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Any reliable saphire dealers in Bangkok?

Any reliable saphire dealers in Bangkok?

Oct 7th, 2002, 08:11 PM
  #1  
Vicky
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Any reliable saphire dealers in Bangkok?

Will be in Bangkok for a very short visit. Heard there used to be excellent prices for saphires but now they try to scam you and even "reliable" jewelery stores sell phonies. Any information would be appreciated. (Will also be in Viet Nam)
 
Oct 8th, 2002, 05:38 AM
  #2  
barbara
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Thanks for asking my question. I will be doing the same thing. I hope someone has good information for us.
 
Oct 8th, 2002, 06:04 AM
  #3  
Kathie
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Certainly there are gem scams in Bangkok, mostly appealing to people's greed. There are also people on the streets selling "gems." But if you go to a reputable jewler, you should have no problem. I have a jeweler I have been buying from for 20 years. SJ International, 125/1 Sawankhalok Road, Dusit, Bangkok
phone: 2432446 or 2432447 or2415355 Call them and they will pick you up at your hotel (all the big jewelry stores offer this service). If you are staying at a good hotel, the conceirge can also direct you to good jewelers.

I've not heard of reputable dealers selling fakes, but as with anything you are buying, you can bargain best if you know something about what you are buying. Do some looking in your home town before you go, check prices, get a good jeweler to show you the difference between mediocre quality sapphires and good sapphires. My guideline for price is that I can buy excellent quality sapphires in Bangkok for half of the US wholesale price.
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 10:16 AM
  #4  
haydee
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Are there any books or reliable sights that tell the custome what a saphire should look like?
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 12:14 PM
  #5  
scigirl
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This is an excellent book:

Jewelry & Gems: The Buying Guide, 4th Edition : How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge
by Antoinette L. Matlins, Antonio C. Bonanno


I found it very helpful in educating myself about gemstones before I went to Thailand.

S.J. International has a good selection. I bought some gold jewlery from them (earrings, a ring for my husband, and also some silver jewlery for friends) and I thought they had a better selection than the stores in the chinatown area. If you call them they will send a car to your hotel and will also give you a ride home.

I bought a very fine sapphire at a jeweler (name is lost to me right now) who had a store in the Hilton (near the Regent hotel). The store is in the lower level of the hotel (a little shopping mall set-up) and has estate jewelry (to differentiate it from the one or two other gemstores in the hotel). The store is small, but they have a stock of unset stones in the back - so ask if you don't see what you want. They carried new and estate jewelery, can custom make pieces, and had very fine stones (better, I thought, than S.J. International). He was able to show my quite a few unset stones (which is what I wanted) in my price range. I ended up buying a sapphire which has been appraised as high quality here in the U.S. and at a value more than I paid for it.

There are many stores in Bangkok that sell poor quality stones or treated stones (dyed, oiled, etc.). The worst stores I encountered were on Silom road and seemed to cater to tourists. I went to 4 or 5 stores before I settled on my sapphire purchase. It is very important to shop around, educate yourself on quality, don't hesitate to ask for a better price, and determine in advance what you'd pay for similar quality at home.

I'll try to remember to post back with the name of the jeweler in the Hilton.
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 12:59 PM
  #6  
Vicky
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I've heard of heat treated stones and dyed stones, but what are oiled stones -wouldn't they be obvious because they feel greasy?
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 10:29 AM
  #7  
barbie
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How much should a saphire cost? Are they really cheaper in Bangkok? Forinstance, what is a bargain price for a nice quality 1 carat stone?
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 06:07 PM
  #8  
Kathie
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Sapphires vary much more than diamonds, so it would be very difficult to give you a price for a good quality sapphire. My idea of a good quality sapphire and yours are likely to be different. As I mentioned in my previous message on this thread, do your homework first, and go to a good local jewler and look at sapphires and the prices. Look through the jewler's loup at the stone, learn what constitutes a good stone, and decide what color you like. Most expensive are the "cornflower blue" sapphires, but that might not be the color you like best. In Bangkok, too, I wouldn't buy a stone without looking at it with a loup.

