Originally, there were four main gold shops on the 'Golden Road': Seng Heng Li, Hua Seng Heng, Tung Jin Aeng and Tang To Kang . Now there are more than 130 gold shops with new ones starting up continually on both sides of the road. Most shops are members of the Gold Merchants Association. Gold products here are of high standard and quality; many are hand-made and of beautiful intricacy.
2 shops where you will never be cheated are:
The best way to get to Yaowarat to take the subway to Hualampong and then get
a taxi to Yaowarat (pronounced Yaowaraat). A motorcyle is faster
but more dangerous.
Buying Gold Buddhas
The best place to buy statues of Buddha, Ganash, Rama or other religious paraphanelia is probably Sao Ching Cha (เศวตชิงช้า) in Bangkok.
It is illegal to export gold. This includes 23k gold jewelry, but not 18k gold.
A good place to test gold is the Gems Institute of Thailand, which is one of only 7 laboratories in the world recognized by the International Confederation of Jewelry (CIBJO). They can assay the gold using:
Buying Thai jewelry on the Internet
Finding 23 karat Thai gold on the internet is not easy.There are some companies selling it from Thailand. However as exporting 23 karat gold is illegal, they are breaking the law. Perhaps they don't realize this, or perhaps they don't care. The postal services, such as EMS, DHL and TNT are aware of the law and refuse to handle 23k gold. As they will carry 18k gold, which it is legal to export, and as they are unlikely to assay the pieces, in practise it is possible to use their services.You would have to accept, however, that any pieces sent would be uninsured.Much of the jewelry sold on ebay is fake. A study of certain pieces of "Tiffany" jewelry sold on eBay earlier this year showed that 73% of the jewelry was counterfeit.
Generally Thai goldsmiths
charge a design fee of around $7 per baht of gold although it might
be higher depending on the construction and design. There is not much
scope for bargaining. You might get the price down a dollar for each baht
you buy at most - hardly worth the effort! It is generally better value
to buy at least 1 baht of gold, as there is a minimum charge for the design
To buy a chain and pendant you will probably want at least 2 baht for the chain and one baht for the pendant.
Advantages of Thai gold jewelry
Thai gold jewelry on the other hand, because it is 23k and therefore almost pure gold, does not have this problem.
Farang Gold versus Thai Gold
A poster on an internet message board (now defunct) puts it succinctly:
"It's really very simple.
In Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Pakistan, but generally in Asia gold jewelry is regarded as portable, readily convertible hard assets. This is because it is worked almost pure, between 22K and 24K, actually closer to 24K, and as the labor content (value added by workmanship) is small, gold bracelets and chains etc can be bought for little more than the bullion value, and resold back to the same shop or any other shop, or to a pawnbroker, for a high percentage of its purchase price.
Westerners have been programmed to regard pure gold as:
1. Too brassy
and to regard Asian high-karat gold jewelry as of inferior workmanship compared to Western gold jewelry.
This is part truth and part self serving lies from the jewelry industry.
The Western jewelry industry wants you to buy 18 K (which is 75% gold 25 % base metals) and then pay a HUGE inflated premium for 'workmanship' (which is really just mostly multi-tiered profit taking). For 14K and less the situation is even worse.
To prove to yourself that this is so, try to recover the bullion value of a 14K gold trinket some time. You will end up owing THEM money.
Whereas Thai goldsmiths are happy to take back the real thing and the loss on your side is rather trivial.
The color issue is bogus as Thai gold can be smelted to be about any color, and still be the same high % pure gold; the Thais can and do make 18K and so on for export. Thai gold sold in Thailand is...the color of gold. It is not attacked by nitric acid, or other mineral acids except a particular mix of nitric and hydrocloric acids called aqua regia (royal acid).
So it comes down to a value judgement. Do you want real, almost pure gold for a tiny premium over the bullion content, or do you want to be FLEECED by people selling you ADULTERATED SHIT for NEEDLESS MARKUPS and justifying their thievery with a tissue of lies about hardness, color and workmanship?
