Jewelery & Gem Scams, Bangkok

37 Reviews

Know about this?

  • entrance
    by machomikemd
  • Jewelery & Gem Scams
    by machomikemd
  • free soft drinks
    free soft drinks
    by machomikemd
  • aukjejetty's Profile Photo

    Gem Scam

    by aukjejetty Updated Aug 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even though I wrote this tip years ago, I still see it happening on the streets in 2004, so please read the following:

    Bangkok's infamous gem scam has ruined the holidays of many, many visitors to Thailand and it is an important thing to be aware of beforehand if you want to avoid becoming yet another victim.

    The scam is no secret - there's warnings about it in every guidebook and in posters put up around Bangkok by the Tourist Authority, yet many people are still caught unaware of it.

    Though it does happen occasionally in other parts of Thailand, the vast majority of incidences take place in Bangkok.


    Was this review helpful?

  • Gem Factory

    by AKaren Written Jul 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have received a no. of warnings regarding this from friends and relatives before I left for Bangkok. But I was not prepared for a very elaborate scheme involving a 'policeman', a taxi driver, an 'architect' from rich family and a man from the 'united nations' office. All these 'resources' just to get me to the doorstep of a gem factory (apparently called the Royal Factor) just north of the Chitralada Palace.

    Just be careful. There seem to be so many con men on the Bangkok streets that I have learnt that the rule of thumb is to treat everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) suspiciously. Asking around for directions and suggestions of eating places will likely get you into trouble. So read up and do a lot of research before going to Bangkok, unless you have friends there who can help you.

    Was this review helpful?

  • laughingsun69's Profile Photo

    bangkok beware of jewellery scams saphires

    by laughingsun69 Written Oct 10, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beware of scams by people inticing you into believing that your lucky to be in thailand at the time and you are fortunate because the government is allowing tourist to buy jewells tax free at the very time you are there for one week only , your led to believe you very lucky and you can double your money back in westernised countrys , sounds great huh yeh well i got ripped for about 4000$ u.s. call me a sucker but there very smooth ..its not isolated to one company its very common ..

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Road Trip
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Buying Jewelery and Antiques

    by keeweechic Updated Jun 11, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Be very wary about buying jewellery and antiques - the market in Thailand is rife with fakes. If you think you're being asked to pay a lot of money for an inauthentic item, or you're being overcharged for a service, report the incident to the tourist police. Be careful if someone offers you a free tour of the Chao Phraya,it's likely that at some point, in some remote location, you'll be asked to 'contribute' some large sum of money to the venture. Watch your handbags and camera cases when you're shopping in the markets.

    Was this review helpful?

  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    Watch out for over friendly locals in the city!

    by herzog63 Updated Jun 9, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Watch out for over friendly, well dressed Thai's approaching you near the Grand Palace, Sanam Luang, or Wat Pho that are telling you about special holiday prices on Gem Stones!! Unless your an expert you will be scammed!!! Read my travelogue on Bangkok. I don't have any pictures of these scammers!! Hhahha Next time if I remember I'll take a photo of them.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • School Holidays
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • mignonne's Profile Photo

    *#*Beware of Conmen!!!*#*In...

    by mignonne Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    *#*Beware of Conmen!!!*#*
    In Bangkok,there are several situations where you might encounter:

    Visitors are approached on the street by respectable looking men who speak good english and they will be freindly and offer their assistance or services free, or at a very low price.At some point of the conversation,they will suggest that you go to a jewelry shop.After purchasing some jewelry,the visitors found out that they have been cheated.
    1.Beware of any encounter with strangers!
    2.Note that there are no government promotions and special sales at any time of the year.

    Was this review helpful?

  • We came across many scams in...

    by lainew Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We came across many scams in Bangkok.

    1) Well-dressed young men may stop you in the street and say something like, 'Didn't I see you in the hotel this morning? How are you etc.' This is a ploy to get you talking. When they find out where you come from, they will say they have been there and reel off a few local facts so that you almost believe them. Then they will tell you they trade gold/jewellery/perfume/, whatever, and that if you go to their shop ... do I need to go on?!?

    2) As you make your way to your destination (e.g. a temple complex), someone will stop you and ask if you are going to your destination. When you say, yes, they will tell you it's closed for the holiday. Then they will tell you that instead you should go to some shopping complex where there is a one-day sale (today!) where you can get bargains galore. Don't believe them - just carry on to your destination.

    3) Your tuk-tuk driver may nod when you tell him your destination and then take you to a tailor's shop where he will try and take you in.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Bangkok

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

23 travelers online now

Comments (2)

  • Mar 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM - We were led to Baan Thai Gems Co. Ltd by the Tourist Police. We unfortunately did buy an overpriced 'gem' from them! Lessons learnt - never ever buy a 'Gem' in Bangkok! Don't trust the Tourist Police or any smooth talking "gentleman' in Bangkok!

    • MarshaB4's Profile Photo
      Mar 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM

      If Lustre Gems is still in business - Mr Chai who was the owner in 1985 is a very honest jeweler. This establishment was recommended by the higher ranking officers of the Air Force & Navy when I visited Bangkok.

  • Nov 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Always pay with a Credit Card and insist that they provide a full description testifying to the quality and authenticity of the goods along with a certificate of guarantee as to the value. If when you return home you find the goods are fake (which they ALWAYS will be from Thailand) you can initiate a chargeback via your credit card company.
    You will need to have evidence that the sellers description does not agree with that of a registered valuer and the goods are significantly "not as described"
    Until my last trip I always believed that GEMS GALLERY in Thailand was a professional Honest and reputable business. I have now learned otherwise after being scammed with JADE which according to my jeweller has been dyed to increase its apparent value. We paid significantly more than it's real value. The valuation certificates provided by these businesses are WORTHLESS and will not be accepted by your insurance company. You MUST have a valuation from a registered valuer in your home country. Just don't expect it to be anywhere near the value that the seller stings you for.

    I am just SO sick of buying stuff in Thailand that turns out to be fake. THEY ARE JUST A PACK OF THIEVES.
    The Thai government and the honest people of Thailand need to do more to stop these scammers and the endemic corruption in the country. Their tourist industry will suffer. I'm not going back again.

View all Bangkok hotels