How To Buy Gold at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

How To Buy Gold at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

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Buying gold in Turkey, particularly gold jewellery, is gaining large reputation proper now with the superb conversion charge in opposition to the declining Turkish Lira and the potential for customers to buy immediately from sellers with out a intermediary.

Personally, I’m getting bored with losing my cash on low cost costume jewellery that can begin to tarnish and break simply after 1 or 2 wears. This quick vogue craze has folks consuming equipment at an alarming charge. What at first looks as if deal, solely $89 for a pair of gold-plated earrings, turns into such a legal responsibility with how briskly they exit of fashion and begin to discolor.

After years of frustration with losing my cash on low cost jewellery, I made a decision to go on a mission to seek out nice offers on gold in one in every of the most well-known markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. My purpose was to seek out good high quality items for truthful costs that will final for many years as an alternative of some seasons.  

Below you’ll discover recommendations on discover superb offers on gold, methods to check the purity and authenticity of gold jewellery, and every little thing else I discovered throughout my pursuit of high quality gold at the Grand Bazaar in Turkey.

buying gold in turkey

My Hunt For Quality Gold Inside The Grand Bazaar

For this mission, I wanted an insider and gold knowledgeable to assist me. My pal Alyne and I met up with the fourth-generation grasp jeweler, Nurhan Gümüş. This man is aware of his gold, it’s in his blood. His great-grandfather was a gold jeweler in the Grand Bazaar in the 1800s, a career his whole household has upheld ever since.

We met Nurhan at the southern Carsikapi Gate that leads into Kalpakcilar Caddesi, the gold jeweler’s street of the Grand Bazaar. Before we received into the nitty gritty of gold purchasing, he merely took me for a stroll up and down the lined streets so I might get a good suggestion of the immense selection obtainable inside the market. Basically, any type of silver or gold jewellery you’re on the lookout for, you’ll discover it right here. If you may’t discover it on show, you’ll meet distributors who will custom-make it for you or discover you one thing comparable inside just a few hours.

We spent the whole day inside the market shopping, testing, making an attempt on, and ultimately shopping for many gold items, together with a classic Rolex, gold earrings, and a gold necklace. I’m going to share each insider secret and tip I discovered throughout our time with Nurhan, so you may observe in my footsteps with your personal Turkish gold purchasing spree.

gold jewlery grand bazaar istanbul

Top 6 Tips For Buying Gold Jewelry in the Grand Bazaar

Ok gold lovers – Here’s what it is advisable to know to be an knowledgeable gold purchaser to finest apply all the ideas now we have for you all through this information.

1. Is it Hallmarked? (stamped) 

Make certain the merchandise has the applicable karat marking stamp, also called an indicator.

Examples are:

22k, or 916
18k, or 750
14k, or 585
10k, or 416

This signifies purity and can be a method of confirming the jewelers’ mentioned particulars.

Best observe: Ask the vendor to indicate you the hallmarks on the piece immediately.

gold karat hallmark stamping
instance of hallmark stamping with 18k gold (750 stamp)

2️. Know The Purity (what these hallmarks really imply)

The purity of gold is decided by karat. 

24 Karat gold is 99.9% pure and it descends as you go.

Percent of gold in:

24k = (99.9% gold content material)
22k = (91.6% gold content material)
18k = (75% gold content material)
14k = (58.3% gold content material)
10k = (41.6% gold content material, which implies lower than half is gold) 

Investing in gold jewellery with out checking purity is a BIG NO. The value between one thing that’s 22 karats and 10 karats will range immensely.

3️. Figure out the Best Price (the tough half)

The value of the gold jewellery is indicated by its purity in addition to how a lot labor work has been spent whereas making the piece. 

When shopping for a stable gold merchandise, the finest method to examine is apples to apples! Well in this case: karats to karats! 

Similar-looking gold objects with comparable weights is likely to be 1000s of {dollars} much less or extra.. HOW?? 🤔

Think of a 100-gram gold chain in 10 karats.. this comprises 41.6 grams of gold. But on the different hand, a 100-gram chain of 18-karat gold comprises 75 grams of gold!

This alone is a HUGE 34 grams of gold distinction!

Best observe: Only examine the identical karat objects! If you’re looking at a 14k chain, examine it to different 14k chains of the identical weight.  

gold shopping grand bazaar turkey

4️. Determining Weight (How heavy is it?)

It is important to test the weight of the precise gold merchandise that you’re shopping for. Since different gems, supplies, or enamel colours could make the weight heavier, you may find yourself paying the next value for much less gold!

Best observe:  Ask the jeweler to weigh it on a scale & take a word of that gram weight 

5️. Color Shouldn’t Matter (Yellow, Rose, or White)

Gold can have coloration variations. Combining pure gold with particular alloy metals will create one other coloration or tone. 

