Large organizations do things in a rigorous manner. There are standards for everything. This way, things get done more quickly.
Li Du had decided to sell the gems, so Roger took him and the gems to the top floor where there was a gemstone appraisal center.
Upon entering the center filled with equipment and staff, Roger proclaimed with pride, "This is one of the four major gemstone appraisal centers in North America. All of the precious stones in the world can be appraised here for their grade and authenticity as well as color."
The 58 pieces of fire opal were sent out and within an hour or so, 58 sets of reports had been printed and delivered to them. The documents were affixed with red seals and signatures by those responsible for the appraisal.
Li Du took a look at a page of the report. Indicated on it was each opal's color-changing pattern, number of colors, transparency, brightness, thickness of the colored layers and condition of defects.
Lastly, there was also the proposed price. The report he had picked up had the highest appraisal at 185,000 dollars.
The price was quite unexpected. None of the 58 fire opals was comparable to the best one he sold to Owen last time.
In the end, the price offered by the Harry Winston group was almost the same as the best from the last time.
This showed that he was still too inexperienced in this industry, and had been taken advantage of by Owen.
Of course, he could not be certain that Owen had taken advantage of him. Owen had owned only a small-scale workshop and was himself also a raw material supplier.
The opals that he had bought could be resold to bigger jewelers such as Harry Winston.
So, he would have had to retain some profit margin for himself.
In addition, there was another difference between small workshops and large jewelry manufacturers such as Harry Winston. Despite being made from the same raw materials, the price of jewelry made at small workshops was much lower than that of the larger jewelry manufacturers. The profit margins were much smaller.
Therefore, in the jewelry industry it would be best to deal with the big brands as much as possible. However, one would need to be good enough to do so, and ensure that the gems one had were high enough quality.
The fire opals that Li Du had were not just good quality ones. Given the large quantity,he would be in good position to deal with the big brand jewelers.
The total value of the 58 fire opals was 6.2 million dollars, averaging more than 100,000 dollars per piece!
Comparatively, if he had sold them to Owen, they would only fetch five million dollars. He would still have had to give him a 20 percent discount off the transaction price which would bring it down to a much lower four million dollars.
While the appraisal center was appraising the gemstones, Li Du had been pondering whether he should take the risk of tying himself to the sinking Harry Winston ship.
Eventually, the spirit of adventure overcame his desire to be easily contented, so he decided to risk it with this huge gamble!
If he were to win, it would be a significant metamorphosis for him a former diploma mill dropout becoming the helmsman of a top jewelry company.
It wouldn't matter if he lost. He would just have to put in more effort to get his hands on more gemstones.
He figured this huge gamble was only seemingly risky. In fact, he was in an invincible position. As long as he had the little bug, money would not be an issue where he was concerned.
Having received the 6.2 million dollars, Li Du's bank account held more than 10 million dollars!
He had previously accumulated about two million dollars from the storage auctions. When this sum was added to the money earned from selling the fire opals on two occasions, he was now a multi-millionaire.
Unfortunately, tens of millions of dollars would only be in his possession for a short duration.
After he had gotten the money, he asked Roger, "Buddy, Mr. Tedrick and friends want to sell their equity in Harry Winston, right?"
Roger, who had by now re-assumed the confidence and demeanor belonging to a large company's regional director, laughed. "Yes, they've always been pessimistic about the economy and our company's growth. I've been trying to persuade them not to take the wrong path. It's not wise to sell the stock right now."
Li Du said, "I see. I'm actually interested in the equity they are holding . . ."
"Ah?" Roger looked at him in surprise.
Li Du said, "I share your view. I'm optimistic about your company's growth and think that the company will take off."
Roger remained amazed at what he was hearing. "Really?"
Li Du said, "Of course, otherwise why would I want to buy some of your company's equity?"
Roger kept silent for a few seconds and then said, "If you want to buy their equity, I think I can mediate for you. But Mr. Li, you've gotta think this through. Are you sure you want to own equity in the Harry Winston group?"
"Absolutely," said Li Du.
His decision was good news where Roger was concerned. Tedrick and his friends had been pestering him for a long time, giving him much frustration and annoyance.
Now that he had the chance to rid himself of these troubles, why would he not be delighted?
It was already midnight, but Roger was not sleepy at all. He hosted Li Du as though he were hosting his father. Roger respectfully invited him into his office before making him a cup of espresso.
Li Du asked, "How much equity do the three of them have?"
Roger said, "Mr. Tedrick has the most with 0.08 percent equity, while Mr. Norman and Mr. Rooney each have 0.05 percent."
"And the value?"
Roger said, "According to the market rate, Mr. Tedrick's shares should be worth 12 million dollars while Mr. Norman's and Mr. Rooney's would be about 7.5 million dollars each."
Li Du smacked his lips. The calculation was simple. The Harry Winston group's market value would be less than 1.5 billion dollars, which was much less than what he had expected.
He had previously checked on the internet and among the world's largest luxury goods companies, the LVMH group had the highest market value of 87 billion dollars. This was followed by the Richemont Group with 41.1 billion dollars and Herms with 35.8 billion dollars.
In comparison, the market value of the Harry Winston group was really too low. It was like a dwarf before the giants.
But this was just as well. If Harry Winston had been worth many billions, then his pittance of money was not enough to even cause a ripple.
Though its market value was only 1.4 billion, the money Li Du had was not enough. It was barely enough to buy only Mr. Tedrick's equity.
This was the first time he felt he had too little money and that he was really not doing justice to his powerful helper, the little bug.
He had less than 11 million dollars, mainly because he had not earned very much money on the storage auctions previously - not more than 100,000 dollars. That was why his wealth was slow to accumulate.
Las Vegas was a city of wealth. With his ability, it would be all too easy to make money. Every casino could be his ATM.
But the moment the thought had entered his head, he rejected it resolutely. He must not take the initiative to enter the casino!
Besides, he had several collectibles with him, especially the "overarching sunset" fire opal, which was absolutely priceless. He was not going to touch it, but he could possibly sell the Gaddafi dagger.
Based on his estimation, the jeweled dagger could fetch a few million dollars, which was of little use for the purchase of Winston's equity.
Well, all he could do was to pin his hope on the National Park, as he continued digging up fire opals!