Remember when I shared about the cool people I met while backpacking India solo? Well, one of those girls introduced me to her hippie friend that lives on and off in Goa. The group of girls own Gyspy East, a unique jewelry company that sources silver and gemstones from all over the world (but mostly India) to make one of a kind pieces. I asked them to give us a few tips for buying jewelry in India and thankfully they said yes.
This is a nice insight not only into tips on buying gems in India, but how to tell if silver is real, and also just a sneak peak into how these UK girls got the company started in the first place in India where it can be hard to trust jewelers.
From the Girls of Gypsy East:
We headed to India as our first port of call after 18 months of traveling the world. We set off to Rajasthan in search of Indian inspired jewels as all our previous creations were based on their traditional style of jewellery.
It takes a while to build a relationship with local workshops and establishing secure contacts with people. We had a few dodgy deals & let downs initially, before discovering the family run workshop that has been one of our most successful suppliers and the creator of our own design ranges.
We source most of our crystals from our Himalayan crystal dealer. He spends 8 months of the year digging in the mountains with his father and has a cavernous room filled entirely of rough crystals that we select from each year. One of our favorite finds of last year was a clear quartz which had water trapped inside with two floating air bubbles that had been trapped inside the crystal for hundreds of thousands of years.
Once we have sourced the crystals we take a selection of them to our workshop to be silver capped and turned into pendants. The first release of these sold out before we made it past the first festival this season so we will be expanding out range this year.
A lot of the jewellery pieces we look for are picked up from markets, little dusty corner shops & street dealers in India. We like to have an eclectic mix! We don’t always source from the same supplier. Last year in Goa we came across the most beautiful set of druzy stones that looked like miniture galaxies. We got them made into rings in Kerela and loved the entire creative process.
Tips for Buying Jewelry in India
- It’s important to always know the cost of silver and gold at the time of purchasing so you can take that into account when haggling with street sellers.
- When you buy amber you can you buy it by weight like you can a precious metal. Amber price equates to the current price of silver unless it has some exceptional feature like a fossilized insect.
- Just because silver is bendable, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Actually, silver is soft. It is mixed with other metals to make it stronger starting at 92.5% hence the stamp 925.
- In England all sterling silver items have to be hallmarked by the Assay Office to verify that they are 925 silver. However in India you will find things are stamped 925 without any proof of the silver content. 925 is not an “official” hallmark though.
- Fun Fact: Pirates would have bitten a piece of gold to test the quality- the higher the carrot, the softer the gold.
- Make sure you always ask for a bill that clearly states what you are paying for whether it is gold, brass, silver, or copper. For example with gold, it should sat the gold content on the bill and then the added cost for labour on top.
- The price of gold is international! Don’t buy gold in India unless it’s officially hallmarked. There are 5 signs to tell if it’s really hallmarked
- Watch for scams. For example, it’s been known to have rings swapped at the last minute during packaging and gem stones being swapped to glass replicas whilst rings are being re-sized. It’s very easy to be sold a replica stone when you don’t want know your looking for.
Buying Gemstones and Crystals in India
Our crystal bible never leaves our side when we are buying and selling. It’s essential when purchasing precious and semi precious stones. It also gives a clear guide to their healing properties.
We always keep our tourmaline crystals on for protection when traveling.
When we produce our own design range we always produce in either rainbow moon stone, opal or labradorite. Anything that has irredescent properties or has a galaxy look to it works for us!
Rainbow Moonstone acts as a prism, diffusing energy throughout the aura. It provides psychic protection, clearing the mind and senses, and aids in lucid dreaming and calm sleep. It deflects negativity and eases emotional trauma. Aligned with the Goddess, Rainbow Moonstones connect with the energies and spirits of Nature, from plant devas to galactic consciousness.
Where to Buy Gypsy East
You can shop now on ASOS marketplace. Gyspy East will be carried soon at the Arpora Market in Goa and at TIA shop in Mandrem. They have a collection in Sri Lanka at a new pop up shop – location to be announced.
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