Note: Sometimes a tuk-tuk or taxi driver will offer to take you to a “fancy jewelry store” on the way to your desired destination. THIS IS A SCAM. Often they will tell you they can give you a better price if they first take you to a jewelry store. If you purchase, your receipt may show a false address. In my experience I have found the “jewelry stores” that they take me to of fairly low quality, it is often a great waste of time, and lastly the price offered for the transportation is not that much less than it would have been.
JEWELRY SHOPPING – certain parts of Bangkok are well known for their jewelry shopping. In fact Bangkok is home to the world’s largest center for the trade of colored gemstones. There are many many jewelry stores – and to the untrained eye, its often difficult to tell the “real” stones from the fake ones. One of the jewelry store hubs is around the corner of Surasak and Silom Streets with a number of jewelry stores spread out over several blocks on the nearby Mahesak Street. The closest Skytrain stop to this part of town is Surasak (about a 10 minute walk).
BIS Building is located on Mahesak Street – a very short walk from the corner of Silom and Surasak. The BIS Building is home to numerous small often cheap looking jewelry stores, supply stores for the jewelry industry and jewelry manufacturer services. The first floor contains a number of tiny jewelry stands – with jewelers often selling loose-cut stones. Several jewelry stores are located just outside this building including Teeraluck a provider of thousands of pearls (many extremely cheap).
Jewelry Trade Center is a 59-story building located in Bangkok’s primary jewelry district (the Silom/Surasak area). It is the largest location for the buying and selling of jewelry in all of Thailand. This center is also home to the gemological school and contains a gem-testing lab. Numerous vendors sell a variety of gems, uncut stones and jewelry supplies.
Rama Jewelry. We have always had good experiences shopping here and first visited their Silom location in 1996. We have also heard recommendations about Rama’s from professional jewelers who live in the United States. The showroom is somewhat dated and contains a number of glass cases each dedicated to certain types of jewelry (rings, earrings, necklaces, etc). Their jewelers can create custom pieces – but need time to do so (IE generally you cannot walk in and ask for a custom ring to be created that day).
Rama Jewelry has been in business since 1960. Their Silom Showroom is located at 987 Silom Road on the corner of Surasak Road. The staff has always been friendly during our numerous visits. Note, that when you leave Rama’s one of the staff may give you a piece of paper warning about jewelry scams and cautioning against letting locals recommend or take you to jewelry stores. For more information please visit their website: www.ramajewelry.com
Sirima by Pattaya and Phuket World Gems is another very good and reputable jewelry store located in the All Seasons Place. It is run by a Thai woman who makes all the jewelry herself. Located Unit 112 First Floor CRC Tower (Retail Centre) – All Seasons Place 87/2 Wireless Road Lumpini Phone: +66 (02) 685 3839 Phone/Fax:+66 (02) 685 3893. Visit: www.worldgems.co.th