“Diamonds” are a Lady’s Best Friend -So is Istanbul

Five Star — By Aysegul Surenkok on May 24, 2011 at 6:07 am

Going inside the  Nuruosmaniye Gate (which is also referred to as the main entrance by some) and into the Grand Bazaar, the ladies are likely to love the next couple of hundred yards of this alley. The Nuruosmaniye Gate opens into the opulent Kalpakçılar Street that runs east-west through the Bazaar. In fact at least 4 other doors of the Bazaar also open somewhere on the Kalpakçılar Street.

Both sides of Kalpakçılar Street glitters with sparkling gems, gold and diamonds of gleaming jewelry shops. A section of the Bazaar that is slightly on north of the Kalpakçılar Street is in fact referred to as the Jeweler’s Han (Inn) and is marked by the Jeweler’s Street that crosses Kalpakçılar Street longitudinally.

A small alley of jewelers

[Image By Gryffindor (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

Most of the jewelers seen inside the Bazaar are no intermediaries. They are the producers, the owners and the managers of their brand. Most of them are operating a family business that has been started by their own fathers and grandfathers many years ago. You will notice immediately the air of modesty with these owners. Most of these owner-producers do not operate branches around the city either. They may be producing jewelry for major brands behind the scene; but they do not operate their own shops inside big malls in the city. As these producers are so prone to producing from the scratch, it is also possible to approach them with your own unique design and gem for jewelry. In most cases, the jewelers will produce your design at a moderate fee for craftsmen labor cost.

There are also one man stores (a.k.a. one man show) that will produce custom made designs for you. These stores or shops only display few samples of the kind of things that they usually do. You can put in an order to these jewelers to have something custom-made for yourself. Depending on the type of gems you want to use, and depending on whether you provide them or not, the prices for custom made items will range between 250 dollars and the Sky.

Boutique Jeweler's Display House inside the Bazaar (a mini Bazaar)

[Image By Gryffindor (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]

There are many boutique jewelers inside the Bazaar. These boutique jewelers create their own unique designs that awe you with their sparkle and brilliance. Most of them operate more than one store both inside the Bazaar and in high-end malls, such as Istinye Park or Kanyon, and high streets of the city, such as Abdi İpekçi. Some Boutique Jewelers also create limited designs for famous TV series and shows. These limited designs are also sometimes displayed in their stores. Unfortunately, with high fame and amazing designs the boutique end jewelers are most likely to be less receptive to bargaining.

Istanbul also harbors jeweler brands that are  local produce and have franchises all around the city. Their names are well-known by everyone, designs are more standard than the boutique jewelers, prices tend to be high. The cutting edge of these jewelers is that they are able to print certificates (GIA or their own) on sale. These major brands usually do not operate a store inside the Bazaar. The main reason has to do with the fact that, they have to maintain an even standard of service and price range across their branches and franchises. As such, the bargain-receptive Grand Bazaar is not quite suitable for their standing. Nonetheless, it is not totally impossible to find some of these brands inside the Bazaar. There are  second men inside the Bazaar that sell maybe one or two pieces of a collection.

Well then, if diamonds are indeed a Lady’s Best Friend, Istanbul must share its piece of the Ladies’ hearts…


Tags: Diamonds, Grand Bazaar, Jewelers, Jewelry, Ladies' Day