Shopping for jewelry in Istanbul

Old Feb 16th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Shopping for jewelry in Istanbul

My husband and I are in Istanbul right now, and I would like to purchase a nice piece of jewelry for Matt's grandmother. The thing is, I'm not a jewelry wearer and I have no idea what to expect when I walk up to a jewelry store and try to bargain. I know this is a very broad question, but is it possible to spend around $50-60 USD on a piece of jewelry in Istanbul? If so, should I be looking for certain things in particular that would probably be in this price range, or better yet are there certain things that I should avoid?

The salesman are persistant once you ask questions, and I don't want to waste their time or mine on that "bargain $300 necklace".

Thanks!
Tracy
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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I'm not able to answer your question but I'm very interested in your trip. We will be in Istanbul March 6-11, staying at the Empress Zoe. I am reading that it is cold their and snowing; sounds like New England where I am. Looking ahead on the 15 day forecast it is calling for more temperate weather in about 2 weeks. I am curious where you are staying and how you are finding the weather and getting around in it. I would love to hear about your trip.
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Old Feb 16th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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There is a very nice jewellery shop in the Intercontinental Hotel near Taksim Square; it is called Maya. I don't know if they have anything in your price range, however. I bought a ring there for $1500.

There are many jewellery stores in the Grand Bazaar. Have you tried there?

Finally, there is a shop that sells silver jewellery near the top of Istaklal Caddesi. It is on the right hand side as you walk up hill. It is almost near Taksim Square. My mother bought my sister silver hoop earring at this shop--about $40.

Thin
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Old Feb 19th, 2009, 02:57 AM
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There are cheap jewellery or lets say bijoux type of stuff, all around. Copper or silver would be fitting the price range. Some earrings, rings yes but you can not really call them jewellery. Some might have gem stones on them. Silver stores are plenty and you may find some interesting designs too. Gold is relatively cheaper comparing anywehere in Europe but again budget is the question for gold items. Commonly gold is 18 carat but 14-22 is also possible to find.

Happy shopping,

Murat
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Old Feb 19th, 2009, 03:06 AM
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You will find really good bargains in the Covered Bazaar, especially silver am gemstones. Take your time and browse and bargain. You should never pay more than the half of the original price. If they do not reduce the price enough, leave the store. They will follow you and offer better prices. It is really fun to bargain.
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Old Feb 19th, 2009, 07:41 AM
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Hi Tracy, I also can't answer your question but am also interested in anything you can share about Istanbul. I'm leaving on March 12. Like opaldog I've been following the weather but just seeing temperatures it's hard to get a sense. Does it feel very cold and windy? Is there any green grass or does it look like the dead of winter. I'm in New England and we have several feet of snow on the ground. Are you wearing winter coats? I'm probably leaving before you'll have time to do a trip report so any tips you can share would be greatly appreciated.

And same goes for you opaldog, if you get a chance to post while you are over there I'd love to hear how your trip is going.
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Old Feb 19th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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I found some interesting and inexpensive jewelry shops in the Nisantasi area. If you want names, let me know and I will try to find them...I am talking about good-looking, interesting "ethnic" items for less than $40US.

I also bought sterling in the Grand Bazaar--heavy cuff bracelet for under $100US.

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Old Feb 19th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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Thank you all for your replies! Unfortunately I couldn't access them before I went shopping because the forums went down. I ended up buying a nice coral bracelet for her from a (seemingly) nice vendor in the Spice Market.

Isabel, we are having a great time! With that said, it was pretty cold in Istanbul at night (and on the chilly side during the day) and my biggest regret for this trip is that I left my heavier coat at home because I didn't want to lug it around the airports. On the coast, where we are now, its definitely warmer but it has been rainy so there is a certain dampness that makes it seem a little chilly. Today it rained so heavy after we left Milatus that we had to pull over because of hail! But....the rain seems to come in spurts and it goes from rainy to overcast to perfectly sunny and back again, so even though it has been rainy we also get clear moments. And to be honest, although its a bit of a pain Turkey is wonderful enough that in the end it its just a minor annoyance.

