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Buying Crystal in Prague

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Mar 15th, 2002, 02:30 AM
  #1
Trop
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Buying Crystal in Prague

I want to buy some bohemian crystal while I'm in Prague. How can I tell if the crystal is of good quality? What should I look for? Any good places to buy it? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Mar 15th, 2002, 11:35 PM
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Pete
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ttt
 
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Mar 16th, 2002, 11:58 AM
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I certainly would not consider myself an expert on the quality of Bohemian crystal ( I always buy what I like best ---especially, when the price is very reasonable.)

What I can tell you, however, is the largest and most varied selection of crystal to be found is in the small village of Karlstejn. (As in Castle Karlstein).

It is only a 40 minute train ride from Prague. Trains leave frequently, and the round trip fare is about $4.00 US (significantly less expensive than taking a tour).

There are crystal shops (no less than 50 different stores) on both sides of the main street in the village. The main street starts at the river and eventually ends at the mountaintop where Castle Karlstejn broods over the town.

What we usually do is check out all the shops on our way up the hill, write down the store name, description and price of the items we liked best, visit the castle ,have lunch on the way down the hill, and finally pick up all the items we've decided to purchase on our way back down to the train station.

Even if you bought nothing in the village (which would be hard to imagine!!), the trip on the train and the castle views would be worth the half-day excursion.

Believe me, I've done some "seious" crystal shopping there. The prices are usually 25 to 40% cheaper than they are in Prague. (Much lower rents to pay!)
 
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Mar 16th, 2002, 11:58 AM
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Georgine
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I certainly would not consider myself an expert on the quality of Bohemian crystal ( I always buy what I like best ---especially, when the price is very reasonable.)

What I can tell you, however, is the largest and most varied selection of crystal to be found is in the small village of Karlstejn. (As in Castle Karlstein).

It is only a 40 minute train ride from Prague. Trains leave frequently, and the round trip fare is about $4.00 US (significantly less expensive than taking a tour).

There are crystal shops (no less than 50 different stores) on both sides of the main street in the village. The main street starts at the river and eventually ends at the mountaintop where Castle Karlstejn broods over the town.

What we usually do is check out all the shops on our way up the hill, write down the store name, description and price of the items we liked best, visit the castle ,have lunch on the way down the hill, and finally pick up all the items we've decided to purchase on our way back down to the train station.

Even if you bought nothing in the village (which would be hard to imagine!!), the trip on the train and the castle views would be worth the half-day excursion.

Believe me, I've done some "seious" crystal shopping there. The prices are usually 25 to 40% cheaper than they are in Prague. (Much lower rents to pay!)
 
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Mar 16th, 2002, 01:56 PM
  #5
Frank
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My wife and I wanted to buy a chandelier in Prague so looked at a gazillion crystal stores. We connected with a local lady who took us to the following store which she said was favored by the locals. (I'm reasonably sure she didn't get a commission.) It's a factory direct store called Crystalex at Male Namesti 6. Their prices seemed substantially lower than most of the other crystal shops, and it was a busy store. We bought a chandelier for about 500 dollars, it cost about 120 to ship and arrived in good condition. We were very happy with it although it requires unusual light bulbs and we had to have it rewired. They have a web site--www.crystalex.cz.
Don't know much about grading quality of crystal, though.
Good luck
Frank
 
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Mar 17th, 2002, 12:31 AM
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Thanks for everyone's helpful advice. I think I may try and go to Karlstejn. Georgine, can you tell me if they have shipping services there and if so are they reliable? Has anyone else shipped crystal to their home from shops in Karlstejn? Thanks for any info.
 
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Mar 17th, 2002, 04:39 AM
  #7
Jason
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Remember that the Czech Republic was first famous for glass and it's crystal form came later. Most people will select an object for it's aesthetic value first every time. More knowledgable people go for weight and the visual spectrum of colours. Experts go for sound. Before you buy crystal take a look at the Moser shop in Na Prikope (http://www.moser.cz). I think this place is well worth the money. Moser has a factory in Karlovy Vary as well. In Prague, the road called Celetna has the biggest choice but, not necessarily best quality. Buy later in your stay after you've had a good look around. Karlstejn is all supplied by the same people.

You'll find this link (http://www.geocities.com/jasoncholt/praha.html) very useful. It is the result of 5 years of living here and has hundreds of tips and a lot of info in it's pages, You are welcome to take a look.

Jason
 
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Mar 28th, 2002, 09:07 AM
  #8
M-xxx
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For those who've bought crystal, have you had any problems with shipping it home? Or is it better to stash in your luggage?

 
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Mar 28th, 2002, 09:27 AM
  #9
Victoria
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I took an extra suitcase with me containing bubble wrap and packing tape. Most stores will wrap everything well; I bubble-wrapped our purchases, divided them between the suitcases and brought everything ($$$)home without a break.
 
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