Sapphires in Bangkok

Apr 16th, 2007, 06:22 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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anabelle, you'll need to do some research at home before shopping in Bangkok. There are many different colors of sapphire, and the prices vary depending on the color and cleanness of the stone. Sapphires aren't graded the way diamonds are, so you need to develop an eye for the colors you like. Have a jeweler show you good sapphires (and bad - cloudy, inky stones) so you know what you are shopping for. You might pay anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars for a sapphire of 1 - 2 carats.

My rule of thumb is that I can buy sapphires (and sapphire jewelry) for about one-half of the US wholesale price (which means one-quarter of the US retail price. Likewise, rubies are also a great deal in Bangkok.

Do know that there are gem scams in Bangkok - tuk tuk drivers that want to take you to a special governemnt sale, or a fellow "tourist" who tells you about how he buys sapphires to finance his trips, etc. Don't fall for this in Thailand as you would not at home.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 17th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Kathie, we opted for a heat treated stone in the end. It was a 3.1 carat pale yellow sapphire, great clarity, retangular (baguette?) cut set in a white gold ring on either side were two unusual triangular cut diamonds - a really beautiful piece of work and, because of the mix up of the car the owner sam immediately offered wholesale prices. We had previously checked out prices with other jewellers recommended by the concierge at the Conrad (Uthais Gems etc.)and found SJ to be much more competitive. Thanks once again for the recommendation.
crellston is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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It sounds like a lovely ring, crellston!
Kathie is online now  
Apr 21st, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Kathie, when you say " I can buy sapphires for 1/4 of US retail" you are buying only the stone??

With the setting and labor, is the price still equivalent?

Thank you.
momssk is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 08:18 PM
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the setting etc is even less, except when gold prices jump dramatically....
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 08:20 PM
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I have purchased stones only and I have purchased set stones. They are both about 1/4 of US retail. Since labor is relatively inexpensive in Thailand, I have had custom work done there a number of times and have had good experiences with it at much lower prices than the US.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:35 AM
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Kathie, i bought some very nice 22K gold jewelry from a store called MasterGold at the World Trade Center, if memory serves me right. their pieces are very different from the quality and workmanship you will find at the gold shops in Yaowarat. the style and quality is more like that of carrera y carrera gold jewelry. is this store still there? thanks.
anaheimwoman is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 07:15 AM
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Sorry, I have no idea. I've never been to the store.

22 karat gold is quite soft and is not used for setting stones. You can buy 22-24 k gold jewelry in Chinatown if that is what you are looking for.
Kathie is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 09:27 AM
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Kathie, hope you don't mind another question. i checked the website of SJ Intl and browsed through the items, they seem to be priced at "US retail" are the prices better when you buy from their store in BKK? also, can one bargain on their prices at the store? thank alot- you've been a great resource on this topic !
anaheimwoman is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:02 PM
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The prices on the web site are not at all like the ones you'll get in the shop. Make sure you ask for Lily and mention Kathie from Seattle to get the good prices.

If you don't see what you want in teh cases, tell her what you do want and boxes of more items will appear!
lcuy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:05 PM
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We didn't bargain, although if you mention that an item is a bit high, she might find one that looks about the same, but is cheaper.

I felt we were getting the best price right up front, espcecially when I heard other shoppers being quoted the "non-Kathie" prices.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 06:56 PM
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thanks, lcuy
anaheimwoman is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 08:34 PM
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i think kathie owns the place and just employs lily???
rhkkmk is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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don't be jealous of kathie.....rhkkmk! SJ is really a great jewelry shop i've ever seen.....
sallyy is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Bob, Don't I wish!!

Yes, and do use my name. That will get you "the best" price. The in-person prices are MUCH lower than the website prices.
Kathie is online now  
Nov 4th, 2017, 11:22 AM
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Hi Kathy, I'm looking for a sapphire ring but I' not going to Bangkok anytime soon. do you happen to have lili's email address? Would it be safe to buy from her online?
Susanaxy is offline  
Nov 4th, 2017, 01:58 PM
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You really can't buy something like this online. Lily is reliable and honest, but you would have to see and choose your own sapphire.
Kathie is online now  
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