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When you are on vacation, it is not uncommon to get off the cruise ship or enter a tourist town only to find an enticing row of jewelry stores. Many locales will even boast that they specialize in specific gemstones. It’s hard to resist this type of temptation for most travelers.

Vacationers often want to bring a souvenir from their trip and think they can get a good deal on jewelry purchases outside the United States, particularly when there is an advantageous currency exchange. Our advice is to buy something that you want or like, don’t spend too much money and forget about buying something as a long-term investment. After years of experience with vacation buyers, we must tell you that, more often than not, you can buy a similar piece for an even better price right in your own back yard.


Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Every shop owner wants to make a profit and they know that you won’t be around for more than a day or two. You may be buying a piece that is flawed in some way. And often, you won't be able to discern these imperfections without professional training and specialized equipment.


We also recommend using a credit card for the purchase so you have some recourse in the event that the item was misrepresented. Credit card companies will often “go to bat” for you if they feel there has been any kind of fraud.


When you get back, be sure to verify the value and authenticity of your jewelry purchase. We will be happy to offer you a free verbal appraisal of your purchase or a more detailed written appraisal that can be used for insurance purposes and to confirm the qualities of the piece(s).

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