buying silver jewelry in cancun

Old Jul 25th, 2014, 03:26 PM
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buying silver jewelry in cancun

I will have a chance to travel to Cancun for a short vacation. Wondering if anyone has experience in buying silver jewelry there.

Is the price really different than US prices?
Is it worthwhile buying any small items?

I just want some tiny gift items, nothing too special. Thus curious and hoping that those who travel to Mexico may share their tips.

In addition, if I don't buy jewelry items, what else would be a good buy in the Cancun area. Not interested in the souvenirs that collect dust or magnets etc.

Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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Get to know the prices near your home so you can judge if it's a bargain. DON'T buy from vendors on the beach. A lot of their merchandise is only silver plated, not solid silver.
Years ago I bought a beautiful silver necklace at one of the malls in Cancun. I even bargained for the price in a regular jewelry shop in the mall. I went to a shop at home that sold similar items and a necklace similar to mine cost quite a bit more at home. Just make sure it's the real thing.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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I love earrings and always end up buying something when in Mexico, so yes, I have bought something there. YOu have to really know your prices but n general, not they were not great bargains compared to what I can get at home (we have vendors with a lot of the same stuff in kiosques in my mall back home). Just a lot more choice. I only buy stuff I particularly like and know my rates. I actually found better choices and prices down in Playa del Carmen, but a lot of places are not bargains there, either.

I just buy cheap stuff for souvenirs and gifts, such as those Talavera plates, small painted wood boxes, etc. They have those colorful painted poterry everywhere, some of course, is better quality than others, but I find some of the cheap stuff cute. I won't buy anything that has the name of places on it, as it looks too touristy. There's no real tips to give, just look in stores and buy what you like at prices you find decent. The central market in Cancun has tons of stuff but I found the harassment there extreme and left immediately, even in the block before getting to it. I just shopped in tourist shops near my hotel (which was the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort. I loved that hotel. There was shopping near it.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for your very helpful replies.

I travel quite a bit so have passed the urge of buying souvenirs and this and that as I already have too much.
But still feel I should buy a little something to remember the trip, thus now leaning on affordable jewelry instead of high end expensive items.

So, the silver jewelry idea came to mind.
Another question on the subject--does silver tarnish easily. How to make it shine or how to buy the right stuff that does not need too much polishing etc.

Any advice is helpful. I do have some old silver jewelry but find it hard to clean and use often.

What is Talavera plates?

Have a great weekend.
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Old Jul 26th, 2014, 02:17 PM
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Silver does tarnish but I just use a polishing cloth and it shines right up. You can also use toothpaste to shine your silver or of course regular silver polish.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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http://www.directfrommexico.com/talavera-pottery.html
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 11:31 AM
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A Navajo silversmith recently told me you can use ketchup to remove tarnish from silver, so i tried it, and whaddaya know, it works! For those times when you don't have a polishing cloth handy, but you're having some fries

(There is no "right kind" of silver that won't tarnish.)
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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Yes silver tarnishes "easily". Doesn't matter what kind you buy, if it's really silver, it will tarnish. You polish it with a cloth (or at least that's what all the vendors and shop owner in Puerto Vallarta do to keep it shiny).
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 11:38 AM
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As far as tiny gift items, I've brought back things as diverse as:

Nuts - both candied and savory, coffee, Mexican hard candies, bottles of hot sauce, vanilla, spice mixes, small pieces of pottery like soap dish, hand painted gourd with lid, dish towels, embroidered pillow cases, sarong/pareos, minatures like wooden hand-painted dogs or cats, mermaids, etc.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Suze,Schmerl and Newbee, Thanks for all your help.

You all have taught me a whole lot today.

Newbee- I really will try the ketchup idea. I have a silver frame from reputable store and it is looking quite bad with tarnish, so I will try your idea right away.Also will try Schmerls idea for toothpaste.

Suze, thanks for the link to the pottery site. Amazing creations and something to look for. You seem to know a lot about Mexico travel, so wondering if you live there. Please share more on Cancun as I love to learn something new.


Thanks also for so many ideas for little gifts. I will be window shopping a lot.

