It is getting increasingly more popular for couples going on their holiday or even honeymoon to purchase an engagement ring or weddings rings whilst abroad. Some people may even just buy the precious stones. This can be a great idea and a good way to get some highly crafted work at a cheaper price than you would do back home. As these are high value goods though, you do need to be careful and make sure that you are getting exactly what you are paying for.
Caveat emptor is Latin and means “Let the buyer beware”. If you are going to a foreign country to purchase precious stones on your holiday or honeymoon, then you need to be aware that you may not have the same consumer rights as you would do at home. There are lots of countries throughout the world who produce precious and semi precious stones for the worlds market.
Depending on the type of stone that you are looking for would dictate the best country to go to in order to get the best deal possible. There are many gem scams out there though and you may want to do a search in the internet for the country you are going to and the current gem scams in operation to make sure you are prepared. In some places of South East Asia such as Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar, there are a number of different scams which target the foreign tourists coming to the country. You also need to make sure you are not buying things such as conflict diamonds or blood diamonds which are illegal to sell in most countries. These are diamonds and other precious stones which are mined in a country usually with civil war or run by a dictator. They mine the stones and sell them to fund their wars and purchase weapons and ammunition.
A typical scam
A scam which is prevalent in Thailand and other South East Asian countries will typically dupe the buyer into paying a lot more for the products than they are worth. Fooling the buyer into thinking he can make a quick and easy profit. Usually a tourist will meet a friendly local at one of the many tourist attractions throughout the country. They will strike up a conversation and become friendly and then mention a government gem stone shop where you can discounts when you buy precious stones such as Blue Sapphires and sell them on for a huge profit when you get back home. This is complete rubbish though and the tourist will usually unwittingly end up with a pocket full of precious or semi precious stones which they have paid well over the odds for and leaving them out of pocket. This does not mean you cannot get a good bargain while you are abroad, but you do have to be careful before parting with any money. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true then it most likely isn’t true. Never let anyone push you into making a decision. If someone put pressure on you to buy straight away or the deal will no longer be available, the best advice is to walk away.
There are certain things that you can do to help to protect yourself when looking to purchase your diamond engagement ring or precious stones when you are abroad. Most countries will have some sort of tourism authority that you may be able to contact to get a recommendation for a dealer you can use who is reliable and trust worthy. The internet is a great tool with a wealth of information and your fingertips. Try searching for known local scams and also good reputable dealers in your country of destination. Never rush into a decision and if the person is being too pushy then walk away. It is always advised to pay by credit card as well as this will give you some extra protection when making such a high value purchase. If the dealer refuses card and only wants cash, again this should start alarm bells ringing and you should walk away. It is possible to get the diamond engagement ring of your future wife’s dreams at a reasonable price and with great quality, you just need to make sure you are careful and do as much as you can to protect yourself which includes arming yourself with knowledge before making a purchase.