However it turned out to be an air conditioned shop with the most full-on sales team ever. One thing I noted about Cambodia more than any other country I’ve visited – their sales patter is hard, to the point of off-putting. It makes the salespeople on the souk stalls of Marrakech seem practically reserved.
So I found myself surrounded by about four sales people, each honing in on every item I looked at and asking me for a price. My hubby revived the same undue level of service, so we bought an obligatory magnet and made a quick getaway.
Precious stones in Siem Reap – buyer beware
Whilst looking for our next destination, our driver also mentioned that Cambodia is mineral-rich and known for its sapphires, emeralds and rubies, and that they are cheaper here than elsewhere.
I know what you’re thinking.
Yes, my eyes did slightly light up. Especially when he mentioned a shop where you can see the gems being carved and made into jewellery. To say I was tempted was an understatement, after all I’d snapped up some bargain freshwater pearls in Thailand, so I figured a gemstone could fit in the mix. Plus, I figured the idea of seeing stones carved would be a nice experience.
Anyway, we arrived at the shop – Khmer Jewellers – to find that it was an air conditioned jewellery store, not the rustic diamond mine I expected. Nonetheless, the place looked legit if nothing else.
Despite being disappointed, I looked at some gems, out of politeness.
They all looked stunning, but I didn’t pay too much attention to any as I wasn’t planning on buying. However the pushy staff insisted on bringing out different pendants and necklaces.
Despite asking them to stop showing more items. They continually stalked us, showing us different stones, urging a purchase.
I did see some rings, one of which I liked, a sapphire with whites stones set in white gold. They said it cost $200 US dollars, but then immediately offered a discount to $120. I walked off, looked at some other items and then went to leave. Then they stalked us on the ring I liked, insisting we name a price. They even offered a gem certificate and free resizing.