I rarely wear jewelry but when I do it's Thai gold and nothing else.
The best shops are on Yaovarat Rd. in Sampeng (Chinatown) and they NEVER cheat on weight or on purity.
Thai gold is typically around 97-98%, not 999 fine but still not garbage like 14K. It is sold by the baht weight which is just slightly under a half a Troy ounce. Pls be aware that the Troy system used for jewelry is NOT the Avoirdupois system used commonly. There are 14 not 16 Troy ounces to the Troy pound and the Troy pound is not same as the Avoirdupois pound. "
Buying gold in Singapore
Nearly every bank in Singapore has a precious metals counter where you can buy and sell coins and bars in various denominations ranging from a few grams to ounce coins to kilogram bars. The downside of buying gold in Singapore is that you have to pay the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which tacks on an additional 5% to the price.
Singapore’s banks have figured out a way around this and are now offering “Gold and Silver" savings account programs that are slightly similar to GoldMoney.com. You can also open an account with a bank like UOB and buy/sell unallocated gold at prevailing market prices (plus a premium). Your account is thus denominated in ‘grams’ instead of dollars. The transactions, as well as your gains, are not subject to Singapore’s GST.
Buying gold in Laos
Gold jewelry in Laos is 99% pure, and may offer an ever better bargain
than that sold in Thailand. The best place to buy it is probably the second
floor of the Morning Market (Talat Sao) situated on orner of Th Lan Xang
and Th Khu Vieng. Despite the name it's actually open until 4 PM or so.
Buying gold in Dubai
You can get the current price of a 5 or 10 tola bar using our precious metal calculator.
The best place to buy gold is probably the Gold Souk ("Souk" is the Arabic word for market), on the Deira side of town near the mouth of the Creek. It is an impressive sight. Rows upon rows of windows are filled with elaborate 24-carat gold necklaces, and throngs of Arab and Indian women clamour for a better view. You will find row upon row of shops with dazzling displays of gold jewellery in every conceivable design and purity: Much of the stuff is geared for Indian tastes (24-carat gold is very yellow), but contemporary European styles can also be found (mainly in the more shiny 22-carat gold), and at fairly reasonable prices. If you wish you can also purchase kilo bars, ten tola bars, small minted bars and gold bullion bars. You buy by weight, and the price of any given bracelet changes twice a day. The quoted price does not include the design fee which varies according to according to shop and style of jewellery.
Gold is certainly cheaper here because you escape the duty and sales tax that is levied in many countries. Though the price difference is minimal in fashion jewellery, you can still save up to 20 per cent, with the quality assured.
The best time to visit the Gold Souk is in the evening after sunset; when most of the tourists will have gone home and your chances of finding a merchant willing to make a deal before he heads home increase dramatically. While credit cards are accepted, you will get a much better deal by paying in cash.
Buying gold in Austria
The ‘Philharmonic’ is produced by the Austrian mint and is one of the most popular coins in the world.
The Philharmonic coin is struck in four sizes at 999.9 weight -- 31.103 grams (1 troy oz), 15.552 grams (.5 troy oz), 7.776 grams (.25 troy oz), and 3.121 grams (.10 troy oz). Each carries legal tender face value of 100 euro, 50 euro, 25 euro, and 10 euro respectively.
The Austrian mint also produces a one troy ounce silver Philharmonic coin, as well as gold bars in 1 gram, 2 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram, 20 gram, 50 gram, 100 gram, 250 gram, 500 gram, and 1000 gram weight.
Philharmonics and gold bars can be purchased at the Austrian Mintís shop in Vienna (Am Heumarkt 1), Innsbruck (Adamgasse 2). Coins and bars cannot be purchased on the mintís website. Also, virtually every bank in Austria sells Philharmonics, usually kept behind the cashierís station near the bank tellers. Larger banks tend to keep more inventory, so if youíre looking to make large purchases, try main branches in the downtown area of Vienna like Bank Austria or Raiffeisen Zentralbank.