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stillfrantic

Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

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:) Followed closely by emeralds, amethysts, and sapphires. :D

 

So, does anyone have tips, hints suggestions on purchasing these on cruises? Any ports to shop or avoid? Any nice bargains onboard ships? Any scams to be alerted to?

 

So, lets talk stones.:p

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My favorite gemstones are rubies. I like diamonds okay but truly love rubies.

 

 

It is so risky buying costly gemstones while traveling in the Caribbean (or anywhere) where you do not VERY WELL know the jeweler from whom you are buying. The cz's (fakes) are so very good these days, that unless you can truly trust the seller, BUYER BEWARE. Most non-professional buyers cannot recognize a fake from a real stone and many jewelers with a loop have to do chemical tests to be certain.

 

That being said, we have a jeweler friend in St.Thomas we have dealt with for over 15 years and have collected a few pretty pieces.

 

I don't think there are many bargains left in the Caribbean.... not like the "old days" when we first started traveling in the Caribbean.

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Oh rubies! How could I forget those!

 

I too have been leary of purchasing anything but true souviners from places I don't know and especially places I can't really go back to with a return. I read of buying cameras and watches, but resist.

 

I did purchase 2 loose stones while onboard the Disney Magic. I have not had them set yet, but purchased because I really like them and they shared a similar cut shape to a stone I already had in a ring.

 

On HAL, do they sell gemstones on board?

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Where are you going" The beast deals on Diamonds, Rubies and Emeralds, has bee in Jan Jose Costa Rica. The shop where I visit isn't on the regular cruise path. There they guarentee their products. I have had them appraised in the states and they always appraise for a lot more than I paid.

E mail me and I will try to look up the name of the store.

Dick

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Whenever we buy any jewelry in the Caribbean, we always charge it on AmeEx which gives us the "protection" of being able to return it and get refund if the appraisal we get at home from trusted gemologists do not verify the piece to be what it was represented to be.

 

 

That being said, we have never had to return any of the few pieces we have purchased.

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Both Tom and I love to jewery shop in ports. In St Thomas we came Extremely close to upgrading my diamond from my wedding band. But....something did not feel right. We met several people in the shops from various ships that come to St Thomas to do just that. After getting home we were able to get a better stone for a better price with the GIA Certificate and lazer inscribed. I have bought tanzanite in rings, earrings and bracelet with small diamonds around them but for diamonds of larger size and investment of money I would definitely buy at home. Yes, St Thomas is part of the USA but I did not feel any more secure than Cozumel.

 

I like the idea of Rubies, maybe that will be the next stone I start buying. Never say Never when it comes to buying Jewelery. I learned a long time ago that a good vacation is in direct relationship to how much we find to buy and spend money on.:D

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It's a real nightmare trying to find the "best deal" on those islands, most notably St. Thomas. There are so many choices and you have both ends of the jewel spectrem, cheap and expensive with quality also on both ends of sheer crap to really nice pieces. We have found the most trusted, best price and quality is what you will find on the ship's store. Always check them first and if you can beat their deal you will have done your homework. The ship's store will be open until the last night so you have plenty of time to sleep on it but on island buying you grab it and run so you might have 2nd thoughts about it later. The ships are hard to beat and they are backed by their own guarentee. I've seen lots of jewelry you don't find in the States in St. Thomas and then there are some you wouldn't see in the states because it's that bad.

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I personally prefer to buy diamonds in Israel. (My grandmother is actually buying them for me over there) We buy them from jewerlers and people from the former Soviet republics like Uzbekhistan, Armenia etc. They don't have 10000 carates diamonds but are very crafty. I also like red Russian gold over yellow or white Italian or others.

 

 

If you buy anything in Caribbeans use recommended stores...at least you'll get cruiseline warranty.

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Hi Girls!!

 

Finally, a subject really close to my heart! I can really relate to this one.

When we go on our cruise my husband say I set my "shopping goals." In the Caribbean they always include jewelry.

 

In St Thomas (the island named for the Saint of shopping) we have been buying jewelry from the same jeweler for about 8 years. He has even hunted down designer pieces for me. We E-mail ahead and he usually knows what I am looking for before we get there. I have some lovely pieces that I have not seen at home.

 

I have always had my jewelry appraised by my own jeweler, who is AGS certified and he has always validated the value of my purchases. I just love my pieces. I do trade them in and up with ease. I also use his telephone to call my daughter, especially right after she gave birth to Ryan. She said,"Mom, I can't believe they just let you call me. Just how much money did you spend?"

 

Back when I first started buying, I bought a lot of Sapphires. I just loved the blue. I still do. I also bought some tanzinite. I am really attracted to the color.

 

Lately, I've been buying diamonds. I just love the sparkle! I am really enjoying them.

 

Has anyone bought any Bernard Passman pieces? I bought a ring last November when I was in St. Thomas. What is your opinion of his work?

 

A bit OT, but I have been redesigning some jewelry. It's facinating. Have any of you worked with your jeweler in this way?

 

I have also done some diamond shopping in Aruba.

 

I just love to shop for jewelry!!

 

Linda :)

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I love to buy jewelry on my trips. I admit that I steer clear of commodities like unset stones. I really like to find a unique design or material.

The easy example is black pearls from tahiti. But there is beautiful goldwork in higher carats than one normally finds here in Greece and Turkey. The pieces are quite unique. I did get a platinum and diamond necklace in copenhagen..

I dont try and figure whether its the best possible price but rather is it a fair price either less than or equal to what I would pay at home for something similar.

I do find that these pieces of jewelry get more attention than the same old Daniel Yurman type that has become almost as ubiquutous as Thomas Kinkaids at shipboard art auctions !

