Jewelry shops

I sell designer jewelry at an upscale specialty store in Las Vegas, Nevada, and consider myself a worldwide consummate shopper. Here are my favorite places to do jewelry shopping.

In Beijing, China, I go to the Silk Market at the corner of Jiangiomennei Dajie and Dongdaqiao Lu. The building has five floors of merchandise, the fifth floor devoted entirely to jewelry. The prices are incredible to begin with, and they expect you to bargain with them. They would rather sell it for practically nothing than have a customer walk away empty-handed.

• While in Beijing in November ’05, we stayed at the Great Wall Sheraton (10 North Dong San Huan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100026 China; phone [86][10] 6590 5566, fax [86][10] 6590 5398). On the sidewalk outside the hotel, artisans from Tibet sell their jewelry every night. The women are quite pretty and shy, so they let the men do the haggling over very unique pieces, which are very inexpensive.

• My most favorite shop is in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s shop no. 246 at the River City Shopping Complex (23 Trok Rongamkaeng, Yota Rd, Bangkok 10110, Thailand; phone 66 2 639 6044). The jewelry is unique and well made, with semiprecious stones; these are one-of-a-kind pieces.

The owner/designer is Jaana Kopra, a delightful lady from Finland. She won’t come down on her prices like the Thai people do, but her prices are still better than what the items would sell for in the States. After checking into a hotel in Bangkok, River City is my first stop on my trip. I was last there in December ’05, and I’ll be going back in November of this year, on our way to Burma, just to have Jaana repair one of her necklaces (after five years of use), which she does free of charge.

• As a side note to June L. Griffin, who wrote in the March issue about faux amber, calling it resin — amber is fossilized tree resin, and the best way to test its authenticity is to take a tiny piece of paper, preferably tissue paper, rub it on your skin to build a charge and then place it on the piece of amber. If it is good amber, it should adhere to it.

Las Vegas, NV