Diamonds, as the song goes, may well be a girl’s best friend. But most of the girls I know prefer something more colorful.
Any visitor to Asian countries will know that the continent is replete with supplies of gemstones of every hue, and you don’t have to spend long in places where visitors are thick on the ground to find both the rows of shops of official and licensed dealers, but also encounter more surreptitious suppliers.
Most of us are ready for a bargain, and the temptation of the unofficial suppliers is a great one, but can often result in no purchase at all. On the one hand, we suspect the authenticity of the stones on offer; it can take an experienced gemologist to distinguish rubies from garnets, or the flawed from the flawless. On the other hand, the prices on offer are so much more appealing than those on offer at the jewellers, even after much bargaining.
Personally, I am not a great bargainer; I feel very disinclined to try to knock price down on something that is already very cheap by home standards, it feel s a bit like cheating the poor. I have a simple rule; does it appeal to me at the price on offer? If so, I buy, if not, I don’t.
When looking at gems there is an added dimension. At the price it is offered, which seems low, I can recognise the fact that purchase might be like buying a lottery ticket. What I am buying may be worth much more than I am paying. It has happened, and may well again.
Forget the bargain. There’s no point in buying anything just because it is cheap. Buy because you like, and the rest could be a bonus.