Yellow gold has been the hottest tone all through historical past. Rose gold & white gold are much less common relying on present traits & worldwide areas.

Best Practice:  The coloration of gold shouldn’t make the value cheaper or costlier.

6. Do the math to get your per-gram value 

How to get your gram value:

Take the whole value of the merchandise & divide it by the weight = YOUR PER GRAM COST 

Use that to check costs of things with totally different weights & identical karat purity.

While the per gram value doesn’t take different issues into consideration, like gems or different particulars the jewellery might need, or the store proprietor’s value of his storefront, it offers you baseline when purchasing round.

BOTTOM LINE:

So much is to be considered when making a jewellery buy, however if in case you have the actual karats and weight, you may make an awesome base for comparability.

Nurhan Gümüş  helping us buy gold at the grand bazaar turkey
Nurhan Gümüs serving to us discover nice offers on gold in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Türkiye

How to get an precise estimate of how a lot it is best to pay for gold jewellery

Below is an equation to make use of as a tough estimate, utilizing the present charge of gold, to find out if the value they’re asking at the Grand Bazaar is truthful.

Step 1: Google as we speak’s market charge for gold.

Step 2: Let’s say the market charge for the day is $50 per gram (pure gold). We will take that $50 and multiply it by the purity of the merchandise we’re wanting at. For this instance, we’ll use a bit of jewellery that’s 18k gold. 18k has 75% pure gold content material.

$50 X 0.75 (purity p.c of 18k) = $37.50

$37.50 is the value per gram of the gold materials itself in an 18k piece with as we speak’s charge of $50 per gram.

Step 3: Now, faux the vendor has proven you an 18k bracelet and also you’ve put it on the scale to weigh it, and primarily based on the weight and value, you may see he’s charging $40 per gram. We can minus the uncooked value of the gold from the above equation ($37.50), which implies he’s charging $2.5 per gram for labor and enterprise prices.

Now, there isn’t a ‘standard’ for a way a lot revenue a vendor ought to be making, or how a lot {dollars} per gram he’s charging for labor and enterprise prices. This varies enormously relying on the precise jewellery itself, how a lot element and design it could have, and different components like his hire and different enterprise prices. What the above equation lets you do is be higher knowledgeable about uncooked prices, examine apples to apples when purchasing round, and to really feel extra comfy about investing in gold.

alyne tamir buying gold istanbul

Q&A – Buying Gold in Türkiye

Why ought to folks take into account shopping for gold in Turkey? Why not journey to Dubai to purchase gold?

Dubai (UAE) and Turkey each have very vibrant gold jewellery industries and each international locations export and import billions of {dollars} a 12 months.

Dubai does have some slight value benefits in comparison with Turkey in relation to machine-made/engineered items like chains. That’s as a consequence of the reality their small and medium-sized companies have bigger budgets obtainable to them for machines to supply extremely environment friendly, machine-made gold objects.

Turkey, on the different hand, has two nice benefits. One is in the handmade / artisan jewellery division as a consequence of the over 5000 12 months historical past of jewellery making in Anatolia (present day Turkey). Turkey has an unmatched historical past of handmade jewellery that different international locations can not compete with.

The different benefit Turkey has over the UAE is a decrease value of the general journey. You can keep in Istanbul for a month or longer for what your funds could be for only a few days in Dubai.
We have curated a 3-day Istanbul itinerary for an ideal go to to the metropolis, with a gold purchasing expertise in the Grand Bazaar included!

Sometimes, it’s not all the time about the lowest value, however as an alternative the general expertise.  

grand bazaar in Istanbul Turkey

How can we inform if the gold is actual?

One of the best and quickest methods to inform if a bit of jewellery, let’s say a necklace in this case, is actual stable gold or one thing else like brass with an affordable gold plating, is to rub a magnet on it.

Keep a small magnet in your pocket at the Grand Bazaar and use it your self to check any items you’re looking at. Real gold just isn’t magnetic and it’ll not stick. Many different cheaper metals are magnetic and can stick instantly.

If the gold is actual, how do we all know what the karat worth is? (Example: 10k, 14k, 18k, and so forth?)

Sellers at the Grand Bazaar can do an acid take a look at proper there in the store. This entails the piece of jewellery being rubbed on a touchstone often fabricated from slate, then a selected karat components of acid is used. So, a 14k gold bracelet can have its personal 14-karat acid gold take a look at. Once the acid is dropped on the stone, if the acid eats away at the markings on the stone, it means it’s not the karat it states. If the markings do stick with the 14-karat acid, or whichever karat-specific acid take a look at was used, then it’s legit.

