Picking up the perfect gem while you’re on your travels means you can take something home with you that’s unique, different from anything you could find at home – and of course, a great souvenir from your trip! But where are the best places in the world to find stunning jewels? Here are the top five places to pick up jewellery on your travels…
Gems and rubies in the streets of Bangkok
One of the biggest jewellery hubs in all of Asia, Bangkok is home to some of the most skilled jewelers in the world, as well as a huge and varied collection of rubies, sapphires and other precious coloured stones. For travellers, that makes the city a sparkling hub for picking up some stunning pieces – and at competitive prices, too. Head to the Silom district of Bangkok, the long-standing home of jewellery in the city, which boasts the Jewellery Trade Centre complete with stores and booths overflowing with finished goods and loose stones.
Chunky silver in the souks of Marrakech
The markets of Marrakech are a virtual treasure trove of jewels – especially the city’s chaotic, bustling souks. Jewellery stores line the streets of these marketplaces, many with necklaces, bracelets, earrings and headpieces decorating their walls or carefully pinned in glass cabinets. Silver is the classic metal to buy in the city, particularly because silver is believed to have special protective powers to ward off evil. You can pick up both modern pieces as well as some more antique jewellery, if you’re willing to hunt around.
Emeralds in the markets of Jaipur
It’s famous the world over for its gorgeous gems. And if it’s emeralds in particular that make you green with envy, then look no further than the vibrant, colourful Indian city of Jaipur, where these jewels are legendary. The Rajasthani city has markets teeming with authentic emeralds (and a few fakes, so watch out), and you can choose whether you’d like them set in handmade or machine-made jewellery, depending on your taste.
Antique gold in the bazaars of Istanbul
From historic Ottoman necklaces that you’d more expect to find in a museum, to contemporary, state-of-the-art fashion pieces made of gold, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has streets devoted to all the jewellery a traveller can dream of. Some of the best streets to head for include Nuruosmaniye Caddesi, and some of the side streets off Nuruosmaniye. Both of these areas are lined with jewellery shops, where holidaymakers will be sure to pick up some fantastic bargains – especially if you’re not against some bartering!
Chunky handmade jewels in Cyprus
The markets in Northern Cyprus are some of the most famous in the world for the authentic craftsmanship of their goods, overflowing with everything from ceramics to glassware to contemporary jewellery. Nicosia and Kyrenia are two of the cities with the best-stocked markets, and you’ll easily find some gorgeous reminders of your holidays in these bustling bazaars. Or explore some hidden gems in small villages like Lefkara.
Have you picked up some hidden gems on your travels at destinations we’ve missed out? Let us know where you’ve found your favourite jewellery around the world, whether it’s precious or cheap’n’cheerful!