Gem shop locations involved in the scam

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Gem shop locations involved in the scam
"I'll reopen again, just like I have for 20 years!"

What do we mean by "Gem Shop Locations involved in the scam?" We mean shops that have been known to use touts at tourist attractions to lure shoppers to their stores with false claims of huge discounts and promises that money can be made by reselling the gems back home. The gems purchased are genuine, but overpriced--sometimes many times their actual retail value.

2B has followed this scam online for nearly five years and before that collected reports starting in 1991. Up until 2003, the authorities did nothing to stop the scam. Officials claimed that just changing the name of the shop prevented them from doing anything. There were a small collection of locations where stores merely reopened under different names to avoid legal repercussions. In 2003, in the lead up to the APEC summit and reacting to negative publicity, the Thaksin government suddenly announced there were no more gem scam stores in Thailand. While there has been a noticeable drop off in reports, many stores are still open (in fact, 2Bangkok.com later received a scam report that occurred on the day of the government announcement).

Usually, when searching for a scam store for the first time on an obscure street, it is easiest to look for the metal slats that are almost always used to turn run-down shophouses into presentable gem shops. This reinforces the idea that a single group uses the same methods to run all the stores in the downtown area. Sources have also confirmed that there are at least two territories for scam stores. One cartel runs all scams shops in the downtown area (Rattanakosin, Dusit, Chinatown/Chaeron Krung Road, Patapinklao) and circulates a common group of workers among the locations. Other smaller concerns run shops in the east side of town. The eastern scam stores usually do not use the customary metal slats on their exteriors.

The shops also use a common pool of employees who are swapped between stores so when the store opens under a new name the same people are not working there. This page is an attempt to document the locations regardless of what the store is called.

There are also 'permanent' shops like Oscar and Leela (shops that do not regularly open under a new name). These shops have occasional scam reports and lure tourists in by unethical means, but they differ from other shops in that it is usually possible to obtain a refund.

Sources for this information: tourists who have been scammed, sympathetic Thai police officers (it is surprising how many there are), TAT staff who do not wished to be named, officials in Thai embassies overseas who pass us reports they receive of scammed tourists, and some other anonymous sources

Also: Individual scam accounts



Bangkok Royal Gems & Jewelry (last report December 21, 2001 - closed)
9-13 Chula Soi 14 Rantadtong Road, Phatumwan, 10330

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:

Creative


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Blue Dragon becomes Golden Argosy

Above: July, 2007

Right: December, 2006

Blue Dragon has changed its name to Golden Argosy and continues to scam tourists.

Address: 436/9-12, Loog-Luang Road, Mahannak, Dusit (Google Earth placemark)

This is one of the best-protected gem scam locations. Tourists who complained were interrogated by police and told they risked getting beaten up by gem gangs if they pursued their cases further.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Right: The shop when it was called 'Imperial.' In the photo notice the little curtains to either side of the name indicating it was recently officially opened. Within a week of Imperial's opening (early January, 2003) we already had a scam report.

This store was the first (that we know of) to try to protect itself by making customers sign a declaration. The customer must hand-write "Souvenir for family--not for resale."

Names of the scam shop operating from this location in the past:

Last report December 2006 - Blue Dragon Factory Export Center Co. Ltd.
Last report mid-2003 - Imperial Jewelry Export Co. Ltd.
Last report December, 2000 - Ma Mere Gems Collection Co. Ltd.
Last report October, 2000 - Blue Sapphire Gem Co. Ltd.
Last report July, 2000 - TGJ Thai Center Co. Ltd.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Burapa Lapidary (closed mid-2002)
164 Damrong Rak Rd, Klong Maha Nak Sub PomPrab Dist, Bangkok 10100


Chalermthai (last report October 19, 2002 - closed December, 2002)
27-29 Soi Chalemket 2, U-kol 1 Street, Thepsirim, Pomprabsatrupai
This location is deep in Chinatown in a neighborhood that some might consider atmospheric and lively, but it actually borders on being a slum. Building after building is vacant, wrecked cars line the narrow streets, and greasy mechanics wearing nothing but underwear repair giant engines dripping oil right on the sidewalk. Why a tourist would buy thousands of dollars worth of gems from such a shabby store on such a shabby street is beyond us, but many, many people did.

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
closed around September, 2002 - Mahachai
last report March 8, 2002 - Benjarong
open for just a few months after Chalerrmkht and before Benjarong - U-Thong
closed early 2002 - Chalermkeht


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Champion (last report June 7, 2002 - closed)
25/11 Pisanulek Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300 Thailand Tel: 0-2628-5391, 0-2628-5392 Fax: 0-2280-2644
This is another well-connected store... Those cheated here find it hard to get any help from the authorities.

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
formerly Majestic


Christie's Lapidary (attempted scam report October, 2002 - closed)
We do not have the address of this shop.


D.S.R. Manufactory
We have received no scam reports about this store yet (we are not even sure what it sells as it always seems to be closed), but since it is operating from the same address as several former scam shops, customers should exercise caution.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
849/59-61 Chula Soi 6, Bantadtong Road., Phatumwan

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
last report July 30, 2002 - Siam
last report June 6, 2002 - Theppanom (Tel: 02-6123107 - "It cheated a Malaysian from Penang of 29,600 baht on June 6, 2002" - thanks to the Tourism Authority of Thailand Kuala Lumpur Office for this report)
last report January 29, 2002 - Komkien Gems and Jewelry (Police supposedly closed Komkien in July, 2001, but it was operating again in 2002.)
last report 2001 - Sincere


Gems Palace (last report May, 2003 - closed December 2003 - now the location is some kind of generalized export shop)
115/1-3 Prachathipatai Road, Bangkhunprom, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200
This is a shop we have been watching for some time. The shop employs a French man who meets tourists near the Grand Palace with friendly advice about how much money can be made at the store. The shop is just a few units away from the notorious 121-123/125 Prachatipatai Road scam location which is presently called Kawin Gems (see below).


