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Gold jewelry at a good price

Lafayette, LA
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77 posts
1 review
Gold jewelry at a good price
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I sincerely want a simple gold band from Florence as a memento of my trip. Someone recommended a "gold shop on the bridge". Now I realize there are many! Can any one recommend one in particular? Price and quality are my two criteria!

Florence, Italy
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1. Re: Gold jewelry at a good price
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The shops on the bridge are really Florence's most expensive jewellery shops. There is a lovely family run goldsmith studio just near the bridge on Via Lambertesca (no. 12 red) called Oro Due. They handmake everything right there in the shop and are very reasonably priced, not to mention lovely people. They price all the jewellery by the weight and can custom make anything for you too.

Definitely do go to the bridge for a good window shop though!

Naples, Florida
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2. Re: Gold jewelry at a good price
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Another goldsmith shop on the same lines as hapagirl mentions is one named G. Calbi on Via Dell'Olmo 1/R. I happened upon it on a walk up to Piazza Michaelangelo. A little hole-in-the-wall kind of place but they make exquisite jewelry right there. You can watch the goldsmith as he works. I bought earrings there that I constantly get comments on.

When you do get a ring, can you tell us about it afterwards? My 25th anniversary is coming up soon and I thinks it's a wonderful idea to buy a ring from Florence!

Pittsboro, North...
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3. Re: Gold jewelry at a good price
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They price it by the weight? That sounds as if they get nothing for their craftsmanship. Or if they do get paid for their work then all pieces come out with the same detail and care. So a plain gold ring of .5 ounces would cost as much as a finely designed and filigreed work of .5 ounces. Or maybe they are running a charity program for tourists needing gold?

Personally, I would not trust a jeweler who claimed to be selling their product just by the weight of the gold, not would I expect it to be good work.

Edited: 9 years ago
Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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4. Re: Gold jewelry at a good price
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Roadgard:

In Europe, most "ordinary" gold and silver is sold by weight. By "ordinary", I mean items like rings, plain chains, and so on. This may not be the custom where you come from, but it's how things are done there.

Obviously, elaborate "one-off" items will have an extra cost for the work involved.

Florence, Italy
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roadgard, it's fairly normal practice for Florentine goldsmiths to price by the weight of the gold, this is a tradition that goes back to the Renaissance here in Florence and not a lot has changed since then actually, but craftsmanship is definitely taken very seriously by contemporary goldsmiths (in the Renaissance they actually had guards who would regularly go around for "quality control" - the death penalty was at stake for those not meeting standards!).

Another very interesting place to check out is the Casa del Orafo (which means the "goldsmith's house", it's just next to the Ponte Vecchio above the restaurant Buca del Orafo), a historic labyrinth of rooms and stairs and studios where a dozen or so goldsmiths have their studios and work away - they're not exactly shops but you can walk through and see them at work, or buy directly from them. Many of them sell their works on the Ponte Vecchio where you would pay significantly more for the same things that you can directly from them in their little studios. It's a fascinating place!

Edited: 9 years ago
Sydney, Australia
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One further thought. The price per gram when jewellers sell gold is quite a bit more than they pay when they buy it.

Pittsboro, North...
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I understand and take your point.

It may be that plain uncrafted jewelry is sold by weight in some shops, however,

I abide by the logic I have previously stated.

If one does not see or appreciate a distinction in two pieces of jewelry,then it doesn't matter what one pays for it.

Edited: 9 years ago
Lafayette, LA
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77 posts
1 review
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Many thanks for the useful suggestions. I will definitely let you know what we find in beautiful Florence!

Lafayette, LA
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77 posts
1 review
9. Re: Gold jewelry at a good price
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Whoops - I forgot to ask the normal times that these shops are open? Would hate to miss out due to a closing time.

Chorley, United...
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for Venice
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10. Re: Gold jewelry at a good price
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Certainly in the UK and I suspect elsewhere both gold and silver items all have an underlying "scrap" value which is the price you would obtain per ounce/gram for melting down. This is a lot less than the jeweller (my son for instance) will pay for gold/silver sheet, bar or rod from which fine jewellery is then constructed. My son doubles the price of the material he has used for a piece if he sells it to a wholesaler who then adds 50% before passing it to the jewellery shop who then adds at least 100%, generally more. So when you see a jewellery shop offering a 50% discount for whatever reason, they are stioll not selling the item at a loss.

You can see why my son almost entirely works on commission directly for a client. The client pays a lower price, my son obtains a greater profit.

So beware of jewellery shops, buy direct from the craftsman if you can. Vicenza is a good place to look for gold and silver at keen prices in Italy as it is the centre for a lot of manufacturing.