Vietnam is a popular place to buy jewelry, especially for those involved in the international jewelry trade. Most places value gold jewelry at ten times the weight value of the metal, whereas Vietnam typically regards the item as gold more than jewelry, so the pricing is based on the current “spot price” in the gold market, factored against how much the item weighs. This makes the items sold in Vietnam an extraordinary deal. Even if you are buying jewelry to wear rather than to sell, it is easy to find beautiful items without breaking your budget.
1. Obtain a passport. If you are in the United States, you will obtain your passport from the U.S. State Department (see Resouces below).
2. Get a visa to visit Vietnam. Anyone who visits Vietnam will need to have either a tourist visa or business visa in their passport. Apply for your visa with the Vietnam Embassy in Washington, D.C., or through your local Vietnamese consulate. Additional information can be obtained on the U.S. State Department website.
3. Make your travel arrangements. You should reserve both airline tickets and hotel rooms. You can travel to any city in Vietnam to buy jewelry. Choose a destination that allows you to visit other historical monuments as well. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are both good options.
4. Visit the Saigon Jewelry Company in the city that you choose to visit. Known as the SJC, this jewelry retail outlet is state owned, with the gold being certified by the Vietnamese government. This makes the SJC a more reliable place to shop than other jewelry stores. The SJC has retail jewelry stores in every major city, including Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Da Nang and Nha Trang.