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above -January 11, 2003 - 121-123/125 Prachatipatai Road scam shop immediately after being closed.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above - January 25, 2003 - After only 2 weeks of closure, the shop is open again using the name Kawin Gems Co., Ltd.

Kawin Gem Company, Ltd. (no reports yet, but as this is a long time scamming location, you would be crazy to trust them - closed December 2003 - now the location is a tailor shop)
121-123/125 Prachatipatai Rd., Bangkhunprom Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200 Thailand, Tel: 0-2629-3516-17, Fax: 0-2629-3519
See the map above for location.

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
closed January, 2003 - Dheves Gems
closed about March 14, 2002 - Marin Gems

Leela Lapidary Co., Ltd.
589 Prasumen Rd, Wat Borwornives, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200 Tel : 629-4513-16 Fax : 629-4517
See the map above for location.

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The shop looks very elaborate--not like most of the cheaply converted shophouses that are used for the scams. While we have received scam reports about it, we have also received complimentary reports about this shop (below) and those who go back to the shop (with TAT help, not the police) have been given refunds.

This shop is observed to maintain their own fleet of tuktuks (which are parked in the shop courtyard at night). These are the tuk-tuks that run along Phra Ahatit Road stopping to ask tourists "sightseeing 10 baht all day." Some of these also sit near the Defense Ministry.
Update (June 2004): ...I am writing to tell my experience in dealing with Leela Lapidary on 3 May 2004 during our short holiday in Bangkok. We purchased 2 pieces of Ruby rings there at their shop at 589 Prasumeru Road, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200, at a total price of Thai Baht 276,000. On returning to Malaysia, we checked the stones at a Kuala Lumpur Consultant Gemologist for verification and found that the rubies were of good quality and were good buys. The Manager, Mr. Paul was very kind to call us from Thailand to check if we were satisfied with our purchases. And we are very pleased with our purchases. Therefore, after reading all the negative reports about Leela Lapidary, in our good experiences with them, I and my wife wish to express our point of view.

Update
(November 2003): Another positive report about Leela: Your latest update about Leela, we have noticed that Leela is not like the other stores. For one, it has been open for almost two years (probably more). Secondly, people seem to have a better success rate at getting a refund. Finally, we had once case of a fellow from England who would have made a *profit* selling his gems purchased at Leela, but for the import duties charged by the UK. This store does not appear to be quite like the others and I'm not sure why.

Update
(January 2003): We have received a positive report about Leela: A very well presented shop, many staff and a huge selection of jewelry. We picked out a Thai style ring for my wife which cost 15,500 baht - a reasonable price I thought - I conducted all the business side of things (haggling) in Thai. My wife was most impressed with the business dealing and with the ring. A lovely sapphire On return to Australia we had it valued at a reputable Australian jeweler - It was valued at about 18,000 baht, so in effect we made 10% on our deal. I was thinking of going back there and doing some more shopping in the future. My experience there was pleasant and as it turns out my purchase was a quality item at a price that turned out to be reasonable.

Monpere Gem Company (last report 2001)
We do not have the address of this shop.


Orchid (last report November, 2002 - closed December, 2002 - January 2003: this site is for rent)
318 Krungkasem Rd., Bangkhunprom, Sub-District, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200 Tel: 02-282 4381
We called the landlord (0-2962-0169). The four-storey shophouse is for rent for 45,000 baht per month. The landlord (who did not wish to be identified) said she did not know the previous tenant was doing an illegal business. She said she had thought Orchid was an import business.
See the map above for location.


Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
last report July, 2002 - Phanfa
last report 2001 - Thai Mining


The Oscar (last report October, 2006)
76/3-4 Ratchadumnurnnok Road, Watsommanaswiharn, Pomprab, Bangkok 10100
Tel. 6298510-1
This
shop is around the corner from the boxing stadium and within a line of sight from a police box. Like Leela, this is a 'permanent' shop (not one that regularly opens under a new name).


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
Orchid


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Piyamanee (last report January, 2006)
468-470 Bamroonmuang Rd, Thapsirin, Pompapsattupai, Bangkok, 10100 Thailand
Google Earth placemark



R.S. Siam Jewelry
Rama 6 Road
No reports yet, but tourists are being approached by touts from this shop.
...One other point, yesterday, I was on the Silom road looking in jewelry shops just to get estimates on similar gems, just to check how much I'd been over charged. Me and my girlfriend posed as customers in several shops and once we left one shop we were approached by a Thai woman who told us that the shop we'd just been in was very expensive and she knew of another shop which was trade prices. Now I knew of this scam I listened to her and asked her to write the name of shop which she did (R S Siam Jewelry, Rama 6 Rd). Within a minute a tuk pulled up. She turned over the slip of paper she had written on, only to see a warning about the scam! (I got the paper from previous jewel shop). From reading this she seemed quite embarrassed and told me that be careful as 2 French, 2 Muslim and an American guy are involved in this scam, picking up tourist on the street. We made our excuses and left the woman and the tuk driver alone!



