Clever buys rather than high end diamond dealers (although we have included one) – browse through our shortlist so far…
T: (+65) 9654 5731
This little gem of a jewellery find is strictly word of mouth and is run by Angel Carew-Jones who is super talented and under prices her fabulous, fun jewellery. Majoring in earrings there are also bracelets and necklaces. She does private sales only (she was a leading light in Retail Therapy’s Wheelock store), just SMS or call for an appointment. She will also make bespoke creations upon request. Names of pieces are playful – like her designs: Bubble Gum (pictured on the left), Me & Mrs M, Skeleton in the Closet, Jolly Bolly. Think classic components assembled with a sometimes witty twist: pearl, jade, glass, crystal and more. We love! Prices start from $28 and go up to around $200+.
Opening Times: By appointment only
EN HAUTE JOAILLERIE
T: (+65) 6887 3377
Looks like a very upmarket patisserie from the outside and looks very, very expensive. But it isn’t and prices are all negotiable. You need to ask for May who is wonderful and really knows her stuff. Her husband is the actual jeweller who creates the designs and will do your alterations and resettings. Great for contemporary bling (there is a huge diamond ring in there for $5,000 that we swear is amazing value – our husbands are less convinced) and also great if you have a ghastly brooch from Aunt Agatha that you want to turn in to something wearable but haven’t found anyone you trust enough to do it. May’s your girl.
Ask for: May
Opening Times: 10am-8.30pm daily
25 Vanda Drive
T: (+65) 6887 5506 or (+65) 9677 4644
We discovered this little gem of an enterprise at one of the expat fairs, but these guys aren’t like all the other stalls….they are actually good value. Sweet for solid sterling silver Christmas and birthday pressies and brilliant for Christening gifts too. We love their Tiffany’s style key rings that you can customise with an initial. Key rings range from $25-$35 depending on size (bigger is better) and silver letters are around the $25 mark.
Opening Times: By appointment
T: (+65) 9850 4371
Made in Beijing (cheaply no doubt) and designed and sold (expensively) by Georgie in Singapore, GiGi Designs has great gear, epitomised by chunky coral, jade and jet necklaces invariably strung with her trademark off-centre silver ball. Lengths vary and some creations can be looped through or doubled over to give them a second wind. Totally versatile and very much expat uniform when thrown on in the day with linen trousers and a vest top. She has branched out in to more delicate pieces which aren’t as good as her bold statement stuff.
145 Syed Alwi Road
T: (+65) 6295 5855
No, not a misplaced entry, this bastion of bargains also sells honestly priced jewellery including a sensational selection of pearls (they have all sorts, from Japanese cultured sea pearls at around $2,000 a strand or more affordable freshwater cultured pearls from China at $50-$100 a strand – the quality is excellent), semi precious stones and bling. Skip their vast collection of rather garish Indian jewellery (unless that’s what you’re after) and grab a bargain at a fixed and reasonable price, day or night. Mustafa’s high-end jewellery section that we are referring to is, confusingly, not actually housed within their main building. It is, instead, found within what they term ‘the new building’, accessed from Verdun Road (where it crosses with Syed Alwi Road). You can reach it from the main shop but will need to go outside and cross the road unless you use the level 2 link bridge that connects the 2 buildings, remembering to drop down a floor to the jewellery section on level 1. BTW: It is not the same place as the mishmash jewellery section within the main building, which also sells pearls (less refined in quality). Worth checking out if you have no luck in their smart section, provided you are good at hunting for (buried) treasure. If you really know your south seas from your akoyas and are a good, no, great, negotiator, then Far East Plaza is for you, with a host of pearl shops to choose from.
Opening Times: 24 hours a day
MMA JADE & GEMS
T: (+65) 6222 0876
Right on the corner of Temple and Trengganu Street, you can’t miss it, this is a great value market stall that has traded here for years, run by a mother and daughter team, offering good value and a wide colour range of Burmese jade. Most necklaces would need to be restrung as lengths are not quite right, but it is a great source of jade beads from tiny to large as well as cheap, imperfect pearls. Amazing value though and the jade bracelet I bought here for $20+ has been admired by a jade dealer in HK so I am convinced the prices are perfect!
Opening Times: 10am-9pm daily
Marina Square (#02-189/190)
6 Raffles Boulevard
T: (+65) 6337 7807
Only just squeezed it’s way on to the list by the skin of its teeth. This chain of shops is around 95% ming but wait…..an incredible 5% zing. It is a great, if not unlikely, source of real pearl dress rings (for around $60) that look divine – provided you can weed out the good designs from the bad ones with their screaming diamante settings (ION branch had a rocking selection of goodies). On a more practical level, if you are wedding-bound, they sell small but perfectly acceptable and wallet-friendly fascinators. Don’t make a special trip to go here, but they have lots of stores (see website for more details), so next time you pass one by, stop and see if we are really telling you the truth (we are!).
Opening Times: 10.45am-9.30pm daily
LEE DIAMOND JEWELLERY
Far East Shopping Centre (#01-16)
545 Orchard Road
T: (+65) 6235 3613
Although they sell a range of stones that they will string beautifully for you….they are listed here for their stringing capabilities alone and are a good value port of call if your pearls need restringing (in our case because they were snapped by a toddler). They only use silk thread and charge $15 per 16” but will give a bit of a discount if you ask nicely. They will also re-string bog standard necklaces (ie no knotting required) on fishing wire or silk thread for much less.
Opening Times: 10am-7pm Mon-Sat. Closed Sun
Ask for: Sally (there from 11.30am onwards)
Also see ‘Boutiques’, most of which have a good (but sometimes undeniably over priced) selection of one-off pieces.