Shopping - Jewellery & Gold

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The shopping scene in Thailand is as diverse and varied as can be found anywhere, with a vibrant mix from the East, West and Asia leading to products, goods and services from all cultures being readily available.
Thailand is a major centre for the acquisition of jewels and stones and Bangkok is a production centre gaining rapidly in world renown. Pattaya has gold and jewellery shops in every street and shopping centre, the Thai people love to convert their cash into gold pieces to be worn or stored away. There are two huge tourist centres, which give walkthrough tours showing all types of gems and precious stones and how they are mined or obtained. Once finished, there is an impressive display of jewellery and gold pieces for sale to tempt the visitor. Pattaya now hosts a huge jewellery store, which boasts that it is the biggest in the world. The Thailand craftsmen are as accomplished in their trade as any to be found and they can produce exquisite pieces in gold as well as those with the addition of fine jewels such as diamonds, sapphires, ruby etc. The prices of all jewellery will be far lower than comparable pieces in western countries, simply because the wages of the artisans is much lower than those in the west. However, there is no loss in quality or level of craftsmanship.
Basically, one can choose any gold shop when buying pure gold pieces such as rings or chains. Be more selective when buying jewellery pieces containing precious gems such as diamonds or sapphires, use a Tourist Authority of Thailand recommended shop and check out the authenticity of the stone or piece.
Please see the listings for a list of jewellery shops and gold shops in Pattaya. Early historians who had visited the Kingdom wrote about Ayutthaya as the center of gold trading in Asia. These historians also believed there was much gold deposit in Siam (now Thailand). This, according to them, was an open secret among foreign traders and navigators who visited the country during that time. This belief was boosted by the fact that goldsmiths and craftsmen proliferated across the Kingdom.
Because of its early experience in gold, Thailand has been known for its thriving gold jewellery business. Local gold designs are exotic with a touch of Western influence. They have become much sought after by international buyers.
Apart from their exquisite designs, Thai gold jewellery items are popular abroad because they are cheaper. This is not to say, however, that quality-wise it is inferior. In fact, it has created a reputation as among the best in the world. One such proof is that in some countries, gold weight is measured in baht, the local Thai measurement from which the country's currency also got its name. One baht of gold weighs 15.16 grammes. The West measures gold in ounces, one ounce is equivalent to 31.104 grammes.
Gold jewellery is a favourite cottage industry among Thai families. It's easy to understand why: it is a profitable business involving no administrative complication.
One reason local gold products are inexpensive is that the gold price is fixed by the Gold Traders Association. This leaves little room for profiteering by jewellery shops. Besides, competition is so tough that a shop has to have competitive prices to survive in the market.
Another reason for the popularity of Thai gold is its standard quality. A 23-karat is always 96.5% pure gold while 24-karat is always 99.99% pure.
Most shops in Pattaya stake their names and business in the quality of their gold items with the jeweller's logo on them. And they are ready to refund when the items are returned.

A2Z Pattaya - Shopping - Jewellery and Gold, Pattaya, Thailand
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