweler and the customer will be able to track the process through the software from start to finish. Later in the day, the customer gets an e-mail offer that looks like it came from the jewelry store. The customer reviews the net offer after the store’s built in commission which is typically on either side of 20 percent. “We pay you and you pay the consumer,” says RB. “There’s no risk, only reward.”
4,000 Square Foot Remodel
Nine Children and 38 years of business later, Bluestone continues to run on the same morals and values on which they were founded. While keeping their values of hard work, honesty, and integrity, Bluestone Trading Company knows to stay in this business you have to keep up with the times. For the past three months Bluestone has been busy with a major move, remodeling new offices, expanding from 2,400 to 4,000 square feet. The company’s ten person staff ranges from their early 20s to mid-70s, “from every gamut and walk of life including an appraiser, a previously retired pawn broker, diamond traders and everything in between,” says Ritchie. “We have a very knowledgeable and well rounded staff that can cater to any need.”
RB’s daughter Morgann, 23, and son Cody, 20, both work full time. “We treat the rest of our team like family as well,” Ritchie says. “If one of our people is sick, we take care of them. That’s just how it is. We like to take care of the people who take care of us.”
It goes back to the values he was raised with, “to treat people the way you want to be treated, and to work hard. The rest comes easy. That’s why we’re where we are today.”