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Just before our last cruise sailing from Pireaus (Athens), DH sent me roses and on the card he wrote a "coupon". What he wrote was: "The holder of this coupon may redeem same for one 22-24k necklace, bracelet, ring and earrings of their choice. " He knew I adore high karat gold and the color being so different than 18k, it would not match any of the pieces I already owned so he offered the entire "suite".

 

I spent soooo much time picking the very most gorgeous pieces (to my taste) after looking at dozens and dozens. This was about 5 years ago and I love those pieces as much as I am able to love "a thing". Only a person can truly be loved IMO but I sure do enjoy looking at, wearing, owning those special pieces. I very rarely travel with them as I would be very sad to lose them and am sure I could never replace them with similar.

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s7s- its true that these pieces are very unique and special looking. Wow- I just got a necklace ! Guess I will have to pick up the matching set.

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I love to buy jewelry on my trips. I admit that I steer clear of commodities like unset stones. I really like to find a unique design or material.

The easy example is black pearls from tahiti. But there is beautiful goldwork in higher carats than one normally finds here in Greece and Turkey. The pieces are quite unique. I did get a platinum and diamond necklace in copenhagen..

I dont try and figure whether its the best possible price but rather is it a fair price either less than or equal to what I would pay at home for something similar.

I do find that these pieces of jewelry get more attention than the same old Daniel Yurman type that has become almost as ubiquutous as Thomas Kinkaids at shipboard art auctions !

They have Thomas kinkaid art auctions on board? I will be on the statendam could I be so fortunate to possibly bid on a Thomas Kinkaid???

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You can buy Thomas Kinkaid art on QVC. They have shows of his art from time to time and I would imagine there would some of his pieces on their web site.

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Has anyone bought blue diamonds? I see them in the stores. How about other diamonds of different colors like pink or yellow. Sage and I were looking at some canary diamonds in Aruba last December that looked magnificent.

 

Linda

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TRue Canary Diamonds are fabulous and extremely costly and rare. One must be very careful where/from whom one buys that type of rare gem.

 

I remember seeing the most incredible brooch of white and canary diamonds.....a guest at our wedding (going on 35 years ago :) ) was wearing it on her gown and I have never seen the likes of that since. If one is lucky enough to see such beauty of Mother Nature, it is an image not easily forgotten.

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Many cruises ago I purchased an 18K gold watch in Martinique. I was wearing it in the office and reached in a filing cabinet, only to catch it on a suspension holder and tear the bracelet. I sent it back to the factory, but they were unable to restore it to its original condition. I wonder how you can wear higher karat gold and not have problems?

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I think Temple is sarcastic about the Kincaids.... Otherwise she can come to the shopping Mall near me where he has his own store right next to Harry and David.

Sorry about your watch.

I will say that from a functional standpoint, gold in a clasp does not really do the trick for a heavy piece of jewelry, esp on the wrist. And this is just 14 karat. My husband got me a large link gold/inlaid with mabe pearl bracelet. Every time I wear it , the darn thing falls off. I have taken it both to Tiffany and to a local jeweler and gotten it *fixed*.

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I would like to caution everyone to be very careful purchasing jewelry in the Caribbean. There are many reputable stores, but there are those that are not. Please make certain you know what you are looking for and what the comparable price (in the US) would be for the same item. If it seems too good to be true - it definitely IS!

 

I am speaking from a personal experience in St. Thomas, at what we thought to be a reputable firm.

 

My DH bought me a beautiful 4-ct Tanzanite & white gold tennis bracelet one Christmas - I brought it to our local jeweler for minor clasp repair, we were dismayed to learn it was not real Tanzanite.

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I apoligize to anyone who thought I was being sarcastic about the thomas kinkaid. I truely thought how exciting a experience that would be and a painter I truely love. I Live in a very small town, we don't have a mall or thousands of stores. Infact- we have a walmart!! that is it. I drive 60 miles one way to get to anything else. It was truely excitment of learning about something else new on my very first cruise. again I'm sorry:)

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I purchased a tanzanite ring in St. Thomas at Columbian Emeralds. This is a store that HAL recommended and will stand by if you purchase something and its not the real deal. I was amazed to find when I got home and went to my jeweler and found it was valued at almost double what I paid. Needless to say, I am happy. I know some stores are alot higher in their prices, but at least I got what I paid for and then some.

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temple....There is absolutely nothing for you to apologize about nor certainly to explain. Your post was just fine and unless I am missing something, folks were just commenting they have heard of Thomas Kinkaid and know of his art. I don't think there was anything else meant. He is a VERY successful, very popular artist....he must be doing alot of somethings right!!

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How did I miss this thread? Thanks Linda for the head's up. Temple10, they do offer Kincad pieces at the art auctions, and if you have not see them up close, you should go and enjoy. We did indeed see a beautiful canary diamond in Aruba, and it had more papers than my dog and a hefty price tag that went with it. Ryansmemom didn't leave the store empty handed though, and I must say it was a pleasure to watch the hand of a master select diamonds. I have a passion for rubies and emeralds and love to see the wonderful designs that they offer on the islands. Of course you must deal with a reputable store and have done your homework.

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As mentioned before, take caution when shopping in the Caribbean or elsewhere. It's hard to know the real thing from a great imitation unless you are that good at recognizing the difference.

 

In addition to that, I would suggest that if you intend to buy something specific while traveling, then shop in the US (or wherever you are from) prior to your trip. How do you know you are getting a "deal" unless you have done some comparative shopping first? Especially concerning diamonds .... compare Carats, Clarity and Color. At least have a general idea of what you want specifically, because these features make all the difference in pricing no matter where you shop.

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