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Buying Sapphires

Nannup, Australia
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3,649 posts
26 reviews
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Buying Sapphires

My wife wants to buy sapphires in Bangkok. Any clues, tips, recommendations for getting good quality stones? We know nothing and are worried about buying high quality glass!

UK
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171 posts
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1. Re: Buying Sapphires

be very careful, lots of very good fakes around; even the professionals get caught!.

London, England
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2. Re: Buying Sapphires

if it seems too cheap - IT IS !!!!

do not go where any tuk tuk guy takes you - scams, commission deals etc.

do searches on web first - research info is gonna be a key tool for you - do you know about the differnt colours, clarity, size etc Do not let them baffle you with the science - know what you want and what the equivalent price back home is - eg 50-75% of price in Bangkok may be good deal, but if its only 20% of the price ????? what's wrong with it ??? Be sensible- if in doubt - don't do it.

But - make sure it;s a "proper" shop - don't buy off the streets, from a market, from someones' brothers shop. Browse "proper" shops big department stores etc

use the same common sense you might use back home

But saying all of that - I went into the 'nice gift shop' in the Empress hotel shop in Chang Mai to see if I could buy a bottle of water and ended up buying a white gold & sapphire ring - I trusted it would be the real thing there - & think was £100 UK.

just use some common sense

Auckland, New...
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3. Re: Buying Sapphires

I purchased a diamond ring and matching earrings last year from Gems Gallery International Manufacturer Co ltd, 198/23-24 Rama 6 road, Phayathai, Bangkok 10400, tel 02-2710150. The Amari hotel recommended them. The total cost was NZ$2000. When we got back here I had them valued at $6000, so was there pleased. This is a huge store, with armed guards everywhere.

Auckland, New...
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4. Re: Buying Sapphires

Meant to say this was a reputable store and well worth the visit given the purchase price and later valuation price. The items came with a certificate of guarantee, detailing size and clarifiy etc. Would happily recommend them.

Brisbane
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5. Re: Buying Sapphires

Quality stones cost about the same the world over.

For sapphires I would have thought that Australia had some excellent stones.

As for valuation... jewellery is worth about one tenth of valuation if you want to sell them... “valuation” is not really a true indication of their value...

Where you may save a bit is in the labour cost / craftsmanship... but would you not rather have peace of mind and buy locally... if it falls apart or is rubbish... at least you can go back for restitution.

As already suggested... if it sounds too good to be true.. it probably is.

Caveat emptor!

Nannup, Australia
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3,649 posts
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6. Re: Buying Sapphires

Many thanks to all respondents. The collective wisdom of the Tripadvisors is hard to beat!

Carpe diem!

Mokhotlong, Lesotho
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2,618 posts
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7. Re: Buying Sapphires

As I'm a gem lover and collector I usually check out the sites of the Gemological Institutes in thailand. GIA e.g. You find lots of info about the gem market with regard to treated stones (heat treatment changes colours), beryllium treatment and others. There are lots of synthetic gems stones on the market. Even experienced jewellers get caught out. there is an address in the Lonely Planet (Silom Road). Check this place out. Take your stones to the Gem Institute in Silom Galleria to get them checked and certified. If these are not what they are supposed to be, you can return them.

Do not believe just any certificate a jeweller/dealer issues. It to be issued by GIA or the Thai Institute. The rest is worthless.

Don't forget that the value a jeweller at home may give you is insurance value and not the value of your stones. No jeweller will give you an opinion on a set stone. It got to come out of the setting as flaws and damage often can be hidden by the setting.

All gems have a world market price. What makes them cheaper or dearer in some countries is VAT or markup. Jewellery in in some countries has a mark up of 300 to 400% or more. this is what makes your cheap stone from Thailand very expensive in UK or NZ.

Finally, the major gem dealers which sell to jewellers don't have a shop front. These are usually upstairs somewhere. Places with shopfronts cater for the tourist and these places are already to expensive.

London
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8. Re: Buying Sapphires

Here's what it says in my Rough Guide:

"Bangkok boasts the country's best gem and jewellery shops, and some of the finest lapidaries int he world, making this the place to buy cut and uncut stones such as rubies, blue sapphires and diamonds. HOwever, countless gem-buying tourist get badly ripped off, so be extrememly wary. Never buy anything through a tout or from any shop recommended by a government official/student/businessperson/tuk tuk driver who just happens to engage you in conversation on the street, and note that there are no government jewellery shops despite any information you may be given to the contrary. Always check that the shop is a memeber of the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association by calling the association or visiting their website (www.thaigemjewelry.or.th). To be doubly sure, you may want to seek out shops that also belong to the TGJTA's Jewl Fest Club (www.jewelfest.com), which guarantees quality and will offer refungs; see their website for a directory of members. For independent professional advice or precious stones certification, contact the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences, located on the sixth floor of the Jewelry Trade Center Building, 919/1 Thanon Silom (www.aigsthailand.com), which also runs reputable courses, such as a five-day (15 hr) introduction to gemstones (B7500) and one day on rubies and sapphires (B1500)."

It says some more things about not getting scammed, so definitely be wary as everyone says.

Boston...
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512 posts
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9. Re: Buying Sapphires

I can recommend a place that is very good, trustworthy and easy to deal with. They are called Lambert Industries and I just bought several gifts there.

They do both wholsale and retail. It is run by an American guy and a swiss woman. It is recommended by the Luxx guide, so that says a lot since you need to qualify to be listed in there. They also guarentee their stones and offer a lifetime guarentee and return policy. All that, and they are competatively priced. So, I think it is worth checking out.

They are called Lambert and they are off silom road directly opposite from Silom Plaza. The address is 807 Silom Road and they are on the 4th floor. The entrance is on the side of the building.

Don't buy from random places, as you don't know what you are getting. Lots of good advice from these replies.

Bangkok, Thailand
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1,150 posts
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10. Re: Buying Sapphires

Hi

As a jeweller in Bangkok i would advise you to be careful when you buy stones here.

As for sapphires.......there are lots today

Gone are the days when sapphires were only blue

Now you have pink sapphire, blue sapphire, yellow saphire and fancy sappires

So your wife should know what she is looking for

The safer places to shop would be the buildings of gem and jewelry for example, Gems tower and Jewelry Trade Center

There will be a Jewellery Show here in Bangkok from the 13th to the 17th of September

So if you will be here during this period then the best place would be the jewelleryshow...there will be another in february too