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 recognition proper now with the superb conversion charge towards the declining Turkish Lira and the skill for shoppers to buy straight 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 style craze has folks consuming equipment at an alarming charge. What at first looks like a great 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 certainly one of the most well-known markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. My goal was to search out good high quality items for truthful costs that may final for many years as a substitute of some seasons.  

Below you’ll discover recommendations on find out how to discover superb offers on gold, methods to check the purity and authenticity of gold jewellery, and every part 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 professional 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 occupation his total 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 acquired into the nitty gritty of gold buying, he merely took me for a stroll up and down the coated streets so I may get a good suggestion of the immense selection obtainable inside the market. Basically, any form of silver or gold jewellery you’re in search of, 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 comparable inside a number of hours.

We spent the total day inside the market looking, testing, making an attempt 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 comply with 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 is advisable to know to be an knowledgeable gold purchaser to greatest 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, often known as 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’ stated particulars.

Best observe: Ask the vendor to point out you the hallmarks on the piece straight.

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 suggests 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 fluctuate immensely.

3️. Figure out the Best Price (the difficult 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 greatest technique to evaluate is apples to apples! Well in this case: karats to karats! 

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

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

This alone is a HUGE 34 grams of gold distinction!

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

gold shopping grand bazaar turkey

4️. Determining Weight (How heavy is it?)

It is crucial to verify 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 a better worth for much less gold!

Best observe:  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 in style relying on present traits & worldwide areas.

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

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

How to get your gram price:

Take the complete worth 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 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 a great baseline when buying round.

BOTTOM LINE:

Rather a lot is to be considered when making a jewellery buy, however when you have the actual karats and weight, you can also 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 at this time’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 bijou 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 at this time’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 based mostly 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 suggests he’s charging $2.5 per gram for labor and enterprise prices.

Now, there isn’t any ‘standard’ for the way a lot revenue a vendor needs to 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 might have, and different components like his lease and different enterprise prices. What the above equation permits you to do is be higher knowledgeable about uncooked prices, evaluate apples to apples when buying round, and to really feel extra snug about investing in gold.

alyne tamir buying gold istanbul

Q&A – Buying Gold in Türkiye

Why ought to folks 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 international locations export and import billions of {dollars} a yr.

Dubai does have some slight price benefits in comparison with Turkey in terms of machine-made/engineered items like chains. That’s because of the reality their small and medium-sized companies have bigger budgets obtainable 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 because of the over 5000 yr historical past of bijou making in Anatolia (present day Turkey). Turkey has an unequalled historical past of handmade jewellery that different international locations can’t compete with.

The different benefit Turkey has over the UAE is a decrease price of the total journey. You can keep in Istanbul for a month or longer for what your price range can be for just some 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 total 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 bijou, 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 will not be 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 on?)

Sellers at the Grand Bazaar can do an acid check proper there in the store. This entails the piece of bijou being rubbed on a touchstone often made from slate, then a selected karat formulation of acid is used. So, a 14k gold bracelet could 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 isn’t 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 lots of gold outlets in the Grand Bazaar. How will we discover a good one? Anything particular to search for or to keep away from?

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

Knowing the fundamental pillars of knowledge permits you to extra correctly evaluate if you go in and ask some questions. If you see the salesman can’t level out the markings, doesn’t learn about an acid check, or can’t present the fundamental data you’re in search of – you’ll be able to safely assume they don’t seem to be in a position to present skilled assist.  You needs to 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 fluctuate.

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 supply the acid check, and are prepared 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 completed all through historical past at the Grand Bazaar and it’ll by no means change.

However, it needs to be famous that sellers could have totally different prices of doing enterprise and it might have an effect on how a lot they will negotiate with you. A store that has the most prime location and the highest lease in all of the bazaar could not have as a lot room as a second-level store. There isn’t any formulation for the way a lot to barter, however once more realizing 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 a number of smaller shops that will not take bank cards, however they may 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 need 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 consumers) positioned straight 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 greatest 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 acquired throughout our first mission at the Grand Bazaar (and we’ve acquired one other journey deliberate this spring for a number of 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 assume I acquired 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 might have been significantly extra if I had bought it in the Western market.

One of the coolest experiences was attending to comply with the vendor by some tight alleyways, behind the scenes from the essential bazaar, and acquired 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 steering 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 because 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 provides 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, similar to gold buying, had been on our personal price range. Our concepts, opinions, and suggestions stay our personal.

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