Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:21 AM
There is every indication that an office will be opened soon on the second story of the Plaza del Sol building. (Located directly behind the clock tower on the downtown squre.) The new office will take complaints from visitors who wish to complain or report anything from being overcharged to badly treated. Issues will be dealt with immediately if possible and for land visitors may possibly be resolved while the tourist is still on the island.
Cruise passengers will be able to fill out the proper forms and proceed from there via internet once they return home.
The office which will have a bilingual staff, will be closely associated with PROFECO, a powerful federal entity whose purpose is to protect and represent consumers, both Mexican and foreign.
Comment by Carey: It's about dang time! In our old forums we had a least four people in recent months complaining bitterly -- and apparently justifiably -- about buying jewelry at stores on the waterfront only to arrive home and find out from their local jeweller that they been grossly overcharged or completely duped. We've been helping them file their claim with PROFECO on these forums. And one stalwart member, Diva Diver, even went so far as to personally help with return mailings, etc. What a gal!
I hope this office opens soon. And when it does, there's going to be a banner ad at the top of this forum telling people how to get there.
Posted 20 February 2010 - 06:25 PM
If they had read my old post on the Jewelry Stores, not only in Cozumel and Cancun, but in Cruise Ship Ports throughout much of the Caribbean, they could have avoided the problem by just not buying expensive jewelry. OK, as a matter of first principles, I do not buy expensive jewelry (the only "jewelry" I ever wear is a watch, and it's a Seiko) - it's all just pretty rocks; I like 'em, and I agree they're beautiful, but I won't pay the price they ask for a rock. But for those who do (and that is your own choice), why on Earth would you buy expensive jewelry in a port city in Mexico? Don't you know that many gemstones, including Diamonds, Rubies, even Emeralds, can be easily and cheaply manufactured these days? You didn't think that all the little tiny rubies used in the lasers that read the grooves in your CR-ROM or DVD drives were mined, did you? With the right know-how and about $800-$1000 worth of equipment (less if you are willing to shop resale stores and electronic junk yards), you can grow rubies in your garage - yes, rubies, growing into natural crystal shapes out of a supersaturated solution of Aluminum Oxide, with just the right mix of Chromium, dissolved in a molten halite. These man-made rubies are physically and chemically identical to mined rubies, the makers can control the color by controlling the chromium content, and they are almost always brighter & clearer than mined rubies, with fewer and smaller occlusions. They cost about $12-$25 per carat to make, and if a Jeweler can get you suckers to pay $4,000 or more per carat for a real pretty one, which he swears is a "natural" Ruby, you think he wouldn't? My earlier post was about going to Cozumel with a former girlfriend who, with her brother, actually "grew" rubies in her garage; we went the rounds of the Jewelry Stores in Cozumel, and she looked at the stones with her Loupe and through a mini-microscope, and 6 stones out of 10 she examined, all of which were "guarantied" by the stores to be natural rubies, were in fact manufactured through the Cashon process.
Emeralds can also be manufactured, though the process is much more dangerous because the coloring agent for Emeralds, Berrylium, is very toxic. Much more common than "man-made" Emeralds are natural Emeralds which can be "oiled" - infused with Oil to fill up the microscopic fractures within the crystal structure, to make a mediocre quality stone appear much better quality than it is. The only problem is that, over the course of a few years, the oil will leach out of the crystal, and you're stuck with a pretty poor stone that you paid much too much for. So you think you can get that money back from a Jewelry Store on the Waterfront in Cozumel? Good luck with that! The bottom line is, unless you are a certified Gemmologist, with your Jeweler's Loupe (and at least a 200 power microscope as well) you'll never know just what you are getting in one of those high-end Jewelry Stores, and if you do get cheated, you'll almost certainly never get compensated. If you are willing to buy expensive jewelry from a foreign store while on a cruise, you deserve what you get. If you want jewelry to remind you of your trip to Cozumel, buy Mexican hand-crafted Silver, or Turquoise, or something less expensive where you can see the craftsmanship that went into it. That expensive Ruby you are thinking of buying may be beautiful, but it isn't from Mexico, and it probably isn't from the ruby mines of Laos or Thailand either - it could have been grown in a pot is some smart guy's garage in Cleveland, or Detroit, or Dallas. And it likely isn't worth anything close to what you are being asked to pay for it.
Posted 20 February 2010 - 11:33 PM
Posted 21 February 2010 - 12:24 AM
Assorted diamond jewelry sales are almost exclusively to cruise passengers, maybe 99%. Why do they buy here? By the time they arrive here they have been subjected to 4-5 days of non-stop brain washing. If the ships devoted the same effort at encouraging people to jump off the boats, they could probably sell one way trips and open used clothing and luggage shops for items which were left behind when they executed a heels over the railing plunge.
It is possible to get some deals if you are highly educated to true market prices, have the right training and equipment. Unfortunately since your article was written in 2001, the whole world market has grown more corrupted and we see a handful of stores that are dedicated to fraud. For each person that by chance got a good deal, they can easily make it up on the next fifty people by charging them double or 500 times fair market value.
Buy nice hand made Mexican jewelry? I think it must all be in museums. Much of what Taxco produces of quality is special order designs or goes to European markets where true quality and craftsmanship are better appreciated. Since 2001 China has become a major source of jewelry production. The China made products here are almost never marked if silver and never the country of origin. The cheap colored glass stone costume jewelry, often in silver is most all from China. It is all over the island, in many shops for local kids, but isn't misrepresented except for origin.
The hot gem here and the last decade has been tanzanite, almost exclusively a cruise ship market gemstone. I hear it is a real investment and the mines will run out in another year or two and it has been skyrocketing in price every year. Buy it now or pay a lot more next year. Of course that has been said for years and is even cheaper now than it was then. Most "normal" jewelry stores won't carry it as it is so soft, susceptible to being scratched and the average piece that when purchased looked dazzling, looks like hell in a years time.
My "favorite" gem stone is Caribbean Topaz. It is also marketed under the names: Mystic, Rainbow, Northern Lights and about a dozen others. That has become a huge hit in the cruise ship market and they have improved the manufacturing techniques. The spray on coating hardly ever peels off anymore. Just make sure no jewelry cleaner or heaven forbid a sonic cleaner is ever involved. I have seen complaints that people have purchased "fake" Caribbean Topaz... it is a fake gemstone! No one is going to sell counterfeit rhinestones! LOL It is imitation, it's supposed to be. But, but the cruise ship expert said it was such a good investment.
BTW The only jewelry item I wear is a natural gold nugget ring. It was purchased when the price of gold had just shot up to $78 dollars an ounce.
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