• tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

Gypsy East’s Tips for Buying Jewelry in India

Remember when I shared about the cool people I met while backpacking India solo? Well, one of those girls introduced me to her hippie friend that lives on and off in Goa. The group of girls own Gyspy East, a unique jewelry company that sources silver and gemstones from all over the world (but mostly India) to make one of a kind pieces. I asked them to give us a few tips for buying jewelry in India and thankfully they said yes.

This is a nice insight not only into tips on buying gems in India, but how to tell if silver is real, and also just a sneak peak into how these UK girls got the company started in the first place in India where it can be hard to trust jewelers.

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

From the Girls of Gypsy East:

We headed to India as our first port of call after 18 months of traveling the world. We set off to Rajasthan in search of Indian inspired jewels as all our previous creations were based on their traditional style of jewellery.

It takes a while to build a relationship with local workshops and establishing secure s with people. We had a few dodgy deals & let downs initially, before discovering the family run workshop that has  been one of our most successful suppliers and  the creator of our own design ranges.

We source most of our crystals from our Himalayan crystal dealer. He spends 8 months of the year digging in the mountains with his father and has a cavernous room filled entirely of rough crystals that we select from each year. One of our favorite finds of last year was a clear quartz which had water trapped inside with two floating air bubbles that had been trapped inside the crystal for hundreds of thousands of years.

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

Once we have sourced the crystals we take a selection of them to our workshop to be silver capped and turned into pendants. The first release of these sold out before we made it past the first festival this season so we will be expanding out range this year.

A lot of the jewellery pieces we look for are picked up from markets, little dusty corner shops & street dealers in India. We like to have an eclectic mix! We don’t always source from the same supplier. Last year in Goa we came across the most beautiful set of druzy stones that looked like miniture galaxies. We got them made into rings in Kerela and loved the entire creative process.

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

Tips for Buying Jewelry in India

  • It’s important to always know the cost of silver and gold at the time of purchasing so you can take that into account when haggling with street sellers.
  • When you buy amber you can you buy it by weight like you can a precious metal. Amber price equates to the current price of silver unless it has some exceptional feature like a fossilized insect.
  • Just because silver is bendable, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Actually, silver is soft. It is mixed with other metals to make it stronger starting at 92.5% hence the stamp 925.
  • In England all sterling silver items have to be hallmarked by the Assay Office to verify that they are 925 silver. However in India you will find things are stamped 925 without any proof of the  silver content. 925 is not an “official” hallmark though.
  • Fun Fact: Pirates would have bitten a piece of gold to test the quality- the higher the carrot, the softer the gold.
  • Make sure you always ask for a bill that clearly states what you are paying for whether it is gold, brass, silver, or copper. For example with gold, it should sat the gold content on the bill and then the added cost for labour on top.
  • The price of gold  is international! Don’t buy gold in India unless it’s officially hallmarked. There are 5 signs to tell if it’s really hallmarked
  • Watch for scams. For example, it’s been known to have rings swapped at the last minute during packaging and gem stones being swapped to glass replicas whilst rings are being re-sized. It’s very easy to be sold a replica stone when you don’t want know your looking for.

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

Buying Gemstones and Crystals in India

Our crystal bible never leaves our side when we are buying and selling. It’s essential when purchasing precious and semi precious stones. It also gives a clear guide to their healing properties.

We always keep our tourmaline crystals on for protection when traveling.

When we produce our own design range we always produce in either rainbow moon stone, opal or labradorite. Anything that has irredescent properties or has a galaxy look to it works for us!

Rainbow Moonstone acts as a prism, diffusing energy throughout the aura. It provides psychic protection, clearing the mind and senses, and aids in lucid dreaming and calm sleep. It deflects negativity and eases emotional trauma. Aligned with the Goddess, Rainbow Moonstones connect with the energies and spirits of Nature, from plant devas to galactic consciousness.

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

Where to Buy Gypsy East

You can shop now on ASOS marketplace. Gyspy East will be carried soon at the Arpora Market in Goa and at TIA shop in Mandrem. They have a collection in Sri Lanka at a new pop up shop – location to be announced.