You have bought things to eat such as candy, sauces and spice mixes and so I am assuming that these items are safe to buy. I worry about getting sick.

Well, my shopping list is getting longer. Originally I only had silver jewelry.

The jewelry will be still the top of the list item and I am hoping I will get a better price than the stores such as Macy's. I don't buy jewelry much so only try to buy items either at real jewelry store if it is special jewelry or if something small then it is Macy's

Thus looking forward to Cancun!
Have a great day.
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Old Jul 28th, 2014, 02:37 PM
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Sorry I don't know a thing about Cancun.

My heart is in Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific side. 23 trips and counting. Also once each to La Paz and Cabo on the Baja. Since the early 90's when I first went and fell in love.

Yes food like I mention is safe to buy. I'm not sure I understand the comment about getting sick (from nuts or bottled hot sauce?). Mexico is a reasonably modern place certainly in the major cities and tourists resort areas. I shop for those items I mentioned at normal grocery stores, candy shops, arts & craft boutiques.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:45 AM
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Prices will probably be better than Macy's and certainly much more choice. I never shop at Macy's, they have cheap jewelry shops at my mall that sell Mexican jewelry, they are in the center area on the floor. There are even some at my airport, although those prices aren't as cheap as the mall vendors, of course. I would never think of buying Mexican jewelry at Macy's.

I've never gotten sick from food or dirnk in Mexico, but I don't have a weak constitution and stay in wellknown areas. My last trip, I was taking an antibiotic for another condition coincidentally during the entire trip so really had no worry.

If you were to get sick, it would be from water or maybe fish or meat not taken care of, or vegetables/salad or something. I don't think you could get sick from candy or nuts, just not gonna happen. I wouldn't worry about that in Cancun as long as you don't eat street food (I don't). Cancun has a safe water supply.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Here is Talavera pottery
http://www.directfrommexico.com/talavera-pottery.html

I really like it and while it is a specialty of Puebla, you can buy it all over Mexico.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Well I do eat street food (in PV). I've been sick a couple times (in 20+ trips) but it was always (as best as I could trace it) to a meal in a tourist restaurant... never from the extremely fresh tacos that are made in the street stalls.
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Old Jul 29th, 2014, 12:30 PM
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Make sure that your silver frame is solid silver (sterling has 925 or 999 or other similar hallmark, easy to identify); if it is plated, you can take off the plating pretty easily if you're not gentle.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 01:15 PM
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Christian, Sylvia, Suze--Thanks for your replies.
I am noting everything and will be using all your advice.
Have a splendid weekend.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 05:33 AM
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Yes, look for the .925 to insure that the item is sterling.

I've bought heaps of silver in Mexico over the years. Not in Cancun, though. Many shops will determine the price by weighing the item and calculating price by checking the market price of the silver. If you see an item you like at home, take a photo and ask them to copy it.

I now keep most of my silver in zip-loc bags which seem to impede the tarnishing a bit.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 08:27 PM
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Ekscrunchy--good to hear from you. Thanks for your advice.
Good to know that zip-loc bags keep the tarnish away. I will have to try this one soon.
I would like to buy a couple of simple silver chain necklaces, thus checking the quality and prices in US and will compare in Cancun.
Maybe I will find something I like.
Have a great weekend.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 04:56 AM
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Like ekscrunchy, I find if you limit the amount of exposure to air, the less the silver tarnishes.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:34 AM
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There is a nice outdoor mall in the middle of the Hotel zone called La Isla (also called Plaza Isla by some). it is not the lowest price shopping but you can find silver items there and be sure the 925 stamp on the silver is real. And prices are set so you are not going to need to haggle or get accosted by shop owners.

there are good shops there. One big shop that has goods from all over MX so you can decide what you like. I have found that Cancun is not a great place for shopping generally, but that outdoor mall is a pleasant space and there are places to have a nice meal inexpensively overlooking the lagoon there. You can salso get a back massage or foot massage at a space in the interior of the shopping area,a giant is all outside but covered, and there are little waterways around, it's nice.
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