I will be visiting Mexico City, Taxco and Oaxaca by the end of the
month. Any suggestions on jewelry attractions? I am also looking
for on jewelry schools in Mexico DF so I can check their
seminars and the jewelry district. Thanks in advance, Paula.
I will be visiting Mexico City, Taxco and Oaxaca by the end of the
Taxco, Mexico -You picked the right town for jewelry fabrication.
All silver of course! Some incredibly talented silversmiths work
there. The whole town rely’s on manufacturing jewelry. One of the
richest silver mines ever discovered is in Taxco, found by the
Spanish. It’s a beautiful quaint mountain village with very narrow
roads. Only way in is by bus from Mexico City…seems like it takes
forever. Advice - don’t sit in the back of the bus by the bathroom.
All items sold by gram with set stones. Lots of lapis, malachite,
turquoise…the prices are incredible. Average .30 cents a gram
…and this is with stones…watch the weight. Heavy stuff! You
know you’re in the right place (for price) when you see a lot of
Armenian LA jewelers in town buying kilos…I highly recommend
getting a driver (taxi) cater to your jewelry needs. There are some
factories you would never find in that town that are the best places
to buy product.
Only one hotel in town. Keep an eye on your laundry Watch out for
flying VOW beetles on those small roads…take time to breath that
fresh mountain air (best in Mexico - you might not get another
Best of Luck…
Steve in Hawaii
There are a number of hotels - not are the Ritz but they are typical
of Mexico clean and generally inexpensive. Hotels in town are
within easy walking distance of everything The way to travel is by
bus.The busses are clean and give good service. First class busses
are better than second class but the primary advantage of first
class is they go point point without as many stops to drop off and
pick up passengers where their goat path meets the road. Rail
service if it exists is poor compared to the busses . There is some
Air service but the bus does the job. There are supposed to be about
200 silver shops in Taxco- maybe???. There is a lot of stuff made
in the small outlying villages- down the goat paths. These take a
friendly local to find. Never us. Bus service from Mexico City is
frequent and takes 2-3 hrs. As in many countries travel and
finding hotel rooms on church holidays is difficult to impossible.
Be sure to get a stink bug taco. Really!!
All, must take exception with the post that had errors concerning
Taxco. Don’t know when Steve of Hawaii was there, but it is not true
that the “only way in is bus from Mexico City.” I drove from Mexico
City to Acapulco and came back on lovely highways through beautiful
scenery with a stop in Taxco. A wonderful town with room for all
but giant American vehicles on every street we wandered. There are
many hotels, large elegant ones and small charming ones. We weren’t
thrilled with the first one which sent noise up to the rooms through
a large atrium, so moved across the street and slept like babes.
You will need more than a weekend to visit all the artisan shops and
manufacturers, and they aren’t at all difficult to find. Just
start walking. You’ll love it.
On Mexico City: I am not a “city person”, I hate traffic, crowds,
noise, crime, and pollution - so I tend to stay out of Mexico City
as much as possible… There is a large jewelry district in the
center of town, by the Zocalo, most sell lightweight, flashy, gold
jewelry. Very few really nice pieces. Tons of Italian chain. Zona
Rosa has a half dozen really high end jewelers, and there are a few
others scattered about. Diamond jewelry, containing diamonds larger
than 5 pointers is relatively rare. Colored stones, and just gold
jewelry are more common in this culture. DeBeers hasn’t spent much
here yet:) It is not easy to get into the manufacturers without
contacts. There are at least three government run “artisan” schools
that I know of.
There are well over 400 “registered” and active silver shops in
Taxco… not counting all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and inlaws who
work out of a corner in private homes.
I have personally stayed in about a dozen of the better hotels in
town, over 16 years. (and some of the worst, when there was nothing
else available) Hotel Agua Escondida on the Zocalo is as close to
the center of town as you can get, but I’d prefer to be a bit
further out towards the edges of town these days. There is one main
government run school for silversmiths, and a couple of private
Iguala, about 20 minutes from Taxco has some goldsmiths, but most of
what I saw last year was made in low karat gold.
Having the language is indispensable, for even though there are now
English, German, French, and Italian speaking salespersons in almost
all of the easily accessed shops - the best work is not always found
in those shops. No price is really fixed, and negotiating in Spanish
will almost always get you a better deal…
I only spent a few months in Oaxaca, 9 years ago, and that with a
family that did filigree silver. I’ve heard that most of them have
now moved to Guadalajara, so I can’t help much there.
If you need something specific, email me off forum.
Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
704-708 West Swain Rd.
Stockton, CA 95207
All, I have traveled all over the world and have learned that good
guide books make all the difference. My favorite is the Lonely
Planet series. These remarkable books have encyclopedic contents and
are not biased toward recommendations based on kick backs or referal
fees. If, for example, you want a complete rundown on all the hotels
in Taxco, they will not only tell you the rates but will also point
out the peculiarities, shortfalls and advantages of each hotel. They
will also guide you in the direction of safe and interesting polaces
to eat. The series is noted for its straightforward
approach…they don’t pussyfoot around controversial
considerations. They warn you about scams and they guide you through
bureaucratic pitfalls. They are widely available…here in the
’States Barnes and Noble seems always to have a very wide selection.
Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.
Hola Pat, como estas?: It is good to know you are participating in
the Orchid Forum. I should have known. It is absolutely true what you
say about Taxco, I go every month from Mexico City to Taxco to visit
my store (machinery for jewelry), usually by car, and every time I
enjoy it; it is always a pleasure to walk up and down in the black
stone paving, visit the Santa Prisca church, see the splendid view
from the Monte Taxco Hotel and eat “iguana con mole” in a small
"Fonda". Anyway, it is also true that more and more people, from
Mexico and foreigners, are turning to Guadalajara and Mexico City to
buy good quality silver. I am sure they all are feasible options,
depending on what you are looking for and how much are you willing to
pay. If someone need more about Taxco or any other City
in Mexico I will be more than glad to help from here. By the way, the
workshop in Mexico was a big success. We had 105 participants. An
Industrial Design Professor with a specialty in jewelry gave the wax
carving workshop. We also had other people doing rubber mold cutting,
Diamond cutting, Mass polishing and plating. Miguel Guedelha help us
giving good tips for the mantainance of the Foredom Flex Shaft
Machines, and I was very busy the two days with the casting part. Of
course, I am counting with your valuable support on the next one.
Saludos a todos!
David C. Duhne
Director Tecnico y Comercial
Diamantex S.A. de C.V.