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crellston Mar 1st, 2007 04:22 AM

Sapphires in Bangkok
Does anyone know where I can buy natural sapphire jewellery in Bangkok? I am visiting SJ Jewelery when I am there at the end of the month, but in email correspondence they advise me that most of their sapphires are heat treated rather than natural.

rhkkmk Mar 1st, 2007 06:39 AM

you might try along the lower part of silom road where there are huge gem shops...

my jeweler also carries non-treated stones i believe.....thai stone jewelry in the lobby of nana hotel, soi 4 sukhumvit road...

Kathie Mar 1st, 2007 06:41 AM

Nowdays, most of the sapphires you buy world-wide are heat-treated. Your only assurance of getting natural sapphires is to visit a jeweler you trust who buys directly from a source they trust.

Kathie Mar 1st, 2007 06:43 AM

(Hi, Bob, we're posting at the same time.)

SJ does have natural sapphires. Go to the store and ask to deal directly with Lily. Tell her exactly what you want and she will show you what they have and let you know what else is available to them.

I wouldn't buy sapphires anywhere in Bangkok without a personal recommendation from someone I trusted.

rhkkmk Mar 1st, 2007 09:09 PM

kathie---i thought that they must...i always ask if they have been treated...i like both quite honestly...

haroth Mar 3rd, 2007 11:33 AM

you are confusing terms. a 'natural' gem is nature made. a gem that has a treatment doesnt alter that fact, only the enhancement (color, possibly inclusions). and most gemologists will consider 95% of sapphires 'treated'. in the trade a jeweler should disclose this to the customer (as they appear to have advised you from SJ Jewellery). it shouldnt turn you off. when you say 'natural' the alternate is synthetic (man made) or a simulant (eg. colored glass, spinel, anything said to be a sapphire but it isnt). i take it you want a blue sapphire (corrundum) (they come in all colors with a red corrundum being a ruby). like the other posters advised, know your jeweller! there is a gem store on every street in bkk. you can get ripped off very easily so stay with the recommended jewellers referred to here.

crellston Mar 3rd, 2007 10:55 PM


Thanks for your comments but I am not "confusing terms". I would definitely not by sythetic stones as you describe but MAY consider a heat treated stone. The rarity value is the main factor in creating the value in gemstones and I was I was reading only 0.5% - 1% of sapphires mined these days are of gem quality, without treatment which is exactly the reason they are sought after (and many times the price of heat treated sapphires!)
My main concern, as you rightly point out, that the seller discloses facts to me. I was impressed by the total openess of the reply from SJ which has reassured me and I will certainly be visiting them next month. I have reproduced this below:

"We are pleased to inform you that most of our sapphires are heat treated. However, we have some with unheated as well."

My thanks to all of you for your guidance. One final point - can anyone think of a plausible/believable reason/excuse I can give to my wife for my disappearing on my own in BKK for a few hours??

lcuy Mar 4th, 2007 01:49 AM

How about you book her a long spa treatment, and reluctantly will have to go wander while she enjoys herself?

Or tell her that you are going to buy her a surprise gift, and you don't want her around????

rhkkmk Mar 4th, 2007 08:25 PM

nana or patpong??

Kathie Mar 4th, 2007 08:30 PM

I like the spa idea. Who can resist a great spa treatment in Bangkok?

nvtravel Mar 29th, 2007 12:46 AM

Just returned from Bangkok and after reading the posts regarding jewelry I stopped at SJ Jewelery. Per Kathie's advice I asked for Lily and was treated very well - thank you Kathie! I purchased a piece of jade that was made into a pendant within hours and was dropped off at my hotel as I was leaving that night. The selection at SJ was good and they seemed to have items that would fit most budgets. SJ sent a car to pick me up which was also nice as most hotels, tour guides and cab drivers seem to want to steer you to their favorites. Overall, a great experience with SJ. I felt like a got a very nice piece of jewelry at a fair price with good service. Thank you again Kathie for your recommendation!

Kathie Mar 29th, 2007 06:55 AM

So glad you had a good experience there. I've been buying from Lily for 20 some years.

crellston Apr 16th, 2007 04:45 AM

Kathie, many thanks for your advice. We have just returned from BKK and visited SJ as you suggested. Unfortunately, they forgot to pick us up from the hotel but we visited the shop anyway and were so glad we did. The service and prices were excellent and my wife is delighted with her yellow sapphire ring!

Kathie Apr 16th, 2007 06:52 AM

They forgot to pick you up? I guess everyone is entitled to an occasional lapse...

So glad you had a good experience with them!

Kathie Apr 16th, 2007 09:30 AM

By the way, did you opt for a natural (not heat-treated stone)?

cheriegal Apr 16th, 2007 11:22 AM

We're visiting Bangkok in three weeks and staying at the Peninsula Hotel. I'm interested in knowing where SK Jewelery is located? Would it be convenient to our hotel? Thanks

Kathie Apr 16th, 2007 11:27 AM

If you do a search here, you'll find lots of info posted about SJ International. They have been my jewelers in Bangkok for 20+ years. I'm at work, so I don't have their card with me, but a search on this board will produce their phone number.

lcuy Apr 16th, 2007 12:22 PM

SJ isn't all that conveinent to the Pen, but they will pick you up in their airconditioned mini-van, so it is easy. They'll drop you back to your hotel or anywhere else you might want to go, and there is no pressure to buy just because they gave you a ride.

Although how anyone could leave without buying something is beyond me!!!

hawaiiantraveler Apr 16th, 2007 01:01 PM

SJ info:

SJ International
phone 02-2432446 or 02-2432447 or 02-2411875.
They are located at 125/8 Sawankhalok Road, Dusit, Bangkok.

How could we ever forget :)

anabelle Apr 16th, 2007 04:52 PM

what is a fair price for these gems?

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