Looking for that perfect piece of jewellery to complement your recently-bought dress? Well, look no further. Bangkok has long been hailed as a jewellery destination of choice with quality and uniquely designed products offered at competitive prices. With everything ranging from endearing diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls, to affordable gold, silver and a wide variety of beads, you're guaranteed to find something to cater to your sparkling needs and, more importantly, fit your budget.
- Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Tour
- Banyan Tree's Apsara Dinner Cruise
- Vertigo & Moon Bar Rooftop Dining
- Ayutthaya Ancient Capital Tour with River Cruise
- Shangri-La Hotel's Buffet Dinner Cruise
- Bridge on the River Kwai & Historic Railway Tour
- Siam Niramit Dinner Show
- Calypso Bangkok Cabaret Show
- Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise
- Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha Half-Day Tour
All you need to know
An abundance of precious and semi-precious stones and metals, the relative low cost of labour and plenty of skillful craftsmen and designers have contributed to making Thailand a jewellery hub in Asia. Diamonds and rubies are especially sought after. A plethora of locally-manufactured jewellery outlets - both retail and wholesale - can be found on Surawong Road and in the Charoen Krung area on the outskirts of Silom and close to the riverside. The Jewelry Trade Center on Silom Soi 19 offers a massive collection from various shops housed within. Top-end retailers are usually located in major shopping malls like The Emporium, Siam Paragon and Gaysorn and along Sukhumvit Road. If you're short of time, some upmarket hotels often have shopping arcades, but prices may be slightly higher.
Despite the well-publicised jewellery scams, many shoppers still fall victim to unscrupulous con men. To ensure you are dealing with a legitimate company and clinching a deal on authentic merchandise, it is best to visit well-established businesses or trading centres certified by the Jewel Fest Club (see below). Avoid any stranger who poses as a government representative with promises to take you to 'a good place for gems' and a too-good-to-be-true deal. The same applies to taxi or tuk-tuk drivers with similar promises. They are usually collecting commission and the diamonds you bought may not be "forever" after all...
The Jewel Fest Club: the name you can trust
The Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders Association (TGJTA), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and about 100 leading jewellery manufacturers and wholesalers have established the Jewel Fest Club, which aims to offer quality products at reasonable prices and complete with a money-back guarantee.
When you purchase an item of jewellery from a store that is clearly identified as a member of the Jewel Fest Club, your purchase will be duly recorded and a certificate detailing your purchase will be issued. Not only does this certificate of authenticity clearly state the nature and price of your purchase, it also guarantees your refund should you wish to return the purchase, normally a refund of 90 percent within 30 days and 80 percent within 45 days.
It is very crucial that buyers demand the certificate of authenticity with a gem identification report being issued by authorised gemologists from the stores they make the purchase. Also note that, apart from member stores of the Jewel Fest Club, the Thai government an the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) do not own, sponsor, promote, endorse or authorise any other stores in particular.
Gold & Silver
Gold shops selling necklaces, rings and other accessories are omnipresent on the streets of Bangkok. In Thailand, gold jewellery is generally available in 90% purity (22 karat). The prices of gold vary from day to day depending on market fluctuations of the global gold price, and which are quoted in daily newspapers. In addition, there will be a charge for the workmanship, depending on the size, weight and design of the item. These shops will quote the buy/sell price, which is often on display too, and offer a genuine market where a jewellery item can be sold for cash, or traded in for an upgrade to a heavier weight.
Most of the large gold shops are located on Yaowarat Road (Chinatown). If you see a big, colourful sign with Chinese characters on it, it's likely to be what you're looking for. Tourists prefer to buy gold ornaments in Thailand too because of the large choice, excellent workmanship and beautiful designs. Pure gold ornaments are also available in some jewellery shops. Available in a wide variety of designs and at a much lower price, many shoppers opt for silver jewellery rather than gold or diamonds. It's also a given that silverware shopping has fewer risks involved compared to gold or precious stones. Many silverware shops can be found in MBK Centre, Chatuchak Market and on Khaosan Road.