Jewelry expert Scott Bohall examines whether buying jewelry on vacation is a good deal

Tourists, Beware! 

Jewelry expert Scott Bohall examines whether buying jewelry on vacation is a good deal.

Many folks from Arizona escape the summer heat and head for a cruise or a beach. Whether it’s the umbrella drinks or the vacation mindset, people frequently return with some sort of bauble. Before you fall prey to tourist pricing and usually below-average quality, there’re seven things to keep in mind prior to the trip.

  1. Don’t fall for the lure of duty free. In most cases, the duty you save will pale in comparison to what you overpaid for the same item sold in your home city.
  2. Ask where something is made. There’s no reason to buy something made in India, China, or Thailand while visiting St. Thomas. Tanzanite can be purchased in Phoenix for usually half of what the island price is.
  3. The diamond park in Arkansas really does have diamonds you can mine, but much like panning for gold, the money is in the amount of people who pay and don’t find anything. (One large diamond was found there a few years ago, though!)
  4. The stores that the ship “recommends” have a contract with your cruise line to send you to them. They both make good money on you.
  5. Just because you’re in Tahiti and the pearls are farmed there, the price often isn’t a great one. Usually, you can buy a Tahitian pearl right at home for around half the price of the one sold on the island.
  6. Once outside the United States, certificates and appraisals mean nothing. Even your credit card company can have trouble helping you if you didn’t get what was promised.
  7. Don’t fall prey to “sales” that happen to be on when you’re in port. If you have a relationship with your jeweler, you can call to see if something is really a good deal or just a phony discount.

Remember, if you don’t know jewelry, know your jeweler.




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