I went to the shopping seminar on the Princess and took their advice and went to a shop they recommended in Cozumel. I bought 2 loose tanzanites at $4,000, being told they would appraise for much more by the staff there and by the woman who did the talk who also saw my purchase. To me they were an exact match to a large one I already had. After getting home and having them appraised they were only worth maybe $1,000. Since the store was referred by the ship I got all my money back after months of hassle and the store was taken of the "approved" stores the ship recommended.
Unfortunately Tanzanite Int'l and Diamonds Int'l are two of the most expensice stores for purchase of either. My earrings I bought at Tanzanite are not worth as much as I paid for them. And I have read of many others having the same problem.
Make sure to get as much information before you go. And take it with you. I know in st Thomas you can get better prices at some of the smaller unapproved stores and just as good of quality.
Caribbean Trip Reports
Star Princess 2005, Sun Princess 2005
Caribbean Princess 2006, MSC Lirica 2006 , NCL Pearl 2007, Majesty of the Seas 2008, Carnival Destiny 2008, MSC Lirica 2009, Carnival Valor 2009,Carnival Legend 2010, Carnival Liberty 2010,Carnival Fantsay 2011,Carnival Valor Feb 2012, MSC Poesia Dec 2012, MSC Poesia April 2013, Carnival Legend Nov 2013, MSC DIVINA Jan 2014, MSC Divina Oct 2014
Just returning from our second Royal Caribbean cruise. This time we were on the Freedom of the Seas, stopping in Coco Cay, St. Thomas, and St. Martin. I bought a 2.05 carat loose Tanzanite from Tanzanite International (St. Thomas). I talked them down from $1,200 to $960. I took it to my jeweler back at home and had him set it into a pendant with 13 tiny diamonds surrounding it (to protect the relatively soft and somewhat breakable Tanzanite from getting hurt from daily wear). My jeweler took one look at my Tanzanite, said it was "truly an exceptional stone" and once I got my finished pendant back, it appraised for $3,830. $3,000 of that is just for the Tanzanite!!! That means that I paid less than 1/3 of what the stone appraised for here. Now, as a disclaimer, I'm a well-trained amateur when it comes to gemstones and will be pursuing my GIA certifications within the next few years. That said, if you read up on any stone and know what to look for, you can have some amazing success in these ports when it comes to buying loose stones.
I never leave home without my jewelers loupe.
when I was a cruise with Carnival the sales clerk was so nasty told me I had nerve asking her for one. So I whipped mine out and checked the gems.Got similar one,cheaper in Cozumel. I never go to the "authorized stores" Sound like "kick back" to me.
I'm not saying you can't get a good deal on a gemstone, but buyer beware. Also the settings are not always as secure as your local jeweler.My dad bought me a nice diamond/ blue topaz ring from Aruba, well I wore it to dinner stone popped out.(I found the stone but still) My jeweler told me they did shotty work on my setting, and he re did it. I know my dad paid a lot for it.
Then again I know friends who buy jewelry on their cruises and had no issues.
Hello Everyone .... I am originally from Tanzania Kilimanjaro which is the heart of the Tanzanite mine. I have amazing certified rare fancy tanzanites and AAA quality Tanzanites .. All Tanzanites are certified by Tanzanite foundation . It was really sad on my last trip to the caribbean there was a lot of FAKE Tanzanites around ... please buy with rec certificate rec Tanzanite Foundation ... usually a AAA quality tanzanite any size would cost today at about 350 usd per carat . Advise .. don't pay more !!!