Chiang Mai Shopping Given Chiang Mai’s location close to foreign borders, many different tribes and nationalities have settled here bringing their knowledge of gems and precious metals, as well as facilitating trade routes. These days Chiang Mai is well-known for silver and, although not many of the gems are actually Thai originals but are imported for Burma, Cambodia and Laos, it is still a great place to pick up some amazing jewellery. As a huge fan of anything sparkly I have put together a list of my favourite artisan jewellers in Chiang Mai.
One thing to remember when buying jewellery in Chiang Mai is that there are sadly some less than honest traders here, so it is important to do a bit of research if you are planning to invest in something extra special. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
Located on Tha Pae Road, Nova Jewellery specialises in hand-crafted contemporary pieces created from a whole range of metals – from stainless steel to platinum. Whether you are looking for a plain band, or an ornate multi-stone ring there is a piece of jewellery to suit everyone, with prices starting at around 3500 baht. We love Nova’s sterling silver bracelet mounted with a large chunk of opal in an 18 carat gold bezel and the glass fronted locket filled with colourful loose fancy sapphires. Nova also designs one-of-a-kind rings, pendants and earrings if you are looking for something extra special. Given the attention put into every creation you may have to wait for the item to be shipped to you at a later date. If a trip to Nova Jewellery brings out your arty side, then consider enrolling on their jewellery course: in only one day you can create your own ring.
- Address: 179 Tha Pae Road, Chiang Mai
- Tel: +66 (0)53 273 058
Dee Dee Pan Pan
Dee Dee Pan Pan has two stores on Tha Pae Road, one closer to the gate at 270, and the other just round the corner from the Night Bazaar. This is a great place to fill your suitcase with gifts, with prices starting at around 150 baht for a pair of earrings. Not only is it fantastic value, but you can pick up some unusual pieces here. Everything is handmade, and you can often see one of the artisans at work in the back of the shop. They also make some beautiful teak boxes with a small white stone elephant on the lid. Last time I visited, I purchased some beautiful black stone square earrings, a small lapis teardrop on a silver dipped thread and a chunky beaded cuff for under 1,000 baht. Some of the necklaces and bracelets often come in different sizes and lengths, and the staff are happy to dig out different styles and colours from their extensive collection if you ask.
- Address: 270 Thapae Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 53 874 504
Amongst the riverside restaurants on the opposite side of the river to the night bazaar is Crafitti, a small white pillared jewellery shop that uses local artists to create their nature-inspired pieces. The touches are subtle: a leaf print on a pendant or small stud earrings that reminded me of dandelion heads. The thought put into the design is impressive, and the craftsmanship is second to none. Crafitti showcase the work of some younger designers who are working in Chiang Mai as well, so it is great shop to pick some innovative jewellery. I couldn’t leave without purchasing a pair of the dandelion earrings, crafted in silver, for only 1,800 baht.
- Address: 173 Chareonraj Road
Metal Studio Jewellery
Sirlilak Samanasak has opened a fabulous shop and studio, complete with silver forged dinosaurs and spooky metal heads, just off Nimmanhaemin Road in Chiang Mai. All her pieces are crafted on-site, so you can even see the artisans at work and understand the passion put into creating her collection. With over 15 years experience Samanasak’s creativity can been seen in every piece. Upmost care is taken to pick high quality stones, but with a small silver and pearl ring starting at 500 baht you also get great value. When we last visited we were drawn to the rose gold plate silver necklace mounted with a stunning black opal, costing 2,500 baht.
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 16:00
- Address: 14/7 Nimanhaeminda, Soi 13, Nimmanhaemin Road