Gem Stores in Rio

Old Jan 13th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Gem Stores in Rio

Can anyone direct me to a way to find Gem stores in Rio? I've heard they will pick you up at your hotel, but I can't seem to find a list of them.

Thanks for any help.
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 05:08 AM
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The two famous ones are H. Stern and Amsterdam Sauer. Your hotel can arrange visits to their main stores and they have plenty of satellite stores in each large hotel. I like H. Stern because you can exchange your mdse. for up to a year at any other H. Stern in the world (ie. in the US). I also prefer their modern designs. Both have gorgeous gemstones.
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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I actually preferred Amsterdam Sauer (dropped a ton of money there). Just be forwarded that even with the exchange rate being very favorable you will get no deals in these stores. As a matter of fact H. Stern has 2 stores in Ipanema - 1 caters to the tourists and the other caters to the locals - definitely 2 types of merchandise - not that there is anything wrong/cheap or deceitful just different designs.
Old Jan 14th, 2003, 10:41 PM
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I would call them minerals stores that also sell gems. Big beautiful, colorful, glittery mineral stones. The stores are quite easy to find. Shop at H.Stern and/or A.S. but also shop at the other stores. The two types, it seems to me, are large and not-so-large. I wouldn't leave any of the stores with a rock and without a discount. The H.Stern marketing effort seemed to be screaming both "highest quality" and "overpriced".

As for gemstones, I suggest learning more about the stones that you are interested in. I took a look at some emeralds because I knew that they were rare (unlike diamonds) and were mined in S. America. But I seemed to remember that the emerald mines were up north, in Colombia. I also believed that emeralds could be synthesized.

I just did a search for emeralds and they are mined in Colombia (and in Zambia).

A search for synthetic emeralds found a web page from a company in Evergreen Colorado telling me how their synthetic emeralds are made. Prices, photos, and shipping options.

A search for Brazilian emeralds found
Read that page. I'm not sure if finished Brazilian emeralds fall in the 6% that is mentioned or in the 4% group that is not mentioned. The term "fine jewelry" probably means set stones, not loose. And the stones I saw did not fit in the other 90%. That first paragraph is talking about exports, though.

I remember once finding a web page where I could by Brazilian minerals and gemstones by the ton.

For all I know, the emeralds I saw in Rio could have been mined in Zambia and finished in Israel. Or lab grown in Colorado. Not knowing what I would be buying (a couple green chips of stone at a healthy price) meant that I did not buy gemstones.

I would suggest that you at least find out what gemstones are mined in Brazil and that can't be synthesized.

You could find out what prices are like in your home town, or on the web.

If you don't like doing research on gemstones then please shop around.

At the very least, please, please, bargain for a discount.

Old Jan 15th, 2003, 07:10 AM
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As a long time customer of H. Stern, I can tell you that all the bargaining in the world won't get you a discount. Their prices are the same worldwide, whether you shop in Brazil or New York City, so don't waste your time. The gemstones they sell are all real, you don't have to worry about that, or with Amsterdam Sauer, either. I have an emerald engagement ring that came from H. Stern, bought at the NYC store, but I have no idea whether or not the stone is from Brazil, Colombia or elsewhere. It is real, though, and it is gorgeous and was priced accordingly. What I like about H. Stern are the unique settings, quite modern and leading edge. You can also buy pieces of amethyst, or other minerals etc. that are used as bookends, coasters,etc. but not at these fine jewelry stores. The Hippie Fair, in Ipanema, held every Sunday morning, is a great place to find these things and buy them for little souvenirs. Amsterdam Sauer also sells loose precious gems which you could then take home and have set as you choose. You can also find loose gemstones at the Hippie Fair and many other places, I do not believe ANY of these are synthetic. However some lower quality gems and minerals are artifically colored -- like Blue Topaz, for instance. Have fun but forget the bargaining in H. Stern and Amsterdam Sauer. Save that, perhaps, for the Hippie Fair. Brazil is not known as a country for bargaining per se, like Morocco, so please don't get the wrong impression from the other poster.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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I don't think that what Mr. Wonderfull up top was saying that you can bargain in H Stern or Amsterdam Sauer, I think he was saying that you can bargain in some of the smaller independent stores that are around Rio. And there are plenty of them and Im sure if they see a gringo come in the price goes up and it is up to you to bargain the price down. It may not be Morroco thank God but if they want to make a sale they will come down to something more reasonable if they think your serious. Yes in Copacabana there are many gem and jewelry stores, little store fronts and yes they are eager to make a sale and yes you should know what you are buying. If you don't know what you are buying then go to H Stern or Amsterdam Sauer, you pay the higher price there for the piece of mind that you are getting what you are told you are getting.
Old Jan 15th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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I went on last night a bit too long on my post and realized, too late, that I was giving advice about things I didn't really know about: gemstones and H. Stern.

I enjoy shopping for bargains and when prices are negotiable I love to bargain hard. Doesn't matter the price.

My point about knowing where things come from is simply supply and demand. You'll likely get a better kimono in Kyoto, at a lower price, than one in N.Y.

I enjoyed liz's description of the unique settings, etc. of the fine jewelry. In that case, then I would shop there if that was what I wanted, because I learned that of the total value of gold, mineral, and gemstone exports from Brazil, that only 6% is fine jewelry. So, buying unique Brazilian fine jewelry would be the thing to do.

What I actually did was buy a few nice mineral stones, and amber, from a small shop. I did as my guidebook suggested and got a 10% discount.

Old Jan 17th, 2003, 08:36 PM
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GemStones in Rio. Thanks for all the great help. We're leaving in March and I'm sure to be asking for more information from those who know.

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