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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:02 PM
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Default St Thomas vs. St Maarten for Shopping?

Does anyone have an opinion on which island would be the best place to purchase a diamond anniversary band? I heard that the French side of St. Maarten actually has better prices and quality than St Thomas. Problem is we're going to St Thomas first and I would hate to pass anything up thinking that I can get a better deal on a more quality piece that doesn't exist. Any help is appreciated!
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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:29 PM
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When shopping for that type of item KNOW your prices very well before going.

The islands are no longer the GREAT mecca for bargains that they once were, though I think the selection and variety in such a small area is hard to beat.

St. Mart is still the better of the two, in my opinion. Not quite as many cruise ships go there, and the shops there seem more willing to bargain with you.

I don't think there's anything special shopping wise on the French side. It's generally more expensive, and pricing is often in Euros.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Sint Maarten all the way. Take a look at Columbian Emerald and compare prices with Diamond International, and you see the CE has better deals then DI. The staff at CE is much friendlier then at DI.
From the cruisepier to the end of the street it is shop till you drop.
St. Thomas is nice, but St. Maarten is nicer
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Old December 29th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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Another vote for shopping in St. Maarten. Its is much less commercial, more laid back than St.Thomas, and the vendors are more willing to make a deal, we found the deals to be better on the Dutch side of the island. The key is to know your prices and the quality, cut,clarity and carat weight of a similar diamond back home. Attend the port shopping lectures. We found that the stores in St. Thomas were overcrowed, and the vendors wouldn't give you the time of day if you were just browsing. But they were all over you if you were going to drop a serious chunk of change in their store.
However, if you find something in St. Thomas that you totally love, and you feel that it is a good quality diamond and the price is right, buy it. IF you don't you will be dissapointed. Its not like you can just run back to the original store and buy the diamond that you passed over hoping to find a better one in St. Maarten.
HINT: St. Maarten - take the water taxi from the pier into downtown on the Dutch side its like $5.00 for an unlimited all day pass.
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Old December 29th, 2005, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: St Thomas vs. St Maarten for Shopping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asasj5
Does anyone have an opinion on which island would be the best place to purchase a diamond anniversary band? I heard that the French side of St. Maarten actually has better prices and quality than St Thomas. Problem is we're going to St Thomas first and I would hate to pass anything up thinking that I can get a better deal on a more quality piece that doesn't exist. Any help is appreciated!
St. Maarten!
If I had to choose between 6 free trips to St. Thomas or 2 free trips to St. Martin... I'd take the 2 to St. Maartin every time! What a place!!!!
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Old January 20th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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St Maarten.........for sure!!!
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Old January 21st, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Another vote for St. Maarten. My favorite store (family owned independant) has stores on both, and I have found that the prices are better on St. Maarten. I guess as someone said above, because of the lower volume of cruise ships, they are more willing to bargain.

Jodi
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