Funny thought on gold and gold jewerly. I always had the notion

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  1. #1 Feb 16, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
    that gold is gold, and 14k is just as good as 18k, without the hefty price tag.

    About a year ago, I had a chance to go to Dubai for 1 month, and spent quite some time in the Gold Souk.

    Wow, what an experience! I have never seen so much gold, so casually displayed. Do a search on "gold souk" on Google Image, you will see what I mean. There were just racks and racks and racks of gold jewelry in the hundreds of stores lining the streets in Gold Souk. And there were absolutely no security guard in sight (none of those Tiffanys, we think we are the Secret Service tpye sercurity guards, lol). A lot of times, the stores would be completely unmanned for a few minutes if the sales person went to the back to get something.

    It was also interesting how gold was sold. There were no prices on tags, only the weight of the gold pieces. Each store had a list of gold prices based on the current gold market price + a % of markup (more for hand made pieces, less for machines made pieces). So people would check the gold market to see if it was a good day or week to shop.

    At the time I was there, 18k gold, machine made pieces, was around $22 / gram. So I paid $160 for a 18k gold bangle that would have cost at least $500 in the U.S. And you could bargain in all the gold shops, even the large chain stores, which added to the fun.

    Another interesting thing was gold stores specialized in the type of gold they sold. Majority of stores, especially what you would consider high-end ones, only sold 24k gold and 22k gold. All the traditional Middle Eastern gold jewelry were only made in 22k gold, and locals would only buy 22k or higher.

    18k was the lowest grade of gold sold in Dubai. They were mainly sold in large chain stores located in malls or hotels. A sales person told me they used to not sell any 18k gold, because no locals would buy them. But when tourism started to pick up 20 years ago, stores started to imported 18k from Italy to sell to the tourists.

    Now, I must say, after my visit to Dubai, I have a whole new appreciation for gold, especially 18k yellow gold. I really love the richness and the luster of the metal, and my small collection of YG jewerly is slowly but surely growing.

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  2. Wow, that's a very interesting experience that you had! I definitely would have the time of my life shopping for gold if I was ever lucky enough to go to're very lucky!
  3. Thanks for sharing and now I want to go to Dubai. A bangle for $160!!!! That's incredible.
  4. buying gold in the Middle East is definitely a different experience than buying in the USA. Syria has a similar souk..I've been there, it's overwhelming.. and you are right.. 14K is a Western preference.
  5. #5 Feb 16, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
    Must have been a fun experience.

    I grew up in Asia so I'm used to 22k and 24k gold. I currently live in Switzerland and they mainly sell 18k gold jewelry in the shops ... you won't find 14k as it's not considered good-quality gold here.
  6. It is an experience isn't it?

    I'm Asian so it is not uncommon to have your gold jewellery weighted before you know the final price. 18k is the minimum for gold jewellery with us as well. Although you will see more and more Asians sporting platimum or white gold.
  7. wowowowow!! i would love to visit a market like that... i have one ring that's 24k that i got on ebay.... i would love to add more, i find i really like the deep rich of pure gold.
  8. Wow! That photo looks intense. I'd love to visit one day!!
  9. This is so true. When we went to Dubai a couple of years ago, I was so shocked with all the gold I've seen and very good price too. How I wish I can go back.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing this story and information! I would sure love to go shopping there!
  11. Thanks for sharing, this is so interesting!
  12. Booking my ticket to Dubai!!!! LOL
  13. Wow. I LOVE yg jewellery (looks really nice with my skin - silver and wg less so). But it is SO EXPENSIVE here in Australia which is STUPID because we have a lot of gold which we export. I am going to book a ticket to Dubai as soon as I have the $$$... Wow! Thanks for sharing :biggrin:
  14. I need to plan a trip to Dubai!

    In Mexico they use 18KT gold so my mother always told me never buy 18KT because all my grandmother's jewelry is 18KT from Mexico. In the UK they use 10KT. Portugal uses 19KT and Spain and Italy 18KT. It is so interesting how countries have different standards.
  15. I have been to Dubai 3 times. I only got back from my last visit yesterday. Each time I bought an item or two.

    The first year I bought a necklace and pendant. The pendant is a circle with a clover in the middle. It is yellow gold but the clover is rose gold on one side and white gold on the other side. I wear it most days. I paid £160 for it and had it valued recently at £750 (gold prices have gone up since then)

    Second year I bought a white gold ring with rubies and diamonds. It has been valued at three times what I paid for it. I also bought some earrings that sort of match my pendant. They have a bit of rose and white gold on them.

    This year I bought a bracelet, which is yellow gold but has a little white gold on. It cost just over £300 but has quite big links. I also bought some flower design diamond studs which are .8 of a carat.

    I love, love, love the jewellery in Dubai. The gold souk is amazing and haggling is fun. Gold is expensive nowadays so although cheaper than other countries it is still expensive. They also have a Gold and Diamond Park which is like an indoor mall. Image a mall just with jewellery shops that all want your business!

    I would highly recommend a visit. It truly is an experience. Like the OP, I now have an admiration for yellow gold. I mix it a little with white gold and I think makes the yellow look even better.