Sapphire Gallery (last report January 14, 2002)
165-167 Tanao Road, Bowonniwet, Bangkok 10200 (near Khao Sarn Road)

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
Thai Manee



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
SNP Jewelry (last report December, 2006)
SNP Jewelry Limited Partnership at 386 Visuttikasat Road, Banpantom, Pranakorn, Bangkok 10200 is using touts (both Thai and foreigners) at Wat Pho and the Grand Palace to lure tourists in with the same old promises of 100% profit when gems are resold outside of Thailand.
Sources at TAT informed us in the past how they felt humiliated to have such activities so damaging to tourism just a few blocks from their offices and be unable to do anything about it.
Photo of the SNP jewelry shop manager on the Thai gem scam group website.
Google Earth placemark

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
S.S.S. Jewelry Limited Partnership (right)

(Photo: Anthony Mak)

Thaevej Gems / Thewet Gems Shop (last report November, 2002)
Banglamphu
This is a shop renowned for openly beating up foreigners who complain against it. From a Nation article: Some shops have remained open despite pending legal cases. Thaevej Gems, for example, continues to do business even though a dozen fraud and physical-assault charges have been filed against it.


Universal (last report May 13, 2002 - closed May , 2002)
68 Teethong Road, Wat-Rachapit, Pranakorn
This is a prolific cheater and a well-connected shop. Tourists were advised by the police that they could be in danger from the scammers and their powerful backers if they pursued legal action.

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
closed February 19, 2002 - Thai Mikimoto


Vandee

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
222 Jakkapatdipong (Lan Luang) Pom Prab, Bangkok 11100

The Vandee location is not far from a local police station. The station was the site of a famous incident witnessed by several scammed tourists and reported in the International Herald Tribune: A member of the TAT [Tourism Authority of Thailand] staff walked out of the police station and kicked a cabinet and said that the whole place was so dirty he would have to leave.
In early 2002, Vandee was investigated by the Thai Gem Scam Group (a group of cheated tourists not associated with 2Bangkok.com) and embarrassed police made a big event in front of TV cameras of shutting down the shop. The next day it was open as usual. Also in 2002, police were reluctantly transporting cheated tourists back to the store and one of the policemen (not realizing one of the tourists spoke Thai) called ahead to warn the shop owner. When they arrived, a gang of thugs surrounded the tourists and threatened them as the police stood by and did nothing.
This shop was just a few blocks from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) headquarters. TAT officials privately informed 2B that they considered the presence of such a shop openly operating so close to them to be especially humiliating. Others at TAT have told 2B that there is nothing they could do about Vandee since it was a "sensitive matter." For Thais this means the shop is protected by extremely powerful and well-connected Thai institutions.
However, in October, 2002, Vandee was finally closed and all signage was removed from the building. As of January, 2003, amazingly enough, no "new" scam shop had opened in its place.

Names of scam shops operating from this location in the past:
closed February 5, 2002 - SukoThai
some staff formerly worked at Marin Gems (closed about March 14, 2002 at 121-123/125 Prachatipatai Rd, Bangkhunprom, (Sub-District) Pranakorn Bangkok 10200)


Yindee Lapidary Co. Ltd.
(first scam report June, 2002 - last report September, 2004)


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

1091/75-77 Petchburi Rd, Soi 33 (near D'Ma Pavilion Hotel), Makasan, Bangkok 10400 Tel: 253-1540-1, Fax: 651-6784

Yindee is a prolific scammer. We photographed the beautiful looking store at 7:45 am, December 22, 2002 (a Sunday morning), and it was already open and filled with tourists. The concierge at the D'Ma Pavilion Hotel (just steps away from Yindee) commented that the shop was "no good," the police "couldn't do anything to catch them" and they were always trying to cheat hotel guests. Tourist after tourist has been cheated (We went to Thailand in the hopes of having a wonderful honeymoon and now the whole experience has been overshadowed by this incident. We were very disappointed that such things happened to us and the local authorities did not inform us of such scams.). The police and the Tourism Authority of Thailand can't help...
Google Earth placemark


More shop names from the local press

"Help sought to combat gem scams," Bangkok Post, November 23, 2001 : The complainants identified the shops as Nopakao, Imperial Tailors, Sukhothai Gems, and Tanakorn Gems...

"27 Gem Shops Closed--19 Reopen Under New Names," Bangkok Post, July 19, 2001 - Some 27 jewellery shops had been ordered closed for their failure to comply, although 19 had since resumed trading under new names, he said. They are Khung Thep Gems Building Co, Ma Mare Gems Collection Co, T.G.J. Thai Centre Co, Bangkok Gems Export Centre, Bangkok Royal Gems & Jewelry, Yod Yiem, Maneeintr, Royal, Siam Jewelry Trading, Jewelry Centre 1986, Victoria Gems Centre Co, Regency Gems, Komkien Gems & Jewelry, Tourist Award Co, Blue Sapphire Gems Collection Co, Monpere Gems Export Co, Gorgeous Gems Export Co, Yindee Lapidary Co and Sapphire Centre.



Individual scam accounts



Gold Shops and the Gem Scam

Below are gold shops that are part of the scam by allowing people to buy gold with their credit card and swap the value of the gold for the gems (these shops are collected from our own reports and the Thai Gem Scam Group).



