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 huge reputation proper now with the wonderful conversion charge in opposition to the declining Turkish Lira and the skill for shoppers to buy immediately from sellers with out a intermediary.

Personally, I’m getting uninterested in losing my cash on low-cost costume jewellery that can begin to tarnish and break simply after 1 or 2 wears. This quick trend craze has individuals consuming equipment at an alarming charge. What at first looks as if an excellent deal, solely $89 for a pair of gold-plated earrings, turns into such a legal responsibility with how briskly they exit of favor 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 search out nice offers on gold in one in all the most well-known markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. My intention was to search out good high quality items for truthful costs that will final for many years as a substitute of some seasons.  

Below you’ll discover recommendations on how one can discover wonderful offers on gold, methods to check the purity and authenticity of gold jewellery, and all the things 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 good friend 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 bought into the nitty gritty of gold buying, he merely took me for a stroll up and down the lined streets so I may get a good suggestion of the immense selection out there inside the market. Basically, any form of silver or gold jewellery you’re searching for, you’ll discover it right here. If you’ll be able to’t discover it on show, you’ll meet distributors who will custom-make it for you or discover you one thing related inside just a few hours.

We spent the whole day inside the market searching, testing, attempting on, and finally 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’ll be able to observe in my footsteps with your personal Turkish gold buying spree.

gold jewlery grand bazaar istanbul

Top 6 Tips For Buying Gold Jewelry in the Grand Bazaar

Ok gold lovers – Here’s what it’s essential know to be an knowledgeable gold purchaser to finest apply all the ideas we’ve got for you all through this information.

1. Is it Hallmarked? (stamped) 

Make certain the merchandise has the applicable karat marking stamp, often known as a trademark.

Examples are:

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

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

Best apply: Ask the vendor to point out 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 truly imply)

The purity of gold is set 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 worth between one thing that’s 22 karats and 10 karats will range immensely.

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

The worth 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 related weights is perhaps 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 apply: Only examine the similar karat objects! If you’re looking at a 14k chain, examine it to different 14k chains of the similar weight.  

gold shopping grand bazaar turkey

4️. Determining Weight (How heavy is it?)

It is crucial 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 worth for much less gold!

Best apply:  Ask the jeweler to weigh it on a scale & take a be aware of that gram weight 

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

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

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

Best Practice:  The colour of gold mustn’t make the worth cheaper or costlier.

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

How to get your gram price:

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

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

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

BOTTOM LINE:

Quite a bit is to be considered when making a jewellery buy, however you probably have the precise 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’s 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 worth 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 trying at. For this instance, we’ll use a chunk of jewellery that’s 18k gold. 18k has 75% pure gold content material.

$50 X 0.75 (purity % of 18k) = $37.50

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

Step 3: Now, fake 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 worth, you’ll be able to see he’s charging $40 per gram. We can minus the uncooked price 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 is no such thing as a ‘standard’ for a way a lot revenue a vendor must be making, or how a lot {dollars} per gram he’s charging for labor and enterprise prices. This varies vastly relying on the precise jewellery itself, how a lot element and design it could have, and different elements like his hire and different enterprise prices. What the above equation permits you to do is be higher knowledgeable about uncooked prices, examine apples to apples when buying 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 individuals think about 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 nations export and import billions of {dollars} a yr.

Dubai does have some slight price benefits in comparison with Turkey relating to machine-made/engineered items like chains. That’s resulting from the reality their small and medium-sized companies have bigger budgets out there to them for machines to provide extremely environment friendly, machine-made gold objects.

Turkey, on the different hand, has two nice benefits. One is in the handmade / artisan jewellery division resulting from the over 5000 yr historical past of jewellery making in Anatolia (present day Turkey). Turkey has an unequalled historical past of handmade jewellery that different nations can’t compete with.

The different benefit Turkey has over the UAE is a decrease price 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 buying expertise in the Grand Bazaar included!

Sometimes, it’s not all the time about the lowest price, however as a substitute 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 chunk of jewellery, let’s say a necklace in this case, is actual stable gold or one thing else like brass with an inexpensive 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 is just not 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 many others?)

Sellers at the Grand Bazaar can do an acid check proper there in the store. This includes the piece of jewellery being rubbed on a touchstone normally made from slate, then a particular karat system of acid is used. So, a 14k gold bracelet may have its personal 14-karat acid gold check. 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 check was used, then it’s legit.

There are a number of gold outlets 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 permits you to extra correctly examine while 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 check, or can’t present the fundamental info you’re searching for – you’ll be able to safely assume they don’t seem to be capable of present skilled assist.  You must be cautious of locations like that.  Most outlets are skilled and useful, however in fact, 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 check, and are keen to be affected person.  

gold deals grand bazaar

Can I negotiate on worth at shops inside the bazaar?

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

However, it must be famous that sellers may 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 system for a way a lot to barter, however once more understanding the fundamental market worth of gold will assist immensely in this example.

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

Both money and bank cards are accepted by virtually all of the outlets inside the Grand Bazaar. There are just a few smaller shops that will not take bank cards, however they may normally 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 normally 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) situated immediately inside the bazaar. 

Due to the Anatolian / Turkish tradition of giving, gifting, & saving gold it’s quite common for individuals 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 we’ve got the gold to show it. Here’s what we bought throughout our first mission at the Grand Bazaar (and we’ve bought 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 individuals studying this may suppose I bought ripped off with the Rolex as a result of it ‘wasn’t bought at a certified Rolex seller” 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 via some tight alleyways, behind the scenes from the principal bazaar, and bought to look at 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 clients.

I couldn’t have made this text with out the numerous hours and steerage from Nurhan, so I’d prefer 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 resulting from 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 affords 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, akin to gold buying, had been on our personal funds. Our concepts, opinions, and suggestions stay our personal.

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