Gold Investment in Bangkok

When Bangkok was built over 200 years ago, gold was as popular as ever. As Bangkok grew in population and prosperity, small time merchants, mostly of Chinese descent, would purchase chains or bracelets with any spare money, as a hedge against bad times. If conditions got difficult, they would trade the precious chains for cash to continue the business. People who had emigrated from chaos elsewhere to relatively peaceful Bangkok knew firsthand that the bar, not paper, is a true store of value. Early Bangkok precious metal traders were concentrated in the Yaowarat district of Bangkok, as well as the Silom section by the Chaophraya River. When you visit these two areas, you will still see some old two-story buildings where the ground floor shops, painted bright red, are lined up with glass case cabinets filled will yellow metal chains of all sizes. They also carry rings, bracelets, amulet casings, and pins.

Today these merchants are really metal traders and brokers. They sell gold in jewelry format and bullion formats. They will also buy back them from their customers in both formats. When they buy back from you, there is a small transaction fee, at current prices approximately one hundred baht per half ounce. A half ounce of the yellow metal in Bangkok is about twelve thousand five hundred baht today. So a hundred baht transaction fee is pretty small when you trade bullion for cash. For foreigners in Thailand, one confusing aspect of Thai bar is the system of measurement. The weight unit for Thai gold is called baht. One baht is about half an ounce or 15.16 grams. Adding to the confusion, the Thai paper currency is also called baht. Thus one bar baht is about twelve thousand five hundred baht. It sounds confusing, but it is nonetheless accurate.

Gold in Bangkok is of high grade, though somewhat less than standard international investment grade. Bullion is 96.5% pure. By contrast, Swiss bullion is 99.99% pure. A jewelry such as a wrist watch bands might be a bit less pure to enhance the sturdiness. The price of the bar is set daily by the Thai Gold Traders Association. Practically all bar transactions are done in cash. You walk into a metal shop, tell them how many baht of the yellow piece you want, and pay them in cash. By the way most metal shops do accept credit cards as well. With all the uncertainty in international markets, it might not be a bad idea to have some bullions stashed away for a rainy day. It has stood the test of time as a store of value. It will continue to be popular in Bangkok for a long time to come.

Shopping For Jewelry In Bangkok

The capital as well as the largest city in Thailand, Bangkok is a mesmerizing destination. Bangkok is considered the backbone of the country’s economy. Shopping for jewelry in Bangkok can be very profitable and fun. But you have to be aware that there are unscrupulous people that may try to scam you.
Never let a tuk-tuk driver take you to a jewelry store. A tuk-tuk is a small, open air, motorcycle driven, 3-wheeld vehicle. The driver may offer to take you anywhere you want to go for free or for a ridiculously low price.

The driver may take you to a legitimate tourist attraction or temple where you will be met by someone claiming that the venue is closed. He will try to gain your confidence and offer to take you to a jewelry store where you can make a big profit. Everyone will get a commission and you will be sold inferior grade gemstones. You are better off going to a reputable jewelry store. Remember that almost any store recommended to you will be paying a commission to the recommender. You want to find a store that has been in the same location and has a solid reputation. But, how do you find one. You can find some decent jewelry stores on Wireless Road amid all of the embassies. They have been there for a long time and take care of tourists and dignitaries alike.

For gold jewelry, your best bet is to go to Chinatown. There are gold shops every ten feet. Easily identified with bright red trim, you will see gold necklaces, bracelets, and rings. This is for gold only shopping, not gem stones.The price of the gold jewelry will be based on the daily price of gold on the world markets. Factor in a little more for the workmanship, and you can get some very nice jewelry for a good price. The biggest markup in your home country is for the craftsmanship. Do a little bit of homework and you can get a very nice souvenir from Thailand that you will wear the rest of your life and will remind you of your holiday.