Bang (or Hang) Thong Thong Bai/Ranghang Thong Thong Bai
used by Chalermthai (formerly called Mahachai, Benjarong, U-Thong, and Chalermkeht)

This gold store is directly across from Pata Pinklao Department Store. It is one of linchpins of the gem scam and police tremble in fear at the mention of its name. It is used to cover the money trail by giving cash advances on credit cards and selling gold to tourists which is exchanged for overpriced jewels. What this means is that all the money from many gem scam shops is flowing back into this gold shop, but why isn't it ever mentioned in any "official" discussions of the scam? With perseverance, cheated tourists can demand police file reports on the gem shops and eventually the gem shop will have to change its name, but this gold shop is protected--police will outright refuse to mention it in reports
UPDATE: Gold stores were finally mentioned in a Tourist Police brochure circa January, 2004.
Also, this shop has multiple credit card machines under different names so when they swipe a credit card, the company name will be different from the name of the shop.

And there are also some more details and graphics in this in-depth scam report.

Please be careful about confronting this shop. It seems to be one of the key protected players in this decades-old scam and since such shops are maintained by the local mafia and "influential people in uniform," you will be on your own in fighting them. Also, all the younger, Western-educated translators who work for the Tourist Police will openly admit that the local police will never help in prosecuting the gold shops.

Below: photos of the shop


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Buan Hau Long
new Rd. Surawong, used by Creative Gems, 849/59-61 Chula Soi 6, Bantadtong Road, Phatumwan, Bangkok 10330

Hangthong Maesomboon
Central Rama 3, Room 311, Yannawa, Bangkok , used by Marin Gems, Vandee and Thai Mining

Jarukorn Goldsmith
2103 Phaholyothin Road, Samsennai Phayatha

Nguan Seng Heng Yaovarat Gyannawa (Gold Shop) & Nana Tai Exchange Booth
used by Burapa Lapidary, Thai Manee, Marin Gems and Sukothai

Sin Suwan Gold Store
Prasuman Road, Tel: 02-6292224-5, Tax ID: 3030323408


Sirada Diamond
used by Thai Mikimoto

Yongsengheng
used by Marin and Vandee (also spelt Yong Seng Heng)

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44 Responses to Gem shop locations involved in the scam

  1. V says:

    They are now called Premier Sapphire Factory Export and still doing their scams

  2. Michel says:

    SNP Jewelry is still scamming tourists in may 2012 !
    We were victims of the same scam for a ring in may 2012.
    But the scam is harder than ever :
    A transaction was conclued in front of the police for a refund of 80 % by the credit card…
    But we didn’t get anything, a month later…
    Good day.

  3. Ed D says:

    Can you please check if Saphira (455 New Rama 6th Road, Tanonphetchaburi, Ratchathewi, Bangkok) is also a scammer shop?
    I bought a silver ring that costs me 2,500 bahts but it turned out it is only a stainless ring. It seems small amount compared to what other victims paid but the idea is I was trapped in this scam.

    • SY says:

      I think its a scammer shop. I was there once and bought a ring with a sapphire stone on it (about 10k baht). When i got back to my hotel. My girlfriend noticed the stone colour were fading. So we went back to the shop and ask for a refund on the same day. They hesitated for a refund and insisted that they should only refund me only 80% of total value, but lucky I used a credit card which i could cancelled the transaction and put it under “dispute”.

      Also they offered me a larger sapphire stone. When I heard that, i knew they sold me some scam stone. Then I thought, who would actually offer you a larger stone for the same price?! So I insisted them to cancel the transaction on my credit card, and they did (with a full refund, thank god.)

      I was introduced to this gem store by some Thai fella at the temple (i believe is a scammer), told me about the duty free event. Then i googled that d*mn thing about it and found all about the scam exactly happening to me as described in “Wikipedia – Thai gem scam”.

      I was darn lucky about this. I urge every bloke on earth not to buy gems in Thailand, unless you are a certified gem expert. Even then, you should be careful.

      • Jeanny says:

        hi, i want to ask about this scam. what do you do until that stores refund you 100% money back? is the stores really void your credit card transaction or give you cash money? THANKS.

      • Wong Jia Hui says:

        Hi, may I ask how did you cancel your credit card transaction? I urgently need advice on that. Thank you!

  4. W.O. says:

    This is really something. The touts are everywhere. Being curious I tried out the tour with a TukTuk driver who was the tout. First to a buddha temple, 2nd to Oscar. 2 min visit in the shop and telling the guys in the shop that “this is very nice but I don’t buy anything”, afterwards the tout wants me to get to fabrics shop but I told him seriously that he should bring me to Wat Pho and he did. Result: nice and cheap TukTuk ride, no gems bought, nice experience

  5. AR says:

    Hi,

    I was scammed by SNP jewelry and brought them to the Thai Tourist Police, I have a picture of the woman running the shop if you would like to post it.

    I got almost all my money back, just contact the Department of Tourism.

  6. Elen says:

    Hi I was scammed by Bangkok Royal Gems & Jewelry. Please help to get money back!

  7. PG55 says:

    Does any one heard about any new jelewery scam on Color Gems Co. Ltd? It was located at 455/31 New Rama 6 Road, Tanon phetchaburi,Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Thailand.

    • Londonboy says:

      I bought few rings ( saphire and ruby) from color gems. They gave me. Certificate and invoice.
      Shop and ring looks genuine to me but will get them checked by professional as
      I Am now getting cautious about so many scams in Bangkok!

