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ewellery districts are reknowned the world over for being a one-stop-shop for designers, jewellers, diamond traders and customers looking for something a little more than the usual souvenir. KiaOra checks out four of the most impressive jewellery quarters and gives you the inside info on the best ways to buy, what to do if you fancy making a day of it with local bars and attractions and the unique offerings of each location. he New York Diamond District is not what you’d expect; for one, it’s slicker and shinier than many parts of the city and that’s not just because of the glittering shops that line West 47th Street; also known as Diamond Jewellery Way and conveniently located near The Avenue of America’s (6th ave). R&R jewellery is a family run business established in 1985 and run by the two R’s- brothers Rami and Robert. At R&R, the staff is selected as meticulously as the jewels, creating an environment which nourishes and displays over 25 years worth of knowledge to each customer. Located in


DISTRICTS THAT DAZZLE The salesmen at Dubai’s Gold Souk are expert enticers



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The clock tow the centre of the district at 26th west 47th street, just between the notorious 5th and 6th avenues, R&R is a classic jewellery store with pieces being showcased under delicate spot lighting in spotless glass cases and attentive sales assistants on hand to answer any queries. It’s the kind of place to visit if you’re looking for class and elegance with a personal touch. Golda Jewellery is geared towards the savvy female shopper, the type of woman who knows exactly what she wants and, if it’s diamonds, should head to 29 west 47th street for an impressive collection of certified pieces. Having just celebrated a 30th birthday, Golda prides itself on expertise and trustworthiness and the impeccably turned out Tanya and Amanda know their stuff, with a seemingly endless supply of stock, especially rings, be it cocktail, eternity or engagement, Golda’s has brilliant diamonds of every shape, shade and size. The Diamond District doesn’t only offer great jewellery stores but covers many aspects of the technical trade like raw materials and valuation services. If you’re a jeweller visiting the area then stop at Ross Metals at 27th west 47th for great deals on casting, plate and wire in a professional space. If you’re looking to sell or trade on any pieces, the Gemological Laboratory of America is on 10 west 47th street, you’ll need to set up an appointment for their expert services but the independent appraisal centre is your one stop shop for valuing any gem, from amethyst all the way to zoisite.

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arter and bargain are your key words for the world famous Dubai Gold Souk which attracts tourists from all corners of the globe looking to find high quality jewellery at a fraction of the usual cost. Practise you indignation and a solid walk-away because the market traders here adore a good haggle. Beware the hawkers if you’re after authenticity from your bargains though, the key word in their ‘genuine fake’ sales pitch is the former not the latter word! The market style shopping destination gets busy around 10am and doesn’t slow down until well after night fall, large screens display the current gold trading price as many traders sell jewellery by weight, to ensure you’re getting the best deal firstly, make sure you can see the scale where your item is weighed and be prepared to shop around, making a considered buy can save you around 40% on average. Whether or not you’re looking to buy, a visit to the Souk is a must, if only to see the wall to wall displays of gold, totally an average of 10 tonnes of the precious metal being available on any given day. ead a little North West of London and you’ll find Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, a centre for fuelling training and innovation in the country’s midlands. The area is undergoing a lot of modern updates but keeps a traditional feel; tree-lined squares, cobbled streets and shops in Georgian style buildings, all bright white walls and jet black exposed beams in quintessential British style. The quarter boasts Europe’s largest concentration of jewellery businesses and produces almost half the total amount of jewellery made in the UK, housing one of the four prestigious Assay Officesresponsible for the certification of over 12million pieces of jewellery annually. Situated just south of Hockley, the area is easily accessed by the Midland Metro from Birmingham


centre or via a number of bus and rail routes (the area has its own dedicated rail station), the Jewellery Quarter is also home to a whole host of chic bars, bistros and restaurants alongside the wide range of stores. The Quarterworkshop runs jewellery making classes as well as producing their ranges of rings and silverware. Classes range from stone setting and bowl raising to an exclusive ‘Make Your Own Wedding Rings’ day class- for £250 (plus materials costs) Victoria Delany and the team will take couples through the process of creating their own bridal jewellery from start to finish. n area long associated with gold thanks to a rich supply of mines, Johannesburg is bursting with venues for buying, selling and making jewellery as well as opportunities to buy rough cut gems in every shape and size. Jewel City is not your average shopping experience, geared towards serious diamond shoppers, the area covers six blocks of the Eastern precinct of Johannesburg and is a high security area which houses the Diamond Board and State Trader Association, as well as over 300 shops selling everything from rough cut diamonds and emeralds to finished pieces. The entrance is on Main Street with Berea and Phillip streets to the east and west. The area itself is the Central Business District (CBD) of Johannesburg making it quite industrial but it’s a mere stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of central Johannesburg, as an area subject to huge investments in development for the community and tourists which means new shops, bars and trendy markets like the Neighbourgood Market on Juta Street, are popping up all the time. Take a five minute walk to the Maboneng Precinct and you’ll find the Living Room; a rooftop terrace eatery with breathtaking views of the city. Make sure to visit Market on Main on Sunday morning’s to find independent, jewellers with beautiful handmade creations.


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