There are loads of gold retailers in the Grand Bazaar. How can we discover a good one? Anything particular to search for or to keep away from?

The finest method is to be an knowledgeable purchaser and find out about the fundamentals of gold, i.e. the gram weight, the karat purity, after which checking that the mentioned karat is hallmarked on the piece itself.

Knowing the fundamental pillars of knowledge lets you extra correctly examine if you go in and ask some questions. If you see the salesman can’t level out the markings, doesn’t find out about an acid take a look at, or can’t present the fundamental data you’re on the lookout for – you may safely assume they don’t seem to be capable of present skilled assist.  You ought to be cautious of locations like that.  Most retailers are skilled and useful, however after all, it’s a bazaar and an everchanging market so the costs will range.

X Avoid locations that may’t pay a lot consideration to you or can’t present particulars shortly.

Do enterprise with shops that may shortly present details about the items, can provide the acid take a look at, and are keen to be affected person.  

gold deals grand bazaar

Can I negotiate on value at shops inside the bazaar?

Yes. Always negotiate with sellers. That’s what has been finished all through historical past at the Grand Bazaar and it’ll by no means change.

However, it ought to be famous that sellers can have totally different prices of doing enterprise and it could have an effect on how a lot they’ll negotiate with you. A store that has the most prime location and the highest hire in all of the bazaar might not have as a lot room as a second-level store. There is not any components for a way a lot to barter, however once more realizing the fundamental market worth of gold will assist immensely in this case.

Do jewelers in the Grand Bazaar take bank cards or solely money?

Both money and bank cards are accepted by nearly all of the retailers inside the Grand Bazaar. There are just a few smaller shops that will not take bank cards, however they are going to often have a sign-up to tell you. Safe and safe ATMs can be found each inside and outdoors the bazaar.

If you’re utilizing a bank card, many distributors will wish to cost a processing charge. The charge is often 2.5% to three%, however ought to by no means be greater than 5%.

Can I SELL my private gold inside the Grand Bazaar?

Yes, there are locations referred to as “sarrafiye” in Turkish (gold patrons) positioned immediately inside the bazaar. 

Due to the Anatolian / Turkish tradition of giving, gifting, & saving gold it’s quite common for folks to commerce their cash, bracelets, & jewellery at these locations. You can enterprise inside the Grand Bazaar and ‘shop’ your gold round to see who’s paying the finest costs of the day.

What we purchased

Istanbul really is the new cool, and now we have the gold to show it. Here’s what we received throughout our first mission at the Grand Bazaar (and we’ve received one other journey deliberate this spring for just a few extra items)

Alyne

Gold Hoop Earrings 6g 14k gold = $190
Gold Necklace 6.7g 14k gold = $230
Gold Huggie Earrings 3.5g 18k gold =$160

@dearalyne buying gold in Turkey

Kashlee

Gold Huggie Earrings 3.5g 18k gold =$160
Vintage Rolex $6000 (Ladies DateJust, early 90’s)

Kashlee gold grand bazaar istanbul

Now, some folks studying this may suppose I received ripped off with the Rolex as a result of it ‘wasn’t bought at a certified Rolex vendor” however I have to remind you that is Turkey. Since then, I’ve had it verified and I’m over the moon with the buy, since it will have been significantly extra if I had bought it in the Western market.

One of the coolest experiences was attending to observe the vendor by way of some tight alleyways, behind the scenes from the major bazaar, and received to observe how they cleaned our gold earlier than giving it to us.

cleaning jewelry istanbul
They confirmed us how every new piece of gold is cleaned and polished earlier than being delivered to prospects.

I couldn’t have made this text with out the numerous hours and steerage from Nurhan, so I’d wish to make a particular thanks to him.

Nurhan Gümüş is an Armenian fourth-generation grasp jeweler in the Grand Bazaar. He’s the founding father of GrandBazaarJewelers.com which focuses on wholesale B2B jewellery and TurkishJewelry.com which is the premier jewellery information & traits weblog for Turkey.  He was born in Istanbul and his household immigrated to the United States in 1980. In the U.S. he began apprenticing at the age of 12 in his household’s jewellery manufacturing enterprise. He relocated again to Istanbul 13 years in the past as a consequence of its worldwide aggressive benefit (and his benefit of being a local English speaker Master Armenian jeweler).

He at present helps entrepreneurs create their very own jewellery line and gives one-on-one skilled jewellery help. You can discover him on IG @grandbazaarjewelers 

We did the analysis for this text whereas being friends in Istanbul with Go Türkiye. While the tourism board graciously hosted our keep, our itinerary and elective actions, reminiscent of gold purchasing, had been on our personal funds. Our concepts, opinions, and proposals stay our personal.

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