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Thailand jewelry attractions

Where to buy gems/see beautiful jewelry in Thailand

This fall my husband and I are traveling to Thailand. We will spend
3.5 days in Bangkok, a day in Ayutthaya, with short stops in Lopburi
and Phitsanulok. We will stay two days in Sukhothai, and three days
each in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai.

Can you recommend places to buy gemstones or just look at beautiful
Thai jewelry while we are there.

Valerie Heck Esmont

Valerie, In Bangkok there is no shortage of shops selling gems and
jewelry. Many are located in the Silom area and along Charoen Krung
( see one of the many Bangkok city guides. I recommend any one of
several Lonely Planet guides). Beware, however. In the tourist areas
you may be approached by a friendly, well dressed Thai, speaking
excellent English.

In the ensuing conversation it just happens this person has some sort
of special access to a shop where they have a really good sale on
gems. If you wish to experience a small adventure, you can go with
him/her to this place where you will be subjected to a very enticing
sales pitch. It’s all a scam. Experience it if you wish, just don’t
open you wallet! You may also be interested in seeing, perhaps
buying, some of the high karat jewelry from one of the gold shops.
Chinatown is the place to go for that, although there are gold shops
all over town. Compared with prices for gold jewelry in the States,
the pieces there are a real bargain. Sounds like you are going to be
on a tour and may not have much freedom to explore. However if you
can cut loose when you are in Northern Thailand, a trip from Chiang
Mai to the Thai/Burmese border town of Mae Sot and a day spent at the
gem market there would be something to write home about.

Jerry in Kodiak

Unless you are a gemologist and have all the necessary testing
equipment BEWARE when buying expensive gems or indeed any gems. That
goes for many countries. I just have to tell prospective customers
the bad news when they return to Australia, or repair their broken
jewellery. There is beautiful silver to be had and a lot of very
ordinary silver with very ‘ordinary’ stones. Have fun. Caveat
emptor, buyer beware.

David Cruickshank