For Masala Magazine October November 2019 Issue, our managing director’s article, Tarun Gupta, was published. Titled “A Handy Guide to Buying Jewellery in Bangkok,” the article provides a practical guide and questions on how to buy jewellery in Bangkok.
E-magazine version can be seen here: http://masalathaicloud.com/masala/e-magazine/e-magazine-masala-vol2-issue-11-october-november-2019/#p=69
We also provided a full version of our answers shown below:
What are the most important considerations when buying jewellery in Bangkok?
Firstly, avoid the infamous ‘Bangkok Gem Scam’ that occurs in many tourist areas. It is the same old story of a very friendly Thai local or tuk tuk driver telling you about a lucrative, ‘secret’ government scheme. Quality jewellery is not cheap!
Definitely make sure you trust the company or person you are dealing with, and in addition, get a third-party gemological report from a reputable source like GIA. It is very difficult for even an experienced gemologist to check what quality stone was used to make the jewellery, because once a stone is set, it masks important characteristics. GIA will not even provide a gemological report without removing the stone first from the jewellery.
How should a consumer decide whom to purchase jewellery from?
Consumers should look at the reputation of a company, and check that the person they are dealing with is both trustworthy and knowledgeable. Traditionally, a lot of consumers will just trust their friends’ or family’s suggestions, as they assume they have already done a background check. However, personally, I would first verify the company’s credentials and individual qualification.
There are many ways to check if the company you are dealing with is trustworthy. Check if they are a registered company, have been in the business for a long time, have happy customers or testimonials in the past, and are a part of local or global jewellery associations. Also, it helps if you are dealing with are qualified by education through reputable gemological institutions like GIA, or have many years of experience in the diamond or gem trade.
How do your customers choose their stones, and designs?
My customers are actually younger, and more tech-savvy, so they actually already have an idea of what they want before buying from us. With their inspirations, we help custom make their jewellery for them. Sometimes they have just a stone and budget in mind. Taking those as a starting point, we find the best options, locally or in different world markets. We then work on the design with our designer, and send the final 3D CAD to the client for approval. Once approved, the design goes into the final stage of manufacturing.
In our experience, women, are generally more confident jewellery buyers. For them, the look is of utmost importance, as jewelry purchases often come with an emotional tag. Men definitely prefer suggestions. For them it’s more about the societal obligation like the need to buy jewellery for an engagement or wedding. They love a good deal!
Do your clients still buy natural gems with the rise of lab-grown stones?
Yes, our clients always prefer natural gemstones over any lab-grown stones, and consider them good, long-term purchases. In fact, most of them prefer 100% natural gemstones which have not been subject to any level of manmade treatments.
Bangkok is actually the capital for natural gemstone treatments, which confuses consumers about what is ‘actually’ natural or not. Therefore, they make the process simpler by avoiding them completely. This is perhaps the reason why untreated natural gemstones have been going up in value in the last few years.
What stone excites you the most?
A 100% eye-clean, 2.87 carat no oil Vivid green Zambian emerald which I regrettably sold!
What do you love about jewellery?
Jewellery is all about emotions. What I love is that we get to be a part of our clients’ happiest moments, like the engagement, wedding, or anniversaries. Seeing their eyes light up when they wear our jewellery makes the hard work worth it!