      • ES68 says:

        Today, i was praying Buddha in front of central world shopping mall, a guys claimed retire policeman from Penang Malaysia. He say today is big date of Buddha in Thailand and should go lucky Buddha for praying as he only open once a year and going to close in an hour. He write the temple name and bring us to tuk tuk, two way cost 30bath per tuk tuk.

        We reached there and there is a young man asking “where u from?”, explaining the Buddha birthday and last asked us to go into pagoda. We go up pagoda by stair case and saw a smart dressed business man was praying in front of Buddha. He certainly ask us where we from and introduce himself CEO/Director of wholesale banking of Malayan Banking Berhad based in Singapore. He teach us the way to praying the Buddha. I saw a lot of money such as MYR, USD, SGD, with a business card on top. The “CEO” say if doing business should pray each Buddha, as it help good feng shui. There was about 8small and 1big Buddha. After that, you may put money with your business card on table and Buddha body (up to you). I saw the table got 500 MYR and few hundred USD. He passed you a name card with Maybank company and title, website and etc… He talk a lot about his life experience, his mum, wife and holiding 20% shares of marina sands bay and upcoming hotels project.

        After that, infront of Buddha there is a gem stone and started gem stone story…. He say should buy a orange sapphire gem stone, good for business and luck. They are big sponsored company for this events and price is affordable as they only charge based on cutting price. Before we leave, he write us the shop name called Color Gems which nearby temple. I bought a orange sapphire gem stone ring (22K baht). Later we back to hotel and my cousin said he saw the CEO putting th MYR $ was fake, the running number is same.

        I started to think back the whole situation and this was a gem scam and quickly went to professional jewelry shop in famous shopping mall. The shop boss was kind and help us to check the gem stones ring. He say the ring is real, 14k gold, diamond real, gems ok but diamond and sapphire quality is not the better grades. The price we bought is higher but overall is ok. I was calm down after hear the gem stones was real. But, I will check with another big jewelry shop again to double confirm.

        I write this to all tourists to bangkok, please be caution of gems scam especially they like to cheat you in temple infront of Buddha which you believed scammers will not do this in temple.

        Btw, anyone knows is there anyway that consumer can refund the $ if not satisfy? Is Thailand government protect consumer?

        I really hope that Thailand government can take action against those gem scammers from doing this illegal to tourist. Suggested to have have Police around famous location such as tourist attraction and shopping mall. I don’t see any policeman on town.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi, I just bac bkk, I also experience exactly wat happen wit u. So is the Colors Gem selling the real jewelry? I spent 10,000bath for an orange sapphire ring.

        • Tourist says:

          Did Any one have gems valued in home country from color gems – I bought a ruby very small so minimal loss of not real but I would like to know

          Thanks for your help!

          Concerned tourist!

    • Youyou says:

      Did you have your answer ? because I bought one as well -_-
      Is that a fake ?

  8. Lulu says:

    Hello
    Do you Know the shop “Bangkok royal gems co, ldt
    ?
    I just buy a ring …

    Thanks

  9. Dayle says:

    Not long returned from Thailand where I purchased a gold ring with 3 sapphires separated by two single diamonds. Three weeks later we noticed that one of the diamonds had fallen out. Thought that I would email the Jewellery Store, but on Googling the address, and finding a webpage there were no usable links. I am now not sure of the bona fides of them. The store in question is “Gems and Jewelry Trade Centre Co. Ltd”, the address being 12 Soi Rong Muang 2, Rong Muang Rd,
    Prathumwan Bangkok 10330.

    Has anyone any information on them?

    • Wong Jia Hui says:

      Hi, may I know if your jewellery was real or fake? I might be involved in a similar situation from the same store that you have mentioned. Thank you!

  10. hley says:

    same retired policeman conned my wife n myself yesterday near ganesha shrine at central world mall..we were too naive…well same story of lucky buddha n there u meet another person who convinced u to buy jewellery. ..the jewel shop also look genuine. ..for all out there keep out if you feel something suspect. .will have to chk the gems..paid thb 17000 for a set of orange sapphire

  11. Rhonda says:

    Hi, I have just come across this blog, and upon reading message from Dayle, I am now very concerned, we went to the same store in 2012, and purchased a emerald and diamond ring with a matching necklace. We were given a certificate of guarantee. Yes we were stopped just outside our motel and taken there by a driver, and returned to the motel by the store owners driver. Upon speaking to a few other people at the motel, they were also taken to the same store. I am now concerned, have we paid to much for the items, just over $2,000. I love both these pieces of jewellery and it has now left a sour taste in my mouth to think that my partner may have been ripped off, as he lovingly purchased them for me.

  12. Jasmine says:

    Last week I was in bangkok and met up with 2 guys whom was asking us to go color gems to buy orange sapphire. Can anyone tell me what should I do in order to get 100% refund? I have been paid 93000 baht to buy 2 rings. Very down now as being cheated.

  13. Angela says:

    It’s the same story I bought 2 orange sapphire rings from Manee Diamond Co ltd. I Duno if they r cheating me but I bought a set of rings at $25,000 baht can anyone tell me if they are scam??

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you has very good buys. If that gems are genuine be happy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I Think not really It was a trick invited to people to buy gems. There are a goods buy and product of Thailand If you can finde out that is genuine stone. Overall it OK.

  14. Jason says:

    Hi all,

    Yesterday morning, my wife and I bought a pair of orange sapphire rings which cost 34,000 Bath @ Color Gems but after we read this blog with the same central world scenario as we faced at night, immediately this morning we made a police report and went back to the shop to request for order cancellation. The shop agreed to void our order today with full amount cancellation and refund. We still need to check our bank statement when we get back to our country. It was really disappointed and we hope all tourists be aware and careful. We seriously never thought of those stranger will cheat us in front of Buddha.

