Hi, anyone got any tips for buying silver jewellry in Goa??
Beware of the 925 mark being mentioned as a guarantee of the purity of the silver. It is not and the mark itself is meaningless. In the UK, an item can only be described as sterling silver (unless it weighs less than 7.78 grams) if it has an Assay Office hallmark.
The quality of silver varies ion India so best to buy something you like the look of for it's look rather than the quality of the metal! I have bought, over the years, some rather nice, and very reasonably priced, pieces of silver jewellery there, often as presents. There are some quite funky designs too, set with semi precious or simulated stones. Similar items in the UK cost more, butit he metal is guaranteed. A good jewellery shop will be quite upfront about simulated stones - it's just finding that good shop that can sometimes be the problem!
Many of the designs you see will be on sale at different shops (none of it is made in Goa, usually made I the far north of India) so don't buy at the first place. See what price you can get, then take a look around elsewhere. Unlikely that you will miss out on what you first saw since, despite the patter which suggests that the salesperson designed that particular item and it is a total one-off, there will be others!)
Some of the Tibetan silver is really nice too (same warnings apply about the imtegrity of the metal). The designs are often bold with large statement stones, probably not for delicate petites, but good for us not so delicates!
The amount of silver jewellery can be quite overwhelming, making it difficult to choose.
Another word of warning, I don't think the workmanship is all that good for the silver jewellery. Different sized stones are set into pro-forma rings, pendants, bracelets etc and the stones are often loose. Check carefully before buying. I always check carefully, yet have 2 things to take back this year - a large star ruby in a ring wobbles around like crazy and a moonstone fell out of another ring!
Londonraffles - is the Tibetan market still in Calangute? I bought really nice silver jewellery there many years ago and would love to buy some more when we go back in Feb.
Thanks in advance :o)
Sorry, Mutzy, I don't know the answer to that as I have ionle ever been in Calamgute once, for about half an hour! However, there are many Tibetans throughout India who sell Tibetan goods, especially in tourist areas so you are bound to find a shop in Calangute or Candolim (ask around when you get there). At the risk of generalising here, I have found the Tibetans to be very gentle and not at all pushy as sales people; I have alao found prices to be fair. Some of the jewellery looks a bit dusty and the silver can be in need of a polish, but don't let that put you off. Ask them to demonstrate a 'singing bowl' while you're there and watch the water bubble too!
Hi Mutzy yes the market is still there, i found last year that the prices had risen a lot, also they were not prepared to haggle at all, they were asking for a much higher price for a pair of earrings that i could have bought cheaper here in the uk,Saying that i bought a lovely 100 gym silver bracelet at what i thought was a good price. there are a few Tibetan markets in the north, i can't help with were they are as we travel from the south and just ask our taxi driver to take us to them, i am sure someone will be able to tell you were they are, i think there is one on the Baga road but not sure. Hope this helps a little. :-)) GelEdited: 11:08 am, September 23, 2012
Thanks Londonraffles and Gel, I have always found the Tibetans to be lovely and shopping in their market was always a calming experience, even the Hubby enjoyed it and he hates shopping! He still wears his gorgeous silver chain that he bought from them 14 years ago! :o)
And I will ask them about the singing bowl!Edited: 11:50 am, September 23, 2012
Your very welcome and happy shopping lol :-)) Gel
I too have a silver chain that I bought at the Tibetan market on our fist visit to Goa about 12 years ago, I wear it day in, day out and just give it a polish every now and again. It weighs 70 grammes (just stuck it on my kitchen scales) and still looks as good today as when I bought it. Can't remember exactly how much I paid for it but I can remember there wasn't much haggling involved as they wouldn't budge very much on the price. Going back in December after a break of 7 years and I dare say I will visit the market again.
There's a good Tibetan silver shop in Beach Road, Candolim, on the left if you're heading seawards. All of the above applies regards friendliness, ability to browse without hassle and, of course, spoilt for choice. Personally, I don't care if the silver isn't high quality... I like what I like and get it anyway. Up to now, nothing I've bought in Goa has fallen to pieces, which is more than I can say for some costume earrings I recently bought from a popular 'designer discount' website - the first time I wore them, I knocked the 'lapis' stone out of the left one with the phone, and when I took them both off the right one fell out too! I'll buy my 'junk jewellery' in Goa in future!
the Tibetans,who used to be good for getting bargains from now most definatly are not,everything starts off well overpriced and even after much haggling,you wont get a good price,better to look for the same stuff in an indians place it will always be cheaper to start with and you can still haggle it down,as was said before it is all bought in,not made by them,and lastly Tibetan silver is not realy silver,some has some silver content,,,,,,,,,as an aside if you look on e.bay the chinese sites(just type in things like dragon bracelet or something)you will see all the things sold by the Tibetans in goa for pennies
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