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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert jshepherd's Avatar
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    Default Freshwater Pearl Shopping on St. Thomas

    I'm on vacation with my son and have been trying to stay off the Internet and the PG, but I strayed into a tourist trap (jewelry store) on St. Thomas today and now I have to post.

    We were walking along the port area mall where about 1000 duty-free jewelry companies are located when I saw a sign in front of Celebrity Jewelers that caught my eye. There were advertising a set of genuine freshwater pearls in white or chocolate for $49. Attached to the sign were two strands of fake pearls, one white and one brown with matching stud earrings.

    No big deal, I thought. They would not attach the pearls to a sign in front of their shop! So I went inside to see what sort of quality these pearls were for only $49.

    I asked to see the pearls on special and the lady behind the counter handed me a strand of FAKE PEARLS! They were not even good fakes. They were plastic beads. I told the lady they weren't pearls and asked to see the real freshwater pearls. She referred me to the gentleman working behind the counter who started assuring me that they were indeed freshwater pearls, and that I was confused because they were so round. He asked if I was looking for "potato pearls" because they carried them as well.

    I told the gentleman that I thought it was very unethical to be selling fake pearls as genuine freshwater pearls. He once again insisted the pearls were real. I reached into my wallet and pulled out my business card, handed it to him and told him that either he was getting ripped off, or he was intentionally ripping off his customers. He didn't say a word while I left. The answer was clearly the latter.

    I can't say the same for all the jewelry vendors on St. Thomas, but sharks live on the land as well as in the sea in the Virgin Islands. If any of you ever visit St. Thomas, be careful. And definitely steer clear of Celebrity Jewelers in the Havensight Mall.

    Ok ... back to vacation and the Pearl Oyster book!

  2. #2
    purveyor of pearls Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pearlescence's Avatar
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    You mean you aren't spending the rest of the time there outside the shop with a big sandwich board telling all that the pearls are fakes?

  3. #3
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member Pearlcat's Avatar
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    My mom used to buy jewelry in St. Thomas but I always wondered if she was indeed getting a "deal." Some of the deals didn't seem like such a good one. I suspect a lot of the time people get taken in by the notion of "duty free." Most of the time if you purchase from the internet from a reputable vendor, the purchase, by nature, is duty free.

  4. #4
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member laurenb's Avatar
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    But Jeremy — they will give you a totally sweet store credit if you're not satisfied (and the moon is waning gibbous, Pluto is transiting and you click your heels three times)!

    I though jewelry prices on St. Thomas and St. John were unimpressive, but I didn't see anything that bad, not even from street vendors.

    I can... err... vouch for the quality control on their duty-free grog — the selection I encountered was a little wan, but I must admit that my family didn't devote much time to alcohol shopping.
    Lauren's ETSY store is on hiatus!

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    Makes you wonder whether the gemstones on their website are real or lab created....

  6. #6
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member MistofCassiopeia's Avatar
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    sigh...it's hard to separate the man from his pearls....lol,

  7. #7
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert smetzler's Avatar
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    My assumption has always been that these cruise ship Ports-of-Call 'Duty Free' shopping districts are rip-offs at best. Nassau is another typical example.

    But Jeremy certainly caught them with their hand in the cookie jar!
    Steve
    ============

  8. #8
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Jeremy's post definitely brought a smile. The Pearl Police travel near and far!

  9. #9
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    If you Google "Celebrity Pearls St. Thomas" the 4th entry now reads:

    Freshwater Pearl Shopping on St. Thomas - Pearl-Guide.com - Pearl ...
    4 posts - 4 authors
    If any of you ever visit St. Thomas, be careful. And definitely steer clear of Celebrity Jewelers in the Havensight Mall. ...
    http://www.pearl-guide.com/.../3687-...st-thomas.html - Cached -


    Edit: I meant "Celebrity Jewelers St. Thomas", but in any case it no longer shows up on the Google search.
    I'm still amazed that thy had the gall to palm off plastic fakes. I mean really, plastic!
    Last edited by Pearl Dreams; 06-29-2009 at 04:13 AM. Reason: update and correcting error

  10. #10
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Hanaleimom's Avatar
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    That must be embarrassing for him being caught like that. Lucky for him there was no customer in the store. But of course, he'll continue selling to the bargain hunters.
    Cathy

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