The Best Countries to Buy Jewelry: A Guide to Finding Gold, Diamonds, and More


Jewelry is more than just a fashion statement. It can be an investment, a memento, or a symbol of status. But where you buy your jewelry can significantly impact its cost and quality. This guide will explore some of the best countries to buy gold, diamonds, emeralds, and more, and explain why purchasing from specific countries can be cheaper.


1. Dubai: The City of Gold

Dubai, known as the “City of Gold,” is a popular destination for buying gold due to its significantly lower prices compared to many other countries. One key reason behind this affordability is the UAE government’s favorable taxation policy. Unlike many Western countries where taxes can significantly inflate the price of gold, Dubai imposes no VAT on pure gold or gold coins, and only a minimal 5% VAT on making charges for jewelry. This tax-friendly environment makes buying gold in Dubai cheaper and attracts buyers from all over the world.


Furthermore, Dubai boasts a thriving gold market, with the Gold Souk in Deira being one of the most famous gold markets globally. The high volume of trade in this market fosters fierce competition among traders, which usually results in more competitive pricing for the customers. In addition, strong government regulations ensure the purity of the gold sold, offering high-quality gold at relatively low prices. Therefore, whether you’re looking for an investment or a unique piece of jewelry, buying gold cheap in Dubai can be a cost-effective choice.


2. Colombia: The Emerald Empire

Colombia, renowned for its vibrant emeralds, offers an abundance of opportunities to buy these precious gemstones. From high-end stores to local markets, emeralds are widely available across the country. The cities of Bogota and Cartagena are particularly known for their emerald markets. In Bogota, you can explore the city center or ‘emerald row’ for reputable dealers who offer a wide variety of stones. Meanwhile, in Cartagena, areas like the walled city and El Laguito neighborhood are known for a concentration of emerald jewelry stores.


Buying emeralds in Colombia has its advantages. Not only do you get to select from some of the highest-quality emeralds in the world, but the prices can also be quite affordable. For instance, certain Colombian emeralds, depending on their size, could cost around $50 USD. However, it’s important to buy from reputable sources to ensure the authenticity of the gems. Some highly recommended places include the Caribe Museum and Factory store in Cartagena and Muzo Emerald Colombia, known for its commitment to traceability and transparency.


The cost of emeralds in Colombia can be significantly lower than in other countries because you’re buying directly from the source. This eliminates the middleman and allows you to negotiate prices, especially in the local markets.


3. Belgium: The Diamond Capital

Belgium, specifically the city of Antwerp, is renowned as one of the world’s leading centers for diamond trading. Often referred to as the “Diamond Capital of the World,” Antwerp is home to a bustling diamond quarter where about 80% of the world’s rough diamonds pass through. The city is dotted with boutiques selling diamond jewelry, especially around Vestingstraat, Appelmansstraat, and Lange Herentalsestraat near Central Station. This high concentration of diamond trade ensures a wide variety of stones to choose from and competitive pricing.


However, while you can find higher quality diamonds at more affordable prices in Antwerp, it’s essential to approach your purchase with caution. Like any major market, the Antwerp diamond quarter has its share of scams. It’s recommended to do thorough research, seek independent expert advice, and buy from reputable dealers to ensure you’re getting a genuine stone. Online platforms like Belgium Diamonds and James Allen offer certified diamonds and provide useful buying guides, making them a reliable option for those looking to buy diamonds in Belgium.


Purchasing diamonds in Belgium can be cheaper due to the high volume of trade, competitive pricing, and direct access to diamond traders. Plus, the Belgian government strictly regulates the diamond industry, ensuring that you’re buying a conflict-free diamond.


4. Thailand: The Hub of Gemstones

Thailand, especially its capital city Bangkok, is globally recognized for its bustling gemstone market. The city’s districts such as Silom and Bangrak are well-known for their vibrant gemstone trade, offering a wide array of gems including sapphires, rubies, tourmalines, and topaz, among others. The Chanthaburi Gem and Jewelry Traders Association is also a renowned destination for gem enthusiasts, providing a diverse selection of quality gemstones at competitive prices.


While the Thai gemstone market can offer great value, buyers should approach with caution. It is crucial to purchase from reputable and established dealers to ensure the authenticity and quality of the gemstones. Buying gemstones can be complex, particularly in foreign countries, so doing thorough research, asking for certificates of authenticity, and considering an independent appraisal if possible are all recommended steps to take when buying gemstones in Thailand.


Prices in Thailand can be lower because of the high volume of gemstones available and relatively low labor costs. However, it’s essential to buy from reputable dealers to avoid synthetic or treated gemstones.


5. Italy: The Land of Exquisite Craftsmanship

Italy is renowned for its jewelry craftsmanship, with places such as Valenza being particularly known for fine jewelry creation. Valenza is recognized as one of the three major jewelry centers in Italy and is particularly famed for its gemstone jewelry. Italian artisans are adept at creating intricate designs and showcasing unparalleled attention to detail. The jewelry is often handmade, adhering to traditional methods and standards that have been passed down through generations. This commitment to tradition combined with an embrace of innovative techniques results in unique pieces that are both timeless and contemporary.

The soul of Italian jewelry craftsmanship lies in their handmade chains, a family secret incorporated into all designs. These master artisans use ancient artisanal craftsmanship to create exquisite pieces, often using 18ct gold coil cords twisted to perfection. They manufacture gold for one-of-a-kind earrings, bracelets, and other pieces, demonstrating a perfect blend of the latest technology with ancient traditions. Every piece of jewelry made in Italy reflects the country’s rich heritage and commitment to superior quality.


While Italian jewelry might not be the cheapest due to the high quality of its craftsmanship, buying in Italy allows you to acquire unique pieces that combine traditional techniques with modern aesthetics.


In conclusion, buying jewelry abroad can offer significant advantages, from lower prices to unique designs and high-quality craftsmanship. However, it’s crucial to do your research, buy from reputable dealers, and understand the customs regulations when bringing jewelry back home. With the right knowledge, you can find beautiful, valuable pieces that will last a lifetime.


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