Ripped off at giant Bangkok Diamond Center

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  • #736 Reply

    Jens Hagerström

    My wife and I wanted to take a ride in those cute little scooter-taxis that you see all over Bangkok. I believe they are called Tuk-Tuk. We asked for the driver to take us to the Temple of the reclining Buddha, but he said this temple was closed for tourists today, because of religious ceremonies.
    He could take us to the Big Buddha temple and the Lucky Buddha temple, and a number of other tourist attractions. We agreed and hopped on. At the Big Buddha temple, the driver patiently waited for us to return, and then took us to the Lucky Buddha temple, of which we couldn’t find any details in our travel guide.
    In contrast to the Big Buddha temple, there were no other tourists at this temple, which thought was a bit strange, but I assumed it might have something to do with it not being in the travel guides.
    While admiring the temple, a friendly man came towards us and asked us where we were from. He told us he had a friend in Sweden, who used to work with him at the same company for a number of years. We had a very nice conversation with him, and the man complimented my wife on her beautiful necklace.
    He told us that jewelry is very cheap in Bangkok, and he knew a very trustworthy place to buy the finest diamonds. In fact, his friend the Swede bought a nice blue sapphire ring for his wife, and when he returned home after a number of years, he was able to sell it to a diamond shop in Stockholm for almost four times the price he paid.
    As I had been thinking about something special for my wife for a while, I became interested. He told me that he would instruct our driver to take us there, if we agreed. The driver subsequently took us to an enormous diamond store, that must have been 2 football fields large, completely filled with displays full of the finest jewelry. Everywhere around the store, signs informed us that all the merchandise was certified by the Thai government, and in one corner of the store, people were cutting and polishing diamonds. It all just looked so very genuine and trustworthy.
    I found a really nice set of earrings and a matching ring for my wife, which had a price tag of 30.000 Baht, or 6.000 Swedish Kronor, which was more than I had wanted to spend. The friendly sales lady told us that because of special promotions, she could sell it to us for 23.000 Baht, 4.500 Kronor. She also informed us that the value in Sweden would be at least 18.000 Kronor, if we ever wanted to sell the jewelry at home. We decided to buy the set, and even received a certificate of authenticity with our name on it.
    Unfortunately, when we had the earrings and the ring appraised for the insurance at home, they told me the diamonds were of very low quality and the gold was such low carat that the whole set was worth less than 500 Kronor.

  • #738 Reply

    Tourist-Scams
    Keymaster

    Thank you for sharing your story, Jens!
    This is a very common scam, and it happens to many tourists, no wonder the diamond center is that large. Read more at http://tourist-scams.com/bangkok/scam-fake-diamonds/

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