I will be in Cabo, Puerto and Mazta first week of May - wish to purchase fire opal or cherry opals, have priced them here so I have a working knowledge of price range here in the midwest, USA. Anyone have a positive opal purchase they'd be willing to share, loose gem or setting, where they'd recommend a shop please? I'm approaching this like I did my tanzanite hunt in the Caribbean...I know true deals are few and far between! Any info appreciated.
I can only speak for Puerto Vallarta regarding fire opals. We spent 2 weeks there in April of 2005.
The best selection of loose and mounted stones were in 2 shops on the south side of Puerto Vallarta. One was on Basillo Badio (sp?) near Olas Altas, and the other was on Olas Altas near Andales, on the East side of the street.
The loose stones were fairly large; upwards of 4 to 5 carat equivalent. Also the colors ranged from pale yellowish, to red-orange to deep red. They were also faceted. They offered to mount the stones should you want. Unfortunately I can't remember the prices.
We looked in quite a few jewelry stores up an down the Malecon as well as the streets behind the Malecon. While we found the occasional stone or ring, the stores on the south side were the best.
I need to make a correction to my post above. Actually, both shops are on Olas Altas. Both on the East side of the street. The one you come to first has the better selection of loose stones. As well, I remember that they are both owned by the same people, or are somehow connected. I remembered this because when we were in the second shop, the conversation turned to where else we had looked and the person we were speaking to said something about owning both stores....can't remember for sure...it's tough being old....
While you are in the neighborhood, check out the Austrian restuarant across the street. The Kiaser Maximillian (sp?)...desserts to die for...also, if you are in the mood for some great brushcetta, keep going pas t Andales, croos the street, and on the corner is a retaurant called La Piazetta...incredible brushcetta....then proceed down that street towards the beach...within a cuple of doors you will see a tiny little ice cream shop serving great gelato...the pistachio is the best....