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jackieblue 11-04-02 10:13 AM

Is shopping for diamonds and other gemstones in the Carribbean all it's cracked up to be? We will be spending some time this year in (on?) St. Thomas. Last time we were there I knew far less than I do now. I remember that the prices were for EGL certed diamonds, and that the deals were not as good as I thought they were supposed to be. What about aquamarine? I am just curious about how much high-end shopping I should plan to do. My guess is lots of shopping but little buying. If the only deal is tax and duty, I can always shop out on Canada. Anyone with experience in this area?

Hest88 11-04-02 02:25 PM

Jackie, if you're serious about shopping, then PM Robert James (YourGemologist). He has contacts down there and could tell you who you can actually trust.

jackieblue 11-04-02 02:34 PM

RE : Carribbean Diamonds...
Thanks, Hest88. I will have to do that before we go. It will be a while. :)

merlyn 11-05-02 06:55 PM

In general I would caution against shopping in tourist areas. The problem is that they know that you are there to visit and will not be returning if you are unhappy.

Many of the stores that I do work for have had pieces of jewellery brought in for repait that have been purchased in various islands. Generally, the price that was paid was standard and the workmanship was way below standard making the pieces imposible to repair.

If you can get names of reputable jewellers, so be it. I would still caution against major purchases though.

Sorry to be such a downer on the subject.

:( Merlyn

43facets 11-06-02 03:24 PM

Watches can be a good deal. There are many reputable stores in St. Thomas. H. Stern is one of them. I didn't see anything worth buying in Nassau though. Grand Cayman has a nice store called Kirk's. BUt, buyer beware - and make sure you pick up Absolute Vodka - now that really is a deal. $8.00- St. Thomas $25.00 - VA, USA.

YourGemologist 11-09-02 05:31 AM

I used to live down in the islands. Specifically St. Thomas and St. Maarten.

As a FGA, GG and other stuff, I can tell you that there are some very good deals and some deals to be carefull of....

Colored stones are better in St. Thomas that in most US destinations. Diamonds you can get in the US just as good as in the islands, mainly because the diamonds in the islands come from the states.

Be especially carefull of Diamonds International. These guys are drug dealers and not to be trusted on any island. Just my opinion......

But colored gemstones, beer, rum, ...well you get the point. And don't forget the Cuban ceegars..... ;)

jackieblue 11-09-02 10:29 AM

Be especially carefull of Diamonds International. These guys are drug dealers and not to be trusted on any island. Just my opinion......

Heh...we went there last time we were on St. Thomas. Looked at some diamonds actually. I thought their stones were high. Another master marketer was...hmmm..I want to say Cardow Jewelers?

If you have any specific recommendations of good placed to shop for gemstones on St. Thomas, I'd love to hear them! Hell, restaurant recommendations too. :)

Serlin2 11-25-02 09:14 PM

My fiancee and I stopped into diamond international in Cozumel. I thought their selection was crap-ola. Didn't notice any shifty looking drug dealer types, but it seemed obvious they were focused entirely around selling to tourists with the hopes of never seeing them again. I didn't get a good feeling about buying any kind of jewelry while in the Carib. It just seemed like there were no deals so good that I couldn't get about the same back home (and with continued service to boot).

I'd say be careful about any big purchases when out of your home country.

Just soak up those free rays of sunshine!

addicted 11-26-02 10:44 PM

Dont go to Omni Jewelers...they have stores in St. Maarten and St. Thomas. This is the store that just sold my mom a color change sapphire posing as an alexandrite.

addicted 11-29-02 02:15 PM

it seems that the stone Omni sold my mom was indeed alexandrite and the gemologist who was doing her appraisal made a hasty evaluation. My apologies for badmouthing Omni...it appears that they were true to their word.

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