If you are interested in buying gemstones or jewellery, you might visit a jeweller’s shop or a luxury store. But now you can buy quality gemstones at a nondescript market in Hanoi.

The neat little market, which is some 400sq.m, is in Alley 456 on Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Cau Giay District. It opens once a week, every Sunday.

There are nearly 20 stores selling artificial and natural gemstones, necklaces, bracelets and decorative stones.

“I brought here precious gemstones from my hometown, such as ruby, sapphire and quartz,” said a trader from Luc Yen district, the northern province of Yen Bai.

Gem lovers usually come here to contemplate nature’s quintessence, he added.

Most of the gemstones come from Luc Yen district in the northern province of Yen Bai and from Quy Hop district in the central province of Nghe An.

Prices vary depending on the material, quality and size of a gem, normally fromseveral hundreds of thousands to hundreds of million dong.

People come to the market with different goals. Some like to collect goods made from gemstone. Others come to exchange experience with experts in the field.

Nguyen Ngoc Tu, a visitor in Hanoi said he is passionate about gemstones, thus he comes to the market to learn more about the stones. As there are so many precious gemstones here, so he can buy 1-2 stones each time he comes here, Tu said.

According to Driusz Leszczunski, a trader from Poland, “this market is awesome”.

“I bring along amber products from Poland. They come from millions of years ago,” he told reporters.

After selecting their favourite stones, customers can bring them to a quality checking counter to see if it is good or not. Those of good quality will be granted certificates so that people who are not experts avoid fake stones.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, the founder of the market said the market aims to make it easier for customers to learn about the precious gemstones of Vietnam.

Despite its humble size with several products, the gemstones market has become an interesting weekend venue for local people and tourists to the city.-VNA