My hubby and I are leaving on the Sun Princess April 7, 2006, for 10 day eastern Carib. to celebrate our 15 anniversary. Does anyone have advice about buying high ticket items there , such as jewelery or is it better to buy that closer to home? We dont want to get riped off thinking what we are buying is a deal only to find its not the quality we thought.Please help!!!!
BTW, St. Thomas is an excellent place to buy high ticket items of jewelry even as St. Maarten.
But your custom can make problems, so many people prefer to buy a gemstone and take it home, without paying taxes and bring the stone to their jeweller at home and he makes a piece of jewelry they want.
My tanzanite ring I bought earlier this year in St. Thomas appraised for over twice what I paid for it. My earrings I bought in St. Maarten were almost triple what I paid for them. Plus I don't see the depth of color they have in the Caribbean at local stores.
Take a taxi to Main Street in St. Thomas and it's lined with jewelry stores. St. Maarten is also full of jewelry stores.
They don't expect you to pay the sticker price. Haggle nicely and you'll get a really good price.
I don't know much about customs but it's critical you keep all receipts. I know others have written that if you buy unset gems, they count as stones, not jewelry.
Iīve bought my ring in Key West, because it was love at first sight and paid 1/3 of the ticked price. For my diamond hoop earrings we paid about 50 % less than the ticked price. And in St. Maarten we bought a Rado watch for my husband, a reversible omeganecklace and a diamond pendant together in the same store and paid also half of the price, they asked on the stickers.
All these stores were family owned stores and it was great to haggle with them, even when it took in St. Maarten about one hour.
And Marian is right, we never saw such beautiful colors of Tanzanite somewhere else. But be careful, they can be heated to get this deep color. But it has to be declared in the certificate when the stone is heated.
Can the same deals be gotten on diamond rings as other gems, and how do we know the diamond is as good as beeing told? I want to be sure I'm gettin my $2000.00 worth. It's not like buying it at a jeweler around home to be returned if not up to standards. Also,is it a better deal on loose diamonds or set ones?
Hi....I've got some great advice for you on jewelry shopping! 10 years ago on our Honeymoon cruise to the Southern Caribbean we met a couple on our flight out of our hometown who was going on the same cruise and told us about this Jeweler in St. Thomas. His name is Harry and he owns Nita's Jewelry. It's located in Drakes Passage in downtown St. Thomas. Well, we got there and they had this huge welcome sign for this couple we had met and all their 'friends'. Harry and his family were super nice and we got great deals on jewelry. As luck would have it his son runs the other family business on Front St. in St. Maarten. That one is called Royal Jewelers. Our cruise stopped there too so we were lucky enough to visit there as well. 2 years later we visited St. Thomas again and of course paid a visit to Harry for more jewelry. We have even purchased jewelry from him while here at home in Pennsylvania. After 10 years we still hear from Harry and the couple who introduced us to him. We are cruising again in March 2006 and have already informed him of our next visit. Tell him the Parry's from Scranton, Pa sent you!!
Here is their website:http://www.nitaroyal.com/index.html
Royal Caribbean Monarch of The Seas Southern Caribbean 10/27/1996
Yes, I think I can offer some sound advice. Most jewelry shops pay folks finders fees or referral fees for business sent their way. They know that the very best advertising is word of mouth, so they generally recruit people to market their stores for a cut of the profits. Their pitch always ends with "Tell them (their name) sent you".
Advice #1, take third party endorsements for what they are...paid for advertising and nothing else.
Ditto for the Ship's recommended stores. By walking into a store with the ship's logo stuck on your clothing and identifying yourself as a cruise passenger, the only thing tht you have accomplished is cut the ship in for some of the action.
Advice #2, Avoid being identified as a cruise passenger at all cost if you are serious about buying some expensive jewelry.
There are several threads on this board regarding Diamonds International. Do a search to find them.
Advice #3, Avoid buying anything from Diamonds International.
Finally, I have a friend that is in charge of International marketing for the GIA. The GIA grades diamonds for world-wide markets and is considered the end all for diamond certification. Her advice...find a local gemologist that knows what they are doing and stick with them. Forget about finding a "bargain" in a cruise port unless you know exactly what you are buying and have the ability to grade gem stones yourself.
Thanx for the advice -- I have so many notes
We will be cruising on the Caribbean Princess Jan 14 w/first stop being St Thomas & 2nd being St Maarten. I have been told on more than one occassion that it is better jewellery shopping in St Maarten w/better prices. Did u find this to be true ???
and then look at the site the gemmologist CaribbeanBlue has published. They publish on their website recommend stores.
But as Tom said, avoid Diamond International and also Tanzanite International.
We bought Dimanond Hoops in St. Thomas and a diamond pendant in St. Maarten. So both islands had really good prices.
But you have to inform yourself before you go on the cruise, about prices, about cuts, and, and, and...
One tip from me, how smaller the diamond is, the quality is not that important. You canīt see the inclusions with your eyes.
If you will buy a diamond from about 1 carat or more, it can be SI quality (small inclusions). But never buy a diamond with exactly 1 carat or two carat, they are much more expensive than a 1,05 or 2,17 carat.
Good luck, Marita