Phuket Gems & Jewelry Shopping
Thailand is the world leader in gems and gem cutting. Rubies and sapphires are the best buys as they are indigenous, but virtually all coloured gems, including diamonds, are available. Visitors should take care when buying gemstones. Only buy from reputable dealers and demand a certificate guaranteeing authenticity.
Some bargains can be had when buying gems and jewelry in Thailand, but you need to make sure you are buying from a reputable store. Be very wary of deals that sound too good to be true, because they will almost certainly be that. Keep in mind that the most complaints handled by the Tourism Authority and the Tourist Police stem from tourists who have purchased gem stones.
You may be tempted to buy stones for reselling back home. Although the price you pay in Thailand will be much less, you will not be able to sell the gems back home for any profit. If you do buy gems, it should be for yourself or as a gift for loved ones.
The Jewel Fest Club was set up by the Thai Gem & Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Shops displaying the Jewel Fest Club logo will provide a certificate of authenticity as well as a money back guarantee if you wish to return your purchase within 30 days (there is a 10% deduction from the refund).
Precious metals are also quite cheap in Thailand and the craftsmanship can often be of a high standard. Silver is especially cheap and fine examples of hill-tribe silverwork can be found at stalls around Phuket. Silver jewelry is an excellent buy and is usually dirt cheap.
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