Hongqiao New World Pearl Market

A great stop for pearl fiends though a little out of the way compared to the more central First Asia Jewelry Plaza. Hongqiao New World Pearl Market makes up for this by being bigger and considerably calmer, though of course, stallholders are still enthusiastic about getting your business.

Pearls come in all shapes, colors and sizes and are of various quality. Freshwater pearls are most common and tend to be the best value. Check for authenticity by scratching the surface with scissors; genuine pearls will not be scratched under the dust, fakies will. Buying strings of pearls is the cheapest way to purchase (you’ll get bigger discounts for 10 or more) though they can make them into earrings, bracelets, necklaces, whatever you want, just be sure to bargain that into the price.

There is also a mini fake market downstairs which should keep any boyfriends/husbands distracted for a while and if that’s not enough, send them off for a beer at one of the many bars on the Hongmei Lu Pedestrian Street across the road, while you shop to your heart’s content.

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