Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Hunt for Semi Precious Stones!

I am the Queen of traveling on a budget, while continuing to have a vacation that brings great value and satisfaction. I also love trendy jewelry and usually shop for semi precious stones on our Caribbean family vacations. On the second day of our vacation cruise, the Shopping Director had a seminar on the legalities of duty free shopping in Nassau and told us about special deals and gifts that merchants were offering to cruise vacationers. To take advantage of the deals we just needed to present coupons, which were distributed during this meeting.

So off my girls and I went. Our first stop was at the Straw Market or what we would call the Swap Meet. It was just too intense for us. The aisle way between the stalls was narrow and the prices of some of the knockoffs were higher than here in the states. We then proceeded to check our map, examined our notes and were off to the air-conditioned stores.
The first store that we visited Diamonds International, which is supposed to have the largest selection of diamonds and diamond jewelry in the Caribbean. They will allow you to trade in your diamond for a bigger or brighter diamond and you can create your dream piece with the help of the master jewelers that are on staff. My girls received a free 14kt electroplated charm bracelet with a DI charm on it. They will be able to get a free charm when they visit a Diamond International in another country.

Next, we visited Del Sol, which is known as the world’s largest color-change retailer. They have all types of shirts, sunglasses, head coverings and fingernail polish that changes color when exposed to UV rays. They received free lanyards, which were great for carrying their passport. We also purchased some fun nail polish.
Our next stop was at Venetian Jewelers. This store is known as the only place for purchasing Sophia Fiori’s blues diamonds. Sophia Fiori’s style is trendy and eclectic and the girls received a free 1-carat midnight sapphire. This gemstone is appraised at $100 and can be used to get $100 off a 5-carat sapphire or jewelry piece.

I love emeralds and had to oh and ahh at settings which contained my birthstone at Colombian Emeralds International. Whenever I visit, I find another piece that I will get.

Our last stop was Effy Jewelers, which is reported to be the discount store for Diamonds International. The girls were given a silver necklace with an amethyst pendant and were able to purchase a matching pair of earrings for $10. We were ecstatic over the gifts and walked past Starbucks and Subway to get back onboard, so that we could have lunch!

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