Jewelry and World Travel

Travel is one of my hobbies and, now that I have started a jewelry
business, I have decided to buy unique findings and other items
during my travels. I am interested in unique beads, stones, findings,
pendants and also antique items that can be legally exported from a
country. I’d be grateful for any advice that you all might have about
wholesale jewelry districts around the world.

Thanks in advance to those who respond. If you’d rather do so, please
feel free to email me directly. I am open to receiving responses
either via the forum or privately.

hey anabel,

i have a personal love affair with india. on my last trip, i visited
jaipur which is supposedly the best place to buy gems and jewelry at
a very low cost. when i was in jaipur, all i saw was very high
priced jewelry in the shops, costing the same as it would here in
the US. i didn’t seek out any wholesale. i didn’t buy any gems.

i was recently at a gem show where i spoke with my pearl guy, who
imports from india and is from india himself. i asked him what is
the best way to buy wholesale in india and he said you basically
cannot do so unless you have a guide. i told him my experience in
jaipur and he laughed and agreed, saying that unless you speak the
language and have a trustworthy guide who knows the trustworthy
dealers that it is almost impossible to buy wholesale. he ever so
kindly told me that he would set me up with his dealer in india who
would help me by taking me to the appropriate places and also doing
the bargaining necessary for me. that as a westerner, i would not
know the protocol or even the language in which to bargain.

i thought that this was extremely kind of him, as if this happens, i
will buy in india at wholesale and will probably not buy from him
for a few years since i will have enough pearls to last me a good
long while. however, i do feel loyalty to this company because they
are kind and fair and they are really good people. (Taj Pearl Co in

on the other hand, i was able to go to wholesale areas where there
were rooms and rooms full of beads and findings. i didn’t buy any
beads (glass beads and such) because the rooms were so enormous and
so jam packed that i was absolutely overwhelmed and couldn’t even
start to look because of the mass quantities.

similarly, i was not in the market to buy large quantities, and
these wholesale shops in india are like they are here. they want you
to buy in quantity. they aren’t as excited to have a little person
like me come in and buy a few small things. (although they will be
happy to take your money anyway, i am sure!)

i am excited to go back to india and meet up with this guide, as i
am hoping to learn some things about the jewelry industry in india,
and this is one aspect that should be interesting. i’ll let you know
what happens when i return in feb! (that is, of course, if you plan
to include india in your travels, which you SHOULD!) :wink:


You may search the internet for wholesale shows in the world. There
are great wholesale shows in Hong Kong, India, Thailand, China,
Europe and more.

You may also search for the wholesale or gem markets in different
cities. Most cities will have an area with wholesale dealers
although understand the market because the asking prices will be more
simply because you are a foreigner. For example, you may begin
negotiating at $10,000 and purchase for $1,000 or less. Also be aware
of the treatments and synthetics. Many people are cheated and pass
along the cheatings deliberately and undeliberately.

Taj Company was mentioned in a previous letter. The owner, Shafi, is
one of the few Kashmiri (Indians) I trusts in this business.

All the best,

Ed Cleveland


Taj Company was mentioned in a previous letter. The owner, Shafi,
is one of the few Kashmiri (Indians) I trusts in this business. 

It’s interesting you mention Taj.

I stopped using them years ago as some blue topaz faded from blue to
pure white in a matter of days of the necklace sitting in the window
of a store. Needless to say, it took a lot of apologizing and much
butt-kissing to get that customer to trust me again.

When I brought the stones back to Taj to get them replaced with
something else and to let them know that they faded in the window
they were very rude to me. I wasn’t even asking for my $$$ back! I
just wanted to exchange them for something else- I probably had
10-15 strands of the blue topaz that had not faded yet, and one
strand that did. I explained the situation, and they would not budge.
They told me that they would not accept damaged inventory (the faded
strand) and then when I tried to exchange the blue topaz that wasn’t
faded they told me that they didn’t do exchanges. They had no
sympathy or apologies for the faded stone and asked me what I had
done to it, did I put it in silver dip, etc…

Granted, I wasn’t in New York, so I probably wasn’t dealing with the
owner, I was dealing with the Los Angeles office. But I had done
business with them for quite some time and to have them scoff at me
for telling them that their product did fade in the sun (in less than
a week), and accuse me of doing something to it was really
frustrating. So, I haven’t used them since. They probably don’t miss
my business at all as I am a very small fish, but I was surprised to
hear you say that you trusted them. Maybe if I was in New York, it
would have been different…

Blue Topaz will fade very quickly when subjected to heat whether
from intense sunlight or fire. It has also faded just from the shop
lights if it sits too long in one spot in our showcases.

Judy Shaw