So, long story short I recommend a heavy coat, a scarf (you'll need one anyways to cover your head when you go into the mosques), gloves and an umbrella.

In Istanbul there are some flowers and on the coast its extremely green, much more than I thought it would be, I guess because of all the rain. The coast is much more mountainy and beautiful than I imagined.

I get back on the 24th and I'll try to do a trip report before you leave. If you have any other questions, I'll try to check back and answer them.

Thanks!
Tracy
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Old Feb 19th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Tracy: I see that it is cold there. I will be leaving on March 5th and plan to bring a raincoat with a lining and will have sweaters, scarves, and gloves. As far as what to wear, I don't usually wear jeans, but was considering a comfortable pair just for travel(they don't wrinkle). I have dark gray and black slacks for around Istanbul. I know this sounds silly, but would jeans be considered acceptable?

Isabel: We will miss you by one day. I looked back at my posts and see that you were asking about airfares back in the spring. Which airline did you end up going with? Are you flying out of Boston or NY? I am bringing my laptop for the first time, so if the connection is good I will try to post some information for you.
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Old Feb 20th, 2009, 04:28 AM
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Thanks Tracy, I'd love to read your report. I'm so excited that you say there are some flowers in Istanbul. I've often gone to Paris and London in March, and while some years the temps are pretty chilly, the fact that there is green grass and usually some forsythia and daffodils, etc. makes the whole experience so much more spring like than New England in March.

Opal - anything you post from Istanbul I'll be sure to read so please do. We are flying out of Boston on AirFrance, changing at CDG. Have a great trip.
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Old Feb 20th, 2009, 10:19 AM
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opaldog, I only brought jeans and feel that I fit in just fine. Well, as fit in as possible considering my light blonde hair and fair skin! You should be fine in jeans and/or slacks. Women in Istanbul dressed trendy as they do in Paris or London but anything goes...and I'm all about comfort on vacation!

isabel, the flowers were welcoming! They aren't everywhere, but its nice to see some color.

I envy your one layover! We flew Charlotte-Miami-Madrid-Istanbul and it was a long day. On Sunday we fly back Istanbul-Frankfurt-Dallas-Charlotte. I get tired just thinking about it...

Tracy
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Old Feb 20th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Thanks, Tracy. I definitely feel comfortable in jeans. Where are you staying? Any restaurants to recommend? Any place that you visited that was unexpected, in a good way?

We also fly back with one connection on Swiss via Zurich to Boston. Good luck with you flights returning. I'm very interested to hear anything about your trip before we go on the 5th.

Isabel, I love flying Air France. I would hate to connect at CDG and not go into Paris. That would kill me.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2009, 12:02 PM
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opaldog,

I just posted a separate thread about this, but since I see your flights I'm going to reiterate what I stated in my thread. Make sure you have enough layover time because for whatever reason we were not able to get our tickets from Madrid to Istanbul, and from Frankfurt after arriving from Istanbul, without rechecking in. This morning in Frankfurt we actually had to leave the airport and come back in. I don't know why this is, but I don't think its isolated to AA only as our flight back was on Lufthansa from IST to FRA. So hopefully you have a long enough layover on Swiss to accommodate this!

We stayed in the Hotel Ada in Istanbul and it was very nice. We had a full queen-sized bed and a jacuzzi in our room, which was wonderful since it was so chilly! And the price was very reasonable.

All of the food that we ate was delicious! Seriously, there was not a single meal that I disliked, and I'm a fairly picky eater. I'll go through my receipts after I get back to see if I can remember where we ate....I didn't do a very good job of documenting things on this trip unfortunately and we often just kind of menu-shopped until we found something that looked good. I had lots of kebabs....doner, adana, iskender, urfa, and pistaccio and all were so good! And lots and lots of kofti, a favorite of mine. The rice pilaf that is included with most meals is really good.

Tracy
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Old Nov 9th, 2009, 09:52 PM
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you can purchase your all jewelry from Intercontinental Hotel near Taksim Square. Their is a small bazaar in this mall.



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