I have consistenly, for the last 20 years, been able to buy sapphires in Bangkok for one half the wholesale price in the US (that means one fourth of the retail price). Don't make your comparison with "mall" jewelers in the US, they typically have poor quality (very dark) stones and very inflated prices.

I haven't read the book recommended above, but reading about gems is a good idea before buying. Still, there is no substitute for looking at stones, developing an eye for color, and having a good idea of prices back home.
 
Oct 11th, 2002, 10:15 PM
  #9  
scigirl
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The jeweler that I referred to above is:

J & A Jewellers
494 Rajdamri Road
Lower Lobby No. 10

The store is in the lower lobby of the Hyatt Grand Hyatt Erawan, not the Hilton as I had mis-remembered above.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 08:23 PM
  #10  
bob
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we like thai stone jewerly in the lobby of the nana hotel, soi 4, sukumvit road...don't shy away because of the look of the hotel or store...they do fine work...my wife has at least 3 sahp. rings from there and also a saph braclet with diamonds
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 09:46 AM
  #11  
Tess
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I've been to the jeweler at the Grand Hyatt Erawan on a recent trip to Bangkok. A local friend took me there. Although I didn't find what I wanted, they do sell very high quality (mostly larger) stones there. Yes, it is a small store. But the owner is knowledgeable and down to earth. My friend said she has referred many to shop there and has always heard positive feedback. I think they will move to the Peninsula Plaza (next to the Regent) in several months or so since Hyatt is taking back their space for restaurant use.
 
Oct 20th, 2002, 06:56 PM
  #12  
Vicky
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Thanks for all the helpful advice. Are rubies still really cheaper than in the US?
 
Oct 21st, 2002, 07:11 AM
  #13  
Kathie
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I buy sapphires and rubies both for about half of the wholesale price in the US. But, you do have to know what you are doing.
 
Aug 10th, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #14  
 
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This post has been very useful and it is 3 years old today!!!

Do these jewellers still stand as the best to purchase sapphires?

Kathie you mentioned you wouldn't buy without looking at the loup, how do you spot that? I would love a cornflower blue sapphire.

If SJ International picks you up from your hotel how are they if you don't buy?
patsey73 is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 09:28 AM
  #15  
 
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SJ will pick you up and take you back to your hotel whether or not you buy. I continue to buy from them, and if you tell tham that Kathie from Seattle sent you, you'll get the best price.

A jeweler's loup is a magnifying glass for looking at stones. Sapphires have characteristic inconsistencies in color and small bubble-like inclusions that you can see through a loup. Practice at a local jeweler so you know what you are looking at.

PS This is quite an old post you found! There have been lots of posts about jewelers and people's experiences buying in Bangkok.
Kathie is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 09:44 AM
  #16  
 
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Folks...the Regent Hotel is not the Regent Hotel anymore. It changed names to the Four Seasons a few years ago...and the Grand Hyatt Erawan is almost next door to the Four Seasons...very easy to find. So for directions there, one can either take the skytrain to Rajadamri station and walk from there or take the skytrain to Chitlom station and walk from there. It's about in the middle of the two stations. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 09:59 AM
  #17  
 
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i was "bob" then and yes thai stone is still thriving in the nana hotel, soi 4 sukhumvit rd
rhkkmk is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 10:33 AM
  #18  
 
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For more information on gem scams in Bangkok, check the website of Ron Morris at www.2bangkok.com

Look for the link to gem scams in Bangkok.
friskodude is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 06:43 PM
  #19  
 
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Out of curiosity, I just looked at some saphires in a jewelry store (L.A.area)...earrings...with a saphire about the size of a pencil lead point for over $1600. a pair....ridiculous....and then they had a markdown price of $475. on them. They were cornflower blue. Approx what would something like that cost in Bangkok? Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 10th, 2005, 06:52 PM
  #20  
 
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maybe $150-250....if you remind me i will have karen wear one of her $400 blue pairs at the GTG...but remind me a day or two ahead....hers are bigger and darker...we prefer dark
rhkkmk is offline  

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