    • nic says:

      hi jason, may i know are you able to cancel and refund after u checked the statement from bank?

      • Jason says:

        Hi Nic, sorry that just coincidently read ur reply today. I managed to get full amount cancellation but lost some currency rate as my bank’s investigation took quite a while after my submission of all the evidence. Think I am consider lucky among others… Once again, Ihope all tourists be aware, alert, careful and not to simply trust those strangers that just appear from no where talking to you… cheers

        • Anonymous says:

          Hi Jason, would like to know what documents that the shop provided to you when he void ur order? i also get full refund and waiting for the bank response. In case i need to report for a disputes, i would like to know what documents that i need to show to the banker? And it took how many days?

  15. laurent says:

    I was scammed by the SNP jewelry last year how can i get my money back ?? they are located in : SNP jewelry ltd on visutthikasat rd. Banpantom pranakorn Bangkok.
    I bought a 1pc of cut blue saphire with diamond pendant in 18k gold, well thats what is says on the receit i got… on top of it i had to write on it to whom i bought it for like for girlfriend …
    At the begining they told me they are not charging the VAT as it is special week in thailand and this is the last day of purchase to get a good price, then make me a discount
    i bought this pendant for 36,000BHT which is a rip off i am not even sure it cost 10% of it …
    I am to ashame to go to a jewelry here in brussels to get an expertise of it, it would cost more than the actual pendant !
    Maybe somebody can give me a price through a picture?
    Laurent

  16. Chen says:

    I went to bkk last week, noticed I’ve been scammed after reading all stories above colour gems,stones,diamionds.But i was lucky with no credit card so i cannot buy expensive gems.Its makes me cannot believe that one after another come to at the same time to told you to go and pray the lucky buddha wish is open once a year.The turt turt can wait for you for an hour and charged only 30baht. So when you are in the street be careful of stranger who told you to go and pray the Feng shui buddha. Just be carefull.

  17. Wong Kian Hoe says:

    It is the same story to me after I have read this blog. I am notice now that I was being scammed by Color Gems Pte Ltd (Address: 455/31 New Rama 6 Road, Tanon phetchaburi,Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400 Thailand) where I was bought 2 set of gemstones 18K rings (encrusted with diamond, blue sapphire and red ruby) on 11 April 2014 and they did given me Certificate of Analysis and invoice which cost me about THB 78,000. I was brought by a stranger said that most of student bought the gemstone ring to earn some study fee because no tax at all during Songkran Day and they sell them to Jewellery shop in Australia (Stephanie Jewellery), Malaysia (Poh Kong Jewellery), Singapore (Poh Kong and Lee Hwa Jewellery). I was just called to my Singapore and Malaysia jewellery shop and they said never trade in any new jewellery from a private seller except their own shop’s jewellery. It was overpriced and I have not send to professional shop yet to check the gemstone ring whether it is fake or genuine. Really get pissed off and do not ever trust those stranger telling you this story in front of the Buddha. It was all lie.

  18. lina says:

    By Color gens just been scammed. One tuck tuck was waiting all the same story about buda.. Small sapphire ring 500 euros, was muy husband gift weading ring. Most of the places I been here in Thai, they want to take your many all cost. I will never come back, there are many others country’s to visit and enjoy. I live from here very sad and with horrible sensation. Don’t buy in color gems, buy in your country it will be cheaper.

  19. Marian says:

    Just back a few days from my trip, they ruined part of my honeymoon, make me lose two days in Bangkok, a man convinced us to make a tour in tuk tuk, because he said the palace is closed one hour. He carry a government identification. We innocently believed, and what a waist of time and money!. I think also the taxi driver was involved, because he drop us in a secondary door.
    Same history read before: Casually several people in the street and in a temple, assured us that there was a discount this week, it was a good opportunity to buy earrings or ring as memory of our honeymoon ..
    Finally we bought two pairs of pendants, but when we arrived to the hotel I checked on internet in this blog and others. We are outraged by the “joke” that we had suffered.
    Time enough with the help of the hotel to call the tourist police (do not call the police, only tourist police) and we get a meeting next morning in the shop entry to try to get a refund. After 3 hours of strong negotiation, WE GET THE 90% OF REFUND all together (do not go alone, it can be dangerous and if possible go before the 24 hours), I assure you it is not easy, on the basis of being annoying, repetitive and patient, (this day it was very hot) and accompanied by a sympathetic cop and a strong hotel employee who accompanied us, but do not take part. But we take it personally with determination until the end.
    On our way back we were thinking about the experience that we had had, which is of anecdote for dinner with friends.
    It left a bad taste in my trip to Thailand, next day, we left to Indonesia and thanks to that my honeymoon was fabulous.

    CALL THE TOURIST POLICE OF BANGKOK with the help of your hotel or embassy and get a meeting in the shop, before left Bangkok OR or assume that you have lost money and forget the bad experience.

