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Old 08-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
Sharonstamps
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Bling in Western Caribbean

My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on the Fantasy's Christmas cruise this December. I would like to get an anniversary gift of a bling, bling jewel. I am assuming Grand Cayman is the island to purchase (any opinons) and if so, can anyone tell me which store or share their exerpience? I know I should buy from a store that Disney supports but would appreciate any advice! Thank you!
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Old 08-26-2012, 07:57 PM   #2
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What do you mean by bling? If you mean real stones, buy them at home. There are many horror stories of people buying great deals in the Caribbean, just to get them home, send them for appraisal, and find out the quality isn't nearly what they thought. If you think of it, if the jewels were that much cheaper, then all the North American jewelers would be buying up their inventory to sell back home...which they aren't.
There's a thread below about Diamonds International, one of the big stores plugged by many of the cruise lines.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharonstamps View Post
My husband and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary on the Fantasy's Christmas cruise this December. I would like to get an anniversary gift of a bling, bling jewel. I am assuming Grand Cayman is the island to purchase (any opinons) and if so, can anyone tell me which store or share their exerpience? I know I should buy from a store that Disney supports but would appreciate any advice! Thank you!
I second the PP. If you're looking for real quality stuff, find a jeweler at home that you can go back to if there are problems. I've read many horror stories about purchasing stuff (even from the places that it seems that DCL endorses) that were substantially less quality than they are held out to be. And then, when you find out about it after you return home, it's "so sorry, you left the store with it, no refund".



One note: the shopping consultants onboard the ship are not DCL employees, they are paid by the stores they're pitching.
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #4
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I bought from Diamonds International in Grand Cayman...more than once actually. YOu will not be able to beat the prices you pay in Grand Cayman. They are the wholesaler so you are cuttin gout the retail mark-up.

Tanzanite is big down there and they are beautiful. There are a ton of jewelry stores there and you can bartar with them.

When you go in and start looking you should have an idea in your head of what you want to pay and stick to that number. I have had them follow me out of the store to offer me a better deal.

Good lucking and happy treasure hunting!!!!!
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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I am looking to buy diamonds, not costume jewelry. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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You CAN find great deals and bargains. Not all stores are swindlers. As with any big purchase in life, buyer beware - do your homework before you leave so you know what expectations need to be met. And if the deal is not to be found then come home and do what you want there.

In my recent experience - Grand Cayman is the best port to work with. The sales folks are not as pushy and tend to try to help you find what you want rather than steer you to the items they have to push. It is a nation full of banking and jet setters, so they treat folks better than some of the poorer islands. You may not find the deepest discounts, but that (in my opinion) has more to do with the authenticity of the sales.

Good luck!
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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You may be able good deals, but you need to be an educated buyer.

Do some shopping at home first to see what prices and quality you want. You need to have some basis of comparison to see if you are getting a good deal. Things to research at home: stone cost vs size, color and quality; metal costs vs alloy mix and weight; construction technique and craftsmanship.

You mentioned you wanted diamonds. Get a diamond tester. You can get good handheld battery powered ones for about $40.

In our experience looking for tennis bracelets, we found that the value of the finished products at DI were lower than what we could get at home. The quality of construction was the biggest problem. The settings and links were very poor quality and weak compared to bracelets from reputable jewelry stores at home. The stones were ok, but in the end, the overall value was not there for something we want to last for decades. We talked to our local jeweler about this and they told us we may be able to get good prices down there, but there's a reason why the prices are lower. Make sure you understand what the reasons are before you buy.

I would recommend buying something that is not made there. Buy things like watches or brand-name jewelry (like Chopard). That will take the quality issue away and make it easier to compare costs--no taxes down there!

As for where to go, I agree with a PP about Grand Cayman. Also, if you want to go to DI, don't go to the store at the port, walk down the road to their other DI store by the Atlantis submarines place. The products at the non-port store seems to be nicer and handled by fewer people. Also, all the stuff we were asking about seemed to be at the non-port store and they kept sending someone to fetch it. We ended up just going to non-port store to look for ourselves.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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bling in Grand Cayman

Hi, Everyone has their own opinions and experiences in buying jewelry in the carribean. My daughter and I have bought Diversa jewelry from Effy Jewlers in Grand Cayman. Effy Jewelers home offices are in New York. You can view their lines on their web site. Their customer service is excellent. The diversa line, for instance, is a diamond earing that goes from stud to dangle earrings. The advantage to me has always been the variety available in the carribean. I have never experienced the vast selections at home here in the U.S. If you are comfortable with the price of the item, buy it, if not , don't buy. There are many reputable Jewelers at these ports.
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the advice! I have done some research here at home and have an idea of what I want and the price. I will follow my gut when purchasing and take all your tips into account. Thank you!
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Old 09-22-2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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If you know jewelry, you can get some deals, but as others have reported, there are many horror stories of people being told a stone was one quality when it was actually far less. My favorite was the man who worked in a jewelry store at home....pulled out his loupe and watched the prices fall.

We've bought a couple pieces because we really liked them. For investment or serious money, I'd stick to a reputable store at home.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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Grand Cayman Kirk Freeport You need to do some homework on the designers you are interested in and know about what they sell for in the states. I have gotten good deals on Rolex hubolt and montblanc watches. My wife has gotten good deal on micimodo pearls. Also for a unique gift check out Benard Passman.
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