I dont mean buying a gold chain for your Thai girlfriend, which in fact I did do once, which is part of playing along and being a player in the Thailand Girlfriend Experience which every serious monger seems to experience during there many visits to Thailand. No, I mean buying a gold chain for me.
Why now? well Im in Pattaya, im in my forties, so perhaps its the medallion man complex beginning to take hold.
a medallion man (British, humorous)
a man, usually an older man, who dresses in a way that he thinks women find attractive, often wearing an open shirt in order to show his chest and a lot of gold jewellery. And there he was, a real-live 70s medallion man, just stepped out of a time machine.
Even so I am determined to buy one in Pattaya and I dont want to get done, so what are the options? Initially just wanted to get a handle on whats on offer and price. Went into my first jewelers just off Walking street and had a look at some gents chains. One seemed like a good chain quite thick and long he reckons 23 carat gold for the price of 24000 baht what do you think? Would these jewelers in the tourist areas try to rip you off? How can I tell I am getting a good deal? Can anyone recommend anywhere to go?
Ive only ever bought gold for my wife and women who treat me like a sucka..
You pay for workmanship..fine detail..not too fine as their gold is softer and links break easierwomens stuff really
Weigh the gold get the best price. Change shops and weigh the gold and get the best price..compare the two or three shops. I cant remember how many grams a baht is ..Its Thai style so Im sure it makes no sense.
If its a good piece of gold not much haggling can be done if its a piece that has sat in the shop for too long then theyll haggle or really feel you are a tight Charley they will. But in reason.
Now asking my wife next to me about weight and price she is telling me you get 1baht in weight for 11,000B to 12,000 depending on design you mentioned I think 24,000 baht you are buying a 2baht gold chain
Now it sounds confusing but Thais count the weight of gold in Baht which of course is different from Thai Baht money.
My wedding ring cost 5800Baht for I think 7.5 grams, its a simple ring..at a guess you are buying an ounce ..28 grams on the scale.
The last thing I would double check if I was you is to ask a Thai. In your hotel or anywhere really what a two baht chain is worth they all know the current price as gold prices fluctuate with the gold market value..also check real hard when you buy it for minor scratches as gold is resold and exchanged alot.
Gold is measured in troy ounces which contain just over 33 grams not your dealer ounces. Be careful as disreputable jewelers will point to the price on the markets and divide by 28 not 33 thus pointing to a perceived higher price per gram.
While im here in Pattaya, also looking at these fake Rolex watches, seems you can get a non automatic one down to about 300 baht and an automatic for 1000 baht. Has anyone brought one of these and do they last longer than one month?
Currently 1 gram gold = 900 baht.
They sell two types European/international which is your 18 carat and 14 carat. 18 carat is 75-80% gold whereas 14 carat is approx 60% gold. This is very strong and will never break. So is more an alloy usually with copper etc added which gives it its color too.
The other type is Thai gold which is your 23 carat, but this is very soft and easily breaks. Not as good as international gold apparently. Most is machine made too apparently. Its Thai gold that they tend to use the baht standard on.
Where 1 baht = 15.2 grams.
The length of the chain is important too. The advantage with 24 is that it just slides over your head whereas a 22 you will have to unclip it each time. But obviously you will pay more for the longer one. But it is a one off lifetime purchase, so dont cut corners. Remember cheap can be very expensive in these situations.
Thais prefer Thai gold as it has more gold in it and they know they can trade it back here, its almost like money here assuming price of gold keeps going up. Trading international gold here, not so good price trying to sell it back. Most Thai Gem shops sell European gold though as its more what the Europeans and western tourists want. Most of the Thai gold is machine made so no labor cost in the making of the item.
So it would seem to me on each trip to Thailand to buy some Thai gold as much as you can afford, then come back a year later and sell it back and have at least a few days free. a good strategy or what? Personally i am not keen on wearing the Thai gold but thats why they sell the European here. My mate had a Thai gold wedding ring and after a year it had all warped.
Pattaya World Gems
Looked at many gold chains and fell in love with one hand made not machine made it really really stands out and I want it badly but wow the price the equivalent of 750 pounds! She cannot go lower else no profit. It weighs a ton when you hold it in your hand this is 18 carat gold. I was really interested in a more expensive chain in Quality gems but did not have it in 24 and would have to wait 5-6 days for them to make one.
Well I am now the proud owner of a 750 pounds gold chain. That UK money and not the weight of the chain . I went round a couple of jewelers to get some more information. I found Thai jewelers to be very professional in fact, they know their gold etc. Two in particular I found good was Quality Gems along Walking street and World Gems just opposite Walking street.
My chain is hand made 24 18 carat gold weighing 56.8 grams.
so 57 * 900 = 51300
51300 / 68 = 754.41
So seems I got a fair price. Hope this helps any others mongers in Pattaya who may be considering a purchasing a gold chain on their next visit and becoming a medallion man also.
As for the Rolex got a really good looking one black face and silver bracelet, automatic if this lasts I will be happy. it really looks like the business. I get it off one of the girls walking along Pattaya beach all day long with their box of Rolex copies. It feels heavy too. When I brought it he changed the date and time to current Thai time. Back at the hotel, I think i will change it to UK time, but the dial will not seem to budge anyway so hopefully I will catch him on the beach today and he can show me how to reset the thing anyone had this problem?
Paid 600 baht for the fake Rolex, I got the feeling from this he stood to make 100 baht profit, he would not drop below this, but a big come down from 1000 baht. Looking at some sunglasses now ray ban, both real and fake. Plus got 6 excellent shirts made for a tailors here in Pattaya.
What with my gold chain, fake Rolex, new shirts and ray ban sunglasses, the girls back home are going to go crazy!
Paranoid- Thai Gold
Owning something valuable can induce a paranoia element, so I was going to ask has anyone had any bad experiences openly wearing jewelry? Back at home it generally will not be on show. Lots of old mongers walking around with gold chains etc here in Pattaya, its where I got the idea to buy one. We should not worry about such things. The thing is, if some Thai low life is out to rob a farang, he has got an eye out for Thai gold and not European gold. This translates directly into Thai baht. The last place I would ever have it on show is London underground – fuck man! if they could not yank it off they would probably cut my head off first.
On my return trip from Thailand had to change at Dubai airport, and they had all the same gold for sale there 22/23 and 18 carat gold machine and hand made. Again the 18 carat and hand made was a few dollars more. Was approx $25 dollars a gram. So it worked out the same price.
Back at home the Rolex has stopped working, oh well can afford to lose 600 baht, wont be buying one of those again. No looking in some jewelers back home and the same watch is closer to £3000, oh well maybe when I get my bonus, may treat myself to a real Rolex watch, the Datejust, but I wont be wearing that in Pattaya. Funny really, coz if we cant tell the difference between the fakes and the real ones, should not get paranoid about wearing a real one. If you see a guy wearing a Rolex in Thailand, you assume its fake and he has no class.