  20. susan says:

    I also had the same experience.. it happened this afternoon when i went to Platinum mall.. there was a woman told me that today is lucky day and i should come to Lucky Budha temple. Tuk tuk driver brought me to the temple and in the temple, i met a tidy man and he told me that he taught people at there.. he advised me to buy ruby for good fortune and love. He wrote a letter, a jewellery shop and asked me to bring it to tuk tuk driver. The shop was so quite and the sellers looking so nice and explained gems historical.. the shop name is manee diamonds at 38/40-41 rangnam rd. Phaya thai rajchatavee dist (im not sure, it’s correct address because the phone couldnt be contacted) finally, she offered me a lot of gems and told me that was special price and it was quite expensive for me then she asked me how much I could pay.. she persuaded me n finally, i bought ruby ring with 10,562bath. She promised to deliver it to my hotel, but i said, i would go to mall. After that, tuk tuk brought me to emporium shop, I refused it because I should be at mall, but he forced me to stop for a while, then I agreed it then argued with him. There were indian men in shop and offered me the clotches and asked me to try it. It was weird because tuk tuk man told me that was mall, but no dresses there. That man tried to persuade me n tried the clothes but i didnt want. They also tried to give me drink but i walked out from shop to go to platinum. I searched information about it and I was shocked because I got the scam
    I reported it to airport police tourist but they said i should report it to ministry of tourism.. i filled the form and explained all but it already night. They promised to update me tomorrow morning and they suggested me to sell it back with 80% refund.. i hope there will be good solution. It is my first experience to bangkok but a lot of crimes and not safety for tourist. I just wish for refund money than nothing.

  21. StarLite says:

    I just came back from Bangkok . I was almost scammed by Baan Thai Gems located at Dusit, Bangkok.
    Same scenario as the ones listed by the other travelers. I was approached by a man when I was on my way to Wat Po. He said that Wat Po was closed and I should visit the Royal Temple which was open to the public only once a year. He flagged down a Tuk Tuk fior us. At the temple, we met a Thai man who spoke fluent English. This man introduced himself as the restoration architect of the temple. He talked about Buddhism and ended up talking about Ruby. He said that Baan Thai Gems is open for public only once a year since iit used to deal with wholesalers only. He convinced us to go to Baan Thai Gems to shop for jewelries. Luckily , when we went there, we found everything so overpriced and did not buy anything . When I went back to my hotel, I checked on Trip advisor and found out that other travelers were scammed by Baan Thai Gems . So be careful of these shops and scams when traveling to Bangkok and do not talk to strangers who ask you where yiou are from,,how long do you stay in Bangkok, etc…

  22. Praveen Narang says:

    hi i also got cheated yday at manee diamond. Same story of lucky budha..lady approaches… suggest temple…MaN approaches….suggest to buy ruby….we bought for 14 bh…value only 4k max chked yday at big store….feeling annoyed and foolish….

  23. Lin says:

    I was also scammed to Color Gems at 455/31 New Rama 6th Road Tanonpetchaburi just this week. Below is the sequence of events:

    5th june 2015, I just step out of my hostel at Boripat road and bump into a Thai man who call himself “Lukling”, he started talking to me about buddhist holiday festival. I did not have a plan that day so I followed his suggestion to visit a temple follow by export center. I believed him for a few reasons – 1. Because he said he was a teacher, 2. Because vesak day holiday was 1st june, 3. he said export center display gem and show how it was done (never talk about gem selling) 4. I thought that all Thais respected Buddha and their king enough to not make jokes about it. Anyhow, he help me flag a cheap tuk tuk for 20 baht claiming government is giving coupons for the festival day. He planned my itineary for me a temple, export center then back to hotel.

     I was taken to a temple that was really quiet, it has a big reclining buddha in it but it wasnt Wat Pho. There i met another man called “Thanning” that said he is an officer that works in Singapore embassy and he asked where i was going and i told him a guy introduce me to export center. He told me he was from Phuket and was at the temple waiting for his uncle who became monk in this temple for 40 years. They will perform a monk ritual because of the ‘special day’. Upon knowing that I will go export center, he talked extensively about it and showed me his certificates of gem he bought saying that he resell them in Singapore for a much better price he then urge me to go quickly or the store would be close soon. I didn’t really care about earning money from gems and base on what they both said I thought it was like an open event at some gem museum that sells cheap gem and had a lively crowd. At that point I was a little skeptical about the consecutive events of meeting 2 person talking about the same thing but they did not harm me and tuk tuk was still waiting for me so i continued getting scam. After talking to Thanning who told me to go despite me wanting to see monk ceremony, I left because I felt bad letting tuk tuk wait for another 3 hours (according to Mr Thanning, he said the ceremony will start soon but later told me it is another 3 hours which is weird but I always ignore such mismatch of details thinking it is just language barrier and cultural differences).

    I left and the tuk tuk send me to a place call “Color gems at 455/31 New Rama 6th Road Tanonphetchaburi Ratchathewi Bangkok 10400”. I was about to leave without buying anything but 1 sapphire pendant caught my eye, I liked it alot and since it only cost 6000Thb I thought it was pretty reasonable. While waiting for the goldsmith to plate it in 14k white gold I chatted with the sales lady, a 60 years old lady wearing short hair and glasses. I asked alot about the “special festival”, tax on gems.. answers were pretty ambiguous and what these 3 person said does not really tally well.

    Anyway, throughout the incident I do find it too strange on the coincidentals, I went back hotel and with wifi found out about the gem scam. According to the net the method of scam was exactly the same as what i went through.

    Although the item was only 6000THB and looks beautiful and the temple was surreal and, I am actually a little traumatized because I was traveling alone and worse could have happened. I went to tourist police the next day and they called Color Gems to give me a refund, I wanted to test out the gem just out of curiosity but the laboratory was not open on Sunday. I believe it was a real gem because Color Gems is registered under Thai Gem & Jewelry Association, probably just of a inferior grade. I was actually more piss about the dishonest ways than with the money spent and did not want them to get away with cheating tourists that way.

