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I know St thomas shopping is great but how is St John

I know St thomas shopping is great but how is St John

Old Aug 17th, 2001, 07:21 AM
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I know St thomas shopping is great but how is St John

Is the shopping on St John any good? I know that the variety of different stores is not the same as St Thomas but is it any good?
Old Oct 23rd, 2001, 09:06 AM
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St. John has some limited shopping, mostly at Mongoose Junction and Wharfside Village. If you are looking for deals on diamonds, watches, crystal, etc., stick to St. Thomas. The shops on St. John are mostly limited to clothing (resort wear), T-shirts and some local arts/crafts.
Old Oct 23rd, 2001, 01:18 PM
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St. John is more "boutique-y" shopping while in St. Thomas you have everything! There is a Col. Emerald on St. John but Mongoose and Wharfside can be shopped in a very short time! Julie is correct about the china, crystal and other items - so much more and more competition in Charlotte Amalie and Havensight.
Old Oct 24th, 2001, 03:00 AM
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Both responses above are certainly correct. Let me add that if, by chance, you are considering making your choice of a resort based on being close to the best shopping, I should point out that the ferry ride between the islands is short, thoroughly enjoyable, frequent, and not expensive. Also the ferry terminals at the St. Thomas end is a very short walk from the main shopping area in Charlotte Amalie.
You are probably aware that the shopping focuses almost entirely on jewelry.
If you are unwilling to bargain you will get a reasonable reduction from the stateside price and, of course, the selection is phenomenal. If you are a patient and determined bargainer, however, as is my wife, be prepared to knock 50% off the already low price in the smaller stores and 10-20% off the big stores such as Stern's and Little Switzerland. If you're going after a special diamond, bone up on the 5C's beforehand, because any of the stores, large or small, will be very happy to sell you a low quality diamond that looks nice under the lights.
Being the practical sort I am, I proposed to my girl friend in St. Thomas back in (well, let's say quite awhile ago). We then went shopping together for her diamond. Great fun, but little did I know that she was really boned up on all that 5C's stuff and spent a loooong time with the retailer once she had decided on a shop to do business with. We were confident she got a very good buy on a GIA certified diamond.
All that said, however, if by chance you are looking for a fine diamond, GIA certified, I found I could do better than St. Thomas prices here in the states, but certainly not in your local jewelry store. About 5 years ago, I decided to upgrade her diamond to 1.5 ct. and bought her a stone for $8K that, when I later had it independently appraised by a GIA certified appraiser, was appraised for $15K.
In any case, before you fly down get a good idea of what you can pay for a stone at tradeshop.com. Note the size, cut, and 5C's for the stone, add in $100 for the setting and carry that figure with you to St. Thomas as a gauge. You might do better or not.
Don't know why I told you all this stuff; the first 2 posters really answered your question!!! Have a nice trip.
Old Oct 24th, 2001, 03:08 AM
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The shopping on St. John, as has been pointed out, is negligible. But to Joel's point, this is because St. Thomas is as he said, so close and accessible.
I suggest you focus on finding the resort you want as the #1 issue because it take about as much time to drive from, say, the east end of St. Thomas to the shopping in Charlotte Amalie, as it does to go from most of the hotels/resorts on St. John to same.
Old Oct 24th, 2001, 04:22 AM
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Just to elaborate on Joel's comments ... yes, be prepared to bargain hard and be well educated no matter the purchase! Little Switzerland, AHRiise don't bargain on some things - it's a straight 20% off retail stateside (Mikimoto and other "named" jewelry) but sometimes they do a little better. Other semi-precious and precious stones are more negotiable. Not only do you save on the price, each person is entitled to a duty free exemption of up to $1200 pp. If you buy a loose precious stone (unset) there is absolutely no duty no matter the value. I find that H.Stern works with their NYC store (and I would guess their others) to have it set when you get home and has a good "trade-up" policy.

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