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Shopping for Jewelry in Greece
A guide for our customers and friends
You are in Santorini, Mykonos, the Plaka or some other breathtakingly beautiful place.
You are happy, maybe in love, and you want something of beauty and permanence to remember your time.
Our advice; "do it!". Buy something that lets you take a piece of that warm sun and blue Greek sky with you for the rest of your life.
What is the best way to buy jewelry in Greece? Just make the most of it by taking this advice on your journey...
1. Shop And Buy Before Lunch
Better Service: Shopping before lunch usually gives you a little more elbow-room to peruse the offerings (fewer crowds and more attention from a salesman if you need it)
Drinking and Shopping: Every salesman in the tourist-trade (anywhere in the world) knows that the "balance of power" starts to change after a few lunch-time drinks. Nobody is being evil; people just handle life differently. Our advice is to enjoy lunch! Have a good time … you're on vacation! Just save the big spending 'til the following morning!
A Better Eye: If you shop before lunch you will get better value. As the hours pass during the day and the sun's heat starts melting away your ability to reason you'll start getting pulled into the vibe that is Greece. You'll start buying jewelry that goes better with all the windmills and temples than with your environment back home.
The morning will bring a clear head, and with it the likelihood of buying something that goes with "your look", something you can wear back home every day but that still pulls you back to the beautiful place where you found it!
2. Ask These Questions
Who Made This? If you want to check the knowledge level of a salesperson ... simply ask who made the piece. If you happen to know (from our site) that it is Damaskos or Gerochristo ... then they should know that too. If they can't say, or if they simply go with the generic "we made it here", it typically means they don't know as much as they should and that they also may be mistaken about the stones or service levels available.
Is this Rhodium or Gold plated? Always ask if it's solid silver or gold AND ask if there is any plating on the piece. Silver often gets a rhodium plating to keep it from oxidizing … and it looks great on the shelf but after a year or two it will wear off in a blotchy sort of way (which coincidentally may be when you first discover your allergy to silver)! Some jewelry shops "back home" can re-apply a rhodium plating to a piece so it won't be a total loss, but it will cost time and money (and inconvenience) so be sure to ask about it before buying.
Can I get this resized? Most rings can be sized at least a little, and most jewelry shops either have the ability to do it in house or somewhere nearby. First look at the band and see if it has any design-work that will be interrupted by the cut they make. Ask questions about this if you do see it because their "resize" may simply involve a stretching of the band rather than a cut. AND; if they want to stretch the band we advise only doing so if it has no gemstones. Rings that have full granulation and braided detail all around the ring (an example is our Diamond Block Collection) are nearly impossible to resize without seeing disruption in the design.
3. Be aware of the 24(+)% VAT Tax
We are not the final authority on this because the rules change year-to-year, but here are the general rules: The VAT (a sales tax) will be charged on jewelry over $150, but you can get it back at the airport if you are prepared ... just be sure to leave time for the extra lines and process at the airport.
Ask the salesperson about the process, but here are some tips: You will need your passport on you while purchasing. This is the worst thing about the VAT program—having to risk carrying your passport around with you while shopping. It will take a bit of time and forms for the seller to fill out with you.
Some merchants will insist that tourists have to get the refund form at the airport, but this is not the case. The merchant must issue the form along with the receipt. It's honestly kind of a drag, but on your way out of Greece you should plan on getting to the airport about an hour earlier than usual to reclaim your money. Look for Euro Exchanges offices, "Global Refund" or "Premier Tax-Free" signs and have the jewelry with you (or wear it!)
4. "Text a Friend" (we're here to help)
Are you getting a good deal? Are you getting good info? Feel free to text or WhatsApp us at: +1 (862) 222-0442 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us a photo of the piece you are looking at, it's gold weight and the store name and location as well. Or just ask us your question! Read a bit about us here.
Transparency: We reserve the right to be competitive if we think the store's price is ridiculous, or if they don't know who made the piece (see part 2 above), or if they can't get you the size and options you want. In those cases we will at least tell you what options you have with us. But we really do want you to fly out of Greece with great memories and a beautiful piece of Greek jewelry to go with them!
So if you get a little stuck don't hesitate to contact us.
And if you have already been to Greece and are looking for a special piece try browsing our Greek Jewelry by mood! Any of those pages might bring you back to Greece - at least for a few moments :-)
Once you have shopped and wandered the streets of the Plaka (the old part of Athens), it's fun to get above the busy walkways and tourists, and enjoy lunch or early dinner in the cool shadow of the Acropolis. Here we are (Joanne and Pete) at a favorite taverna stop: Psaras Tavern.