    I took a cab back myself and the more frustrating part was finding my way back because it was quite an isolated place. Now it make more sense that the tuk tuk was also part of the cohort because it took me 2 cabs, several calls to Color Gems and a help from a guy at Ministry of Foreign Affair (communicating in english) to get me there.

    The sales lady was a little upset and asked me why I wanted to get a refund. I told her that I brought it to a shop (lie) and checked online and found out it was “no good”. She did not probe on and refunded me 100% of it to my credit card. What was surprising was that she even bothered to ask if I had a cab waiting for me (still nice or maybe planning to whack me up?) before I left.

    I was lucky that I was able to refund in time and come bacck safely. Hope you guys will not get scammed like I did.

  24. Jane says:

    This afternoon I was cheated by color gems, 455/31 new Rame 6 Road, Tanom phetchaburi, Ratchathewl. Costing me 25000. I will call tourist police in the morning and try to get a refund.

  25. Elsa says:

    If you don’t have time to see the Scam City episode, I’ll give you a very quick summary of how the Gem Scam works:
    1) You, as a tourist, show up at the either the Grand Palace or Wat Po to see the sights. A friendly Thai approaches you and asks you where you are going. You tell him “I’m going to see the Grand Palace/Wat Po”. He tells you a variation of “Grand Palace/Wat Po closed today for construction/because monks are praying/because it’s a national holiday” (fill in one of the reasons). He might tell you that it’s closed for only a few hours for lunch.
    2) Your new Thai friend then proposes that you take a tour on a tuk-tuk to a few nearby temples (“go see Standing Buddha Temple/Lucky Buddha Temple/ Lying Buddha temple. Vely good”. He also slips in “and you go to Export Center, also vely good”. He conveniently has a tuk-tuk driver a few feet away who nods and says he’ll take you and that it won’t cost much (they’ll tell you 50 baht or so, which is under $2). You’re hesitant at first, but since your plans for the day have been ruined or delayed you say “ok”.
    3) The driver drives you around the old city which is quite nice. Maybe 5 minutes later you arrive at the first temple. Very quiet, no other tourists. You walk around, take a few photos, then get back into the tuk-tuk.
    4) He brings you to a 2nd temple. By this time you’re enjoying yourself, feeling relaxed, and thinking that taking this tour was a great idea. You walk around the temple. Somewhere, somehow, you meet someone who makes conversation with you. The person is friendly and speaks English. In the episode above, he is a middle aged Thai. Somewhere in the conversation the subject of the Export Center is brought up, something along the likes of “Have you been to the Manee Diamond? No? You have to go, it is a special sale by government to promote tourism. The sale is only today and tomorrow, you get 30% off on gems. You can buy at half the price and sell in your country for double the value!”. He doesn’t do a hard sell but you are convinced, you have dollar signs in your eyes (“Hey, I can make enough money selling gems to pay for this vacation!”).
    5) The Export Center was the last stop on your tour anyway. The taxi driver asks you “Export Center?” you say yes.
    6) From then on it’s easy. He takes you to a large gem store which he says is the Manee diamond Co. Ltd. (the adrs is 38/40-41 Rangan Rd. phayathai Rajachatavee Dist. Bangkok)…… (you can’t tell anyway because you don’t read Thai). You’re a bit nervous at first but you see other foreigners in there so you relax, it’s obviously popular. You speak to a salesperson, find out what is on special and what is good value (“Blue Sapphires, only $3,000 for ring, necklace, earrings). You say “ok”. Gulp. You walk out of there with your gems looking forward to selling them at home for double the price.
    7) A few weeks later you get home, take them to a few jewelry stores where they look at you like you’re an idiot when they find out how much you paid for them. They examine them, tell you they are worth maybe $200. Your heart starts racing. You don’t know whether to believe them.
    8) You get a gemologist to appraise your gems and find out that they are indeed worth a fraction of what you have paid for them. Voila, you are a victim of the Gem Scam! …………Just as a little note in my defense : I knew nothing about the Gem Scam ….so that is the reason I’m sharing my history,….hope that not happen to another person,,,

  26. Anonymous says:

    Just happened with us on 30th of December 2016.
    Same plotted story as mentioned by Elsa. No I was not after money making. Just wanted something nice as a memory from thi’s country for our aniversary. My bad that I didn’t read about scams in Bangkok. And paid for that. In my case the shop name is Colour Gems, VI Rama road

  27. Anonymous says:

    http://www.ericgabriel.com/bangkok-thailand-saphire-jewelry-gem-scam-manee-thai.html

    Similar story….but unfortunately the store named “Manee Thai” is now changed to “S&J Export”, similar name as one of the long established jewelry store in Bangkok that I know.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Me too. Today, 25th march at Color Gems co. on RamaVI soi12.
    We are staying at a residence rather than regular hotel and the receptionist tried to help but I don’t think he knows enough about it, for starters he couldn’t place it on a map.
    He did help me phone my bank on hotel phone as my mobile roaming was poor, but then tried to tell me it was 40baht more per min than it should be! Not a good day.
    I have reported to tourist police and will go to tourist authority first thing for a back up option as we fly out tomorrow afternoon and I think police might waste my time if they are corrupt as some others have said.
    Also will call color gems first thing and ask for refund. Will definitely update you all. I can’t believe this has been going for over a decade and I didn’t know.

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