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[Source] [Bangkok] Retailer of Ruby & Saphire Jewelry


#1

I received an email from my uncle today asking me advice on where &
who to buy gold & precious gemstone jewelry from in Bangkok; it
seems he is traveling to Bangkok in a month, and since I buy jewelry
in Bangkok he understandably thought I’d be a good person to ask for
advice & direction. The only problem is this: I’m in the silver &
semiprecious gemstone business & don’t know the first thing about
precious stones EXCEPT that I have no business buying them! As such,
I can’t point him in the right direction or recommend any particular
retailers / dealers, but I’m guessing that someone on this board
will be able to help me help him.

As I understand it, he wants to buy some ruby or saphire (those are
the stones one should buy in Bangkok, no?) jewelry for his wife &
perhaps daughter, too. Though fairly savvy & well-traveled, my uncle
doesn’t know the first thing about gemstones–how to identify natural
stones versus synthetics stones versus enhanced stones or the price
he should pay for any of them.

Is there a reputable dealer / wholesaler / retailer in Bangkok that
you would recommend he visit? When the person tells him the price,
what’s a reasonabe price to try & negotiate down to–50% off, 25%
off, or what?

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Doug


#2

I’m probably going to get shot down on this from some of our overseas
members but I’m going to give the advice that I give to all of my
customers who come in and ask this same question. When you aren’t in
the trade and you are going overseas to someplace like Bangkok buy
anything you want as long as it’s UNDER $100. Why do I say this?
Because 1) once you leave the country you have no recourse and 2)
because there are so many scams, treatments, synthetics, etc. being
sold today that it isn’t worth getting taken on something when (see
#1 above) you have no recourse. Even reputable firms overseas often
sell something they didn’t realize wasn’t what it was purported to be
and then you’re still stuck with problem #1–you have no recourse.
Over my 20 plus years in the retail business I have seen more people
come home from trips with junk they got ripped off on than most
people would believe. Stones that were synthetics, stones that were
dyed (and the dye leached out when they were cleaned), stones that
were sold as fine gems but were opaque, and I even had a woman who
went to her wealthy fiancee’s family jewelry store (that they had
been frequenting for over 50 years) and ended up with one diamond and
one CZ in a pair of “diamond” studs. I had one customer get suckered
on a trip to Thailand. He was approached by two separate sets of
"foreigners" (not Thais) who told him how he just HAD to go see the
stones at a state sponsored store. Once in there, they hustled him on
buying over $5000 worth of 2-4 ct. sapphires which they swore to him
he could resell for 5 to 10 times the price in the states. When he
brought them in to show me (and try to sell them to me–and mind you
I had given him the same advice I give in this message before he
went) I had a hard time not laughing. He had a bunch of sapphires
that were so ugly nobody in this country would give him $500 for the
whole lot (and that would assume he could even find someone who
wanted them). So go overseas, spend money on fun things but if you’re
looking to invest in some jewelry do it somewhere you live.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
@Daniel_R_Spirer
www.spirerjewelers.com


#3

Excellent advice Daniel–I couldn’t agree more! IMHO the risk-reward
ratio suggests that it’s not worth it.

However, everyone wants to save money, & I guess it’s more romantic
/ sexy to tell your friends that you bought this ruby &/or saphire
jewelry while on vacation in Bangkok than @ the mall.

Yours is the EXACT same advice I give people who ask ME this
question AND the same advice I already gave my uncle, but nonetheless
I told him I’d look into, so thus the reason for posting this
question.

Doug


#4
He was approached by two separate sets of "foreigners" (not Thais)
who told him how he just HAD to go see the stones at a state
sponsored store. Once in there, they hustled him on buying over
$5000 worth of 2-4 ct. sapphires which they swore to him he could
resell for 5 to 10 times the price in the states.

I think you forgot to say that the “foreigners” got a kickback from
the seller I have also had people come in my store the same way. They
thought they had a diamond mine, and all they got was the shaft. I
have seen people buy opals in Australia from the “miner” for far
more than I would sell one to them here for. Have you seen the
diamonds from Mexico, white sapphires?

Richard Hart


#5
I'm probably going to get shot down on this from some of our
overseas members but I'm going to give the advice that I give to
all of my customers who come in and ask this same question. When
you aren't in the trade and you are going overseas to someplace
like Bangkok buy anything you want as long as it's UNDER $100. 

Brings to mind a recent experience…

Have a friend who deals stones and not so long ago asked me about
interest in some green color apatite…He had ben offered a parcel
to buy from an overseas source…

I told him “Sure”…

He gets the parcel in and starts to sorting it, but discovers some
of the inclusions look funny…does an RI…hits it with a UV
light…

Mails me that there’s something funny about this apatite…maybe
it’s flourite…

I says…stick it between the polarizers (one of my Q&D’s)…sure
enough…it’s single refracting… With the other stuff…A
scratch test with another apatite…he was frustrated at that
point… It’s definitely flourite…

Asked him how he got took…He replies has been dealing with his
source for over 20 years…and the source assumed his source was
correct…

He did resolve the issue…

MY point being…even when one is “sure”…stuff happens…

I did get a couple of pieces of this eventually…

Nice looking tealy(?)-green faceted flourite, BTW…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


#6
I'm probably going to get shot down on this from some of our
overseas members but... 

Well, Daniel, I don’t know what anyone else will say, but your advice
is exactly what I guessed would be the situation. Unfortunately,
there are unscrupulous people everywhere, who can see a sucker coming
a mile away. It doesn’t make sense to buy something you aren’t
knowledgable about from a vendor you don’t know in a situation you
can’t return to. It’s all too easy to get ripped off at a gem show in
your home town! (voice of experience…)

Noel


#7

Daniel

I'm probably going to get shot down on this from some of our
overseas members but I'm going to give the advice that I give to
all of my customers who come in and ask this same question. When
you aren't in the trade and you are going overseas to someplace
like Bangkok buy anything you want as long as it's UNDER $100.

Well, I’m not going to pull the trigger on you. When asked the same
question, I normally tell my customers not to buy for any amount they
could not afford to loose. Also I have seen people coming home with
bunches of low value stones not worth ten or some times not even one
per cent of what they payed. I have also seen “gold” rings,
bracelets, and necklaces executed in very poor craftmanship and
bought for slightly under the gold price, nicely stamped with "750"
and with no or an unreadable maker’s stamp, which upon examination
shows up to be gold plated or at the best gold filled. So don’t
spend more money on things like that than you could afford to loose,
at least not in “3rd world countries”.

Niels Lovschal
Contemporary and Viking Age Jewellery
Classes in Jewellery Techniques
Bornholm, Denmark