Connect with them on Facebook and Instagram and also feel free to inquire more via their email [email protected]

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

tips for buying jewelry in india gypsy east

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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Tushar June 29, 2015 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Once I along with mother purchased silver elephant to tie it as a necklace but few months later the color changed and it is some other metal but yes, it is strong metal so I keep it wearing but it is not now silver and I dont know what metal it is now.
    The shopkeeper at purchasing time said it is silver but it is not. But what to do.

  2. Jen Joslin June 29, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    What a cool business these women are running! I bought a ring I hoped was a real sapphire stone set in silver last year in Hampi. Sadly it turned out to be glass and the silver quickly turned a funky color. Oh well, live and learn. Glad to have these ladies’ tips for next time!

    • Rachel Jones July 1, 2015 at 12:11 am - Reply

      bummer! it’s frustrating because the salespeople swear they aren’t lying and i hate to call someone out and say you’re lying… but when im 100% sure they are i will say so!

  3. Elen June 30, 2015 at 12:15 am - Reply

    Great post. I’ve bought a lot of silver in India, and if you know silver jewellery well (like I do) it’s easy enough to tell whether it’s of a good quality or not. I wouldn’t trust myself with precious stones, though. I was admiring something in Udaipur one time and asked the boy what the stone was (it was clearly blue glass); he paused for a moment, thought about it, and replied, “it’s a very rare blue ruby.” Well, I don’t know my rubies very well, but I 100% knew he was talking sh*t! So yeah, it pays to know your stuff.

    • Rachel Jones July 1, 2015 at 12:10 am - Reply

      haha i’m the opposite! I can’t tell real silver from fake, but am getting pretty good at stones :) most people are more clever with the silver though, but i’ve been scammed on it a few times. it’s never much money though

  4. Lissa June 30, 2015 at 9:55 am - Reply

    I can’t believe some of the traditional Indian jewelry, like the jewelry they wear in Indian weddings. It is so intricate and detailed that there is no reproducing it’s originality. I agree there are scam artists out there that prey on tourists. I think it would be well worth it to find a local that knows the area, and which jewelers have the real swag before purchasing.

  5. christine wilhelm July 1, 2015 at 6:57 am - Reply

    Years ago when the Indian Rupee was unstable (huge buyer’s black-market) and gold was reasonable priced, India had grand stores that were wall-to-wall 18 carat gold jewelry. Every Indian household invested as much as possible in gold. When I visited India this past winter, I was dismayed to see these old stores gone. I guess a lot of the in country gold was melted when the price of gold soared.
    I bought a few pieces of lapis lazuli set in Indian silver, but otherwise, I found the Indian gold jewelry market exaggerated with most similar pieces cheaper in the U.S. I saw a lot of cheap Chinese reproductions, mixed lead metals and glass. I also saw some really, really phenomenal jewels with Maharajah quality and matching prices!

    Jaipur’s semi-precious and precious stone markets have had big changes too. There are not as many dealers and the prices quoted to me were ridiculous. I wonder if Colombo, Sri Lanka’s market has changed as much. I shopped for Indian rubys and sapphires , but I couldn’t find my quality standard/ price during my short visit.
    Oh well, I am sure if I stayed longer and dug deeper I could have been satisfied.

    • Rachel Jones July 1, 2015 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      I know what you mean, I actually needed a small gold chain and new I’d find one cheaper at Kohl’s in the US then getting on in the market in Mapusa Goa.

  6. Heather @ JourneyingSaurus July 2, 2015 at 7:40 am - Reply

    This is such a cool post! I love jewelry, but I never buy “expensive” jewelry while traveling for fear of getting ripped off. I’m sure I miss a lot of amazing deals and beautiful pieces in the process…

    So many beautiful pieces in their collection. It’s exciting some of their pieces are now online! But obviously buying when traveling is so much more fun.

  7. Veronica Marks November 18, 2015 at 4:59 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tip that just be cause silver is bendable doesn’t mean it isn’t real. I’ve wondered about that in the past. I love these tips and feel like they will help me a lot during our month long trip next year!

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