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Thai Gold

To buy or not to buy

Friday – 25 January 2019

A reader of the blog wrote in with a question about the link between Thai gold and a wedding that might be of interest to others so I thought I would post both it and my reply.

Hi Tony, I have been following your blog for some time. I have a question. I am getting married in xxxxxx, Surin Province on Feb xx. It seems there is a tradition to buy something in gold for my bride and I have seen/heard that it must be PURE gold (eg, 24 carat).

 

Apart from obvious ridiculous expense, pure gold is very soft and damages easily. My fiance has indicated that she wants a bracelet. Fair enough, but this will damage far more quickly than (say) a necklace. And the weight in itself would be pretty massive.

 

What is your take on this? Today I priced some 9ct bracelets at my local jeweler in Brisbane and the price for them shocked me, so I can only imagine what a pure gold item would cost. BTW, trying to find pure gold jewelry in Oz is next to impossible as you may well know.

 

Can you please give me some guidance as I don’t wish to insult my fiance or her family with anything less than what is traditional.

 

Congratulations on the upcoming wedding.

Yes, the expectation is for Thai gold, which is 24 carat and yes, impractically soft for everyday use as a result. I think you might be taking a risk with 9 carat as the giving and wearing of pure gold can be a social statement within the wedding ceremony and maybe best to stick to tradition for this event anyway. I bought Gaun a simple gold ring for the wedding ceremony, which seemed to be acceptable, but have since bought her some ‘going out’ gold jewellery, which she never wears unless for a temple event or something special. Based on my experience with Gaun it doesn’t HAVE to be something that is worn everyday. It depends on the attitude of your partner. Gaun works in the garden most days (which is where she is as I type this response) and nails, makeup and gold just don’t feature much in her life. I have also bought Gaun a 18 carat gold and diamond ring since the wedding and she loves that and tells me it is much more sensible than the Thai gold. However, I still think I did right with a Thai gold gift for the day itself.

Gold is sold by weight plus a small additional charge for the making it into a necklace etc. This link HERE will give you the current gold baht price (same name as the currency) 1 baht being 14.71 grams. As the local designs will be more acceptable in a Thai person’s eyes maybe it would be better to purchase here if you have the time before the wedding. Every small town has at least a couple of gold shops and every shopping mall has at least one too. You buy by baht weight – so there will be selections in the shop lined up from 1 – maybe 5 baht. Find today’s gold price, multiply by the baht weight and add the jewellery cost

BTW one of the reasons pure gold is so accepted here is that you can trade it back in anytime at a gold shop. You will lose out on the cost for making the piece of jewellery but get most of the rest of the purchase price back. It’s sort of a emergency bank account you can wear

More information than you wanted to know but the rings we have from the wedding have got a bit battered because of their softness over the years. I haven’t found anywhere that will ‘repair’ them. What Thais do evidently is swap new for old at a cost of around 2,000 baht. I have a sentimental attached to mine so battered it will remain!

Enjoy the day. It can be a bit confusing but best to just relax and go with the flow.

If you wanted to see what our Isan wedding looked like the link is HERE