Gold Shops in Thailand
One of those Things Typically Thai are gold shops. OK it is not typically for only Thailand because you will see Chinese run gold shops all over South-East Asia. But when you have been on holiday in Thailand I am sure you will have noticed the always red coloured gold shops. They are everywhere, even in small towns. And in shopping malls. Yaowarat road in Bangkok is famous for its gold shops. In Thailand gold shops are not really jewellery shops but more a kind of bank as you can not only buy gold but also sell gold. So gold becomes a kind of investment and a way of showing how wealthy you are. On the windows of gold shops you see the daily price of buying & selling gold. Mind you that is the price of just gold, not the price of gold jewellery. For the work that is done is added a certain % of the weight price. Gold is sold in weight. And there is an Thai weight system used as 1 baht of gold = 15.2 gram. An half bath of gold is also called 50 satang. In gold shops they jewellery is most times categorised in 25 satang, 50 satang, 1 baht, 2 bath and 3 baht. And more for the really rich people.
Thai gold is much more pure as gold sold in Europe or US. Thai gold is 23 or 24 karat (96.5% pure gold) while in Europe most gold is only 18 karat. And because of that Thai gold is softer and different in colour. And for that reason for rings is most times used 22 or 20 karat. And because Thai gold is more pure gold, Thai people do not really want to have non-Thai gold because they can not sell it here. So gold is here not really sold as jewellery but as gold material. And at weddings it is normal that the groom will give gold to the bride as showing his love for his new wife. This gold is for her a good investment for her future. But most times this gold is sold after the marriage.