First, let us get the facts straight – Is it much cheaper to buy a diamond in Bangkok or Thailand compare to anywhere else in the world?
Simple answer is NO! Thailand DOES NOT source any diamonds, IS NOT major cutting center for diamonds and IS NOT a major trading hub for selling diamonds, PERIOD.
People assume because everything is cheaper in Bangkok like buying wholesale clothes, shoes, nice hotels and being a third world country they will be able to find a diamond for thousand of dollars cheaper as compare to their expensive first world home country. But, the fact is a diamond will probably cost you the same anywhere today because it is one of the most well established traded commodities in the world. It has a market price based on the 4cs and if you do find one cheaper in Bangkok it is most probably because you are sacrificing one of these factors or got really lucky (rarely)!
Diamonds in Thailand are also subject to 7% VAT (Value Added Tax) which the government takes if sold domestically. This is exceptionally high for diamonds or any other competitive traded commodity. Imagine if you are in the market to buy a 2 carat, H-color, VVS1 clarity diamond and will pay around US$30,000 for the stone without the VAT additional tax. After tax you will have to pay US$32,100 or an extra US$2,100 to the government! If all the diamond dealers actually pay this amount in full, they won’t be in the diamond business anymore in Bangkok. Therefore, you will find most traders avoid paying this tax. Gold on the other hand is not subject to this tax, which makes one wonder why diamonds are, but that I won’t get into this topic today.
The best place to buy diamonds is actually at the major trading centers like Antwerp, Hong Kong, Mumbai, New York or Tel Aviv.
So, why am I telling you all this when the title of my article is Where and how to buy diamonds in Bangkok, Thailand? I believe it is important for you to understand the facts and not automatically assume that any dealer in Bangkok or Thailand will provide you the best amazing deal out there. Also, if you are seriously in the market wanting to buy a diamond remember to please do YOUR RESEARCH and understand completely what you are buying. Once you have an idea in what you looking for, you should go to your ‘reliable’ jeweler or diamond dealer and ask pointed questions and verify the diamond you are getting is exactly what is stated.
Do they have reliable dealers in Bangkok or Thailand who sells diamonds and where are they located?
Yes, of course, and we are one of them. There are many dealers here which are located mainly at the end of Silom road or Suriwong side, MBK and China Town. For more information in how to find dealers and where they are located you can read my other article: How to buy gemstones in Bangkok, Thailand? , which provides you a simple guide to how to buy gemstones and you can follow the same steps by searching for diamonds dealers as well.
How should you go about BUYING diamonds in general?
My recommendations in how you should go about buying a diamond is shown in bullet point format below:
- Do your research about the 4cs (Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight) and go to your local jeweler or diamond wholesaler store to see some diamonds. Let them show you different options of different carat size, color shades (white or less white), clarity grades and different cut shapes (Round Brilliant, Cushion, Princess, etc.). The best way to take a look at a diamond is to place the stone on the ring side of your hand between the fingers, so you can have an idea in how big it is, how white it is, how clean it is or how sparkling it is. Once you understand the actual factors you are looking for, you can then start searching around for the best price which fits your requirement.
- For me personally, symmetry, polish and cut grade is one thing you SHOULD NOT sacrifice, if you want to have the WOW, sparkle or brilliant factor of a diamond. This is most important for the in-famous round brilliant cut diamonds. Minimum grade for all three factors should be Very Good. Ideally, one should always try to find diamonds with “Excellent” grade though these stones are usually sold at a premium price. The only way in finding this information accurately is by looking at a diamond certificate (most common are GIA or HRD) which will state all these characteristics
- You should also check online on various US dealer based sites, which will provide you very competitive diamond prices for free. I won’t list their names here, but you can check online and find the one which is listed on the NASDAQ (if you still can’t find the diamond dealer I am trying to mention here, you can send me message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will provide it for you). The diamonds listed on this site is great starting point, however, they still sell diamonds at a premium compare to any good wholesaler diamond dealer. So, remember if you can get a diamond cheaper on their site compare to your ‘reliable’ dealer you will definitely pay a premium for this diamond.
- Other factors which either makes the diamond sell in discount or premium are provided below
- Black crystals, gray crystals, white (non-translucent) crystals or large white feathers under the table – the middle part of the diamond – will sell at a discount. The larger the inclusion the larger the discount. This means not all diamonds are the same even though they have same color and clarity grade. For example, you might find two H-color, SI1-clarity diamonds, that will have the same specs on the GIA certificate but a large price deferential. This can be due to the fact that one stone does have inclusions under the table, while the other doesn’t.
- Diamonds with medium to strong fluorescence, for D, E, and F color diamonds will sell at a discount, but for G, H, and I color will usually sell as at a premium. Reason for a discount in D-F color range, because of the old wife tale that fluorescence will cause the stones to look more milky or cloudy, which in majority of times this is not true. For G-I colors, the stones are usually sold at a premium because the fluorescence makes the stone look a lot whiter. For more information about fluorescence you can check the GIA technical report (GIA 1997 Report on Diamond Fluorescence). You should take advantage in buying diamonds with fluorescence, because in my experience they ‘rarely’ affect the overall look.
- Diamonds with Good to Fair cut grades will sell in substantial discounts. This is how a lot of dealers in Bangkok make you believe the stone you are getting is a great deal because the stone is not ideally cut. Very Good to Excellent cut stones will always sell 20 to 30% more then Good to Fair cut diamonds.
- GIA certified stones always sell at a premium price compare to any other diamond certificates because of their strict grading criteria of color, clarity and cut grades.
I hope the above guide is helpful and if you have any additional questions please feel free to provide your comments below or send me a message at email@example.com.
[Update 11 May 2016] – If interested in reading more about how to buy diamonds online I would recommend looking at this blog post – How to buy a diamond online in Bangkok or anywhere else?
Thai Native Gems Diamond search service:
If you are in the market looking for the best diamond in Bangkok, Thailand contact us and let us know what your budget is and what you are looking for. From this initial information, we will swiftly find and email you 4 to 5 diamond options to choose from that we feel fits your needs best. Unlike other traditional or online dealers, I am not looking to sell you anything, but will provide you honest, frank and objective opinion in what we think is best in the budget you offer. This service is free, and there absolutely no commitment to buy any of our suggestions. The only thing you have to do is not respond to our email and you won’t hear from us again! So, you truly have nothing to lose!
How do we compile this diamond list? Our search process is provided below:
1) We first will contact our local diamond supply network and check if there are any stones that fits your requirement in Bangkok, Thailand. We have over 50 contacts in Bangkok and will check ALL to make sure we can provide you the best deal.
2) If not satisfied, we will then check online through our extensive global network sifting through over 900,000+ diamonds and will find you the best diamond. The only setback when choosing the diamond from this global list is, it can take one week to two weeks to arrive to Bangkok.
Contact us today to get all your wholesale gemstones, diamonds and jewelry needs. We can Source, Search and Supply anything you require.
What will you get if you contact us
- Start a conversation with us at FB.com/ThaiNativeGems/
- Get wholesale and highly competitive prices of gemstones & diamonds from anywhere through our extensive network of contacts around the world
- All stones sold by us is verified in house by our GIA Graduate Gemologist or certified
- We provide personalized service and NOT the same old “One Size Fits All” Approach
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