Samui Wining & Dining

Dolce Vita by Silverado, presents finely crafted silver and gem accessories.


What makes us different from animals? Well scientists will say it’s the presence of an opposable thumb, allowing us to hold and use tools. Nonsense! The truth be told it’s the ability to accessorise. Yes, really it is. Have you ever seen an ape wearing a gorgeous pair of ruby earrings? No? Well there you go then. Point proven.

The tradition of Thailand’s fine jewellery craftsmanship has passed through generations, and still continues to this day. Thailand is reputed to be one of the world’s major gems and jewellery centres, and has not only talented artisans, but also gemstone resources. An industry created because our larger brains have given us the power to accessorise.

        Sapphires have been discovered in Kanchanaburi, Chanthaburi, Si Saket, Ubon Ratchathani, Phrae, Phetchabun and Sukhothai. Chanthaburi’s districts of Pong Nam Ron, Bo Rai and Khao Saming are known for their ruby mines. These areas are the source of some of the precious stones used by Dolce Vita, in exquisite settings of silver and white gold. The red rubies discovered in Chanthaburi are referred to as “Tab Tim Siam” or “Siamese Rubies” and are sought after by jewel lovers around

the world for their dazzling red colour and mesmerising appearance. Speaking of which, some advice to the men out there: If a lady says she doesn’t want anything for her birthday, this actually means she does want something, and it better be jewellery.

          Dolce Vita by Silverado has an outlet opposite Makro on the ring road. Walking into the store, one is enthralled by a myriad of colourful gems and beads, sparkling silver and polished pearls. Dolce Vita’s factory is based in Chiang Mai, supplying their stores in Samui and Phuket. All the brand’s silver is mined in Thailand, and their cultured pearls, including the black, are from Krabi. This makes it is easy to justify spending on Dolce Vita’s jewellery, knowing that you are supporting a local industry, not that most ladies need any convincing!

          Thailand’s gem and jewellery business has developed into a large-scale export-oriented industry. This sector has become one of the country’s top-ten foreign exchange earners, generating tens of billions of baht to the economy. The industry has flourished due to reasonable pricing, as well as quality of materials and craftsmanship. Dolce Vita’s vast selection of rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings showcases not only the quality of stones on offer in Thailand, but also the skills that have been passed down for generations, particularly with the silversmiths in the Chiang Mai region, where their manufacturing studio is located. Styles will suit all tastes, be they traditional or modern, classic or funky, bling-bling or basic. Not only does jewellery make an ideal gift, but also a great souvenir as a reminder of that great Thailand holiday.

          They say that jewellery takes peoples minds off your wrinkles. So... buying jewellery may just be a healthy alternative to plastic surgery. Can you hear that justification again? Dolce Vita has ranges to suit most pockets, from their white gold and precious stones range, to silver and semi-precious gems. Their precious stones include rubies, sapphires and emeralds, and the semi-precious range includes topaz, amethyst and garnets.

          Worthy of mention is the rainbow selection of Merano glass and crystal beads by Silverado, that can be made up as charm bracelets or pendants. Choose from ready made bracelets, where coloured beads have been artistically matched to create beautiful pieces, or should you feel creative, select your own beads according to colour and patterns. The beads are individually priced, so mix and match the glass, crystal and silver beads as desired.

          Traditional Thai beliefs suggest that wearing certain jewels on specific days of the week, will bring good fortune and success. The day on which one was born, also indicates your lucky stone. Here is a guide to which gems to wear on which day, in case ladies, you need another excuse to justify that purchase:

Sunday   :  Garnets and zircon and clothes in orange and red.
Monday  :   Pearls and diamonds, and clothes in cream or yellow.
Tuesday :  Topaz and clothes in pink.
Wednesday : Emeralds and clothes in green.
Thursday     : Chrysoberyl or cat’s eye, and clothes in orange.
Friday          : Pearls and diamonds and clothes in sky or dark blue.
Saturday      : Rubies and clothes in black or purple.

          Dolce Vita has gems and glass beads to suit any colour of the day. Furthermore, to make the purchase of gems and jewellery in Thailand even more attractive, the Thai Government has agreed to provide full refunds on Value Added Tax (VAT ) imposed on jewels bought by foreign visitors, as if we needed another reason!


 Rosanne Turner


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