If there is one thing I love doing in Morocco, it is for sure shopping for traditional Moroccan jewelry. Yes, yes, and yes! I am a jewelry junkie and I have a great fascination for Morocco jewelry designs and the history behind each jewelry piece.
You can find Moroccan Jewelry pretty much everywhere, as it is part of Moroccan identity. However, not all places are a good place to purchase Moroccan Jewelry. Luckily, I am really passionate about the subject and I will be more than happy to share with you the best tips to purchase Moroccan Jewelry without breaking your bank. Besides, if you purchase wisely as I will show in this article, you can acquire pieces that will last you for years. They might even stay in your family for generations.
My mother has two jewelry pieces that belonged to her grandmother. They are extremely gorgeous and still in perfect condition.
Most jewelry designs will mix perfectly with urban clothing, giving it an oriental and fancy touch. If you are visiting Morocco and you are a jewelry lover like me, make sure to dedicate some of your time shopping, as this is one of the best things you can do in Morocco.
Best Places to Buy Moroccan Jewelry
Okay, let’s get started. Here is all you need to know before buying Jewelry in Morocco.
Where to shop authentic Moroccan Jewelry?
In Morocco, the best place to purchase authentic Moroccan Jewelry is in the Medina, the city downtown. This is true especially for the Medinas of historical cities, like Marrakech, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, and Tangier. Here I talk about the best places to visit in Morocco, and some of the Moroccan Medinas are part of the list.
In Morocco, Medinas are the heartbeat of Moroccan cities. It is where locals shop for everyday necessities and thus, prices are very reasonable. Medinas are also very loved by tourists as they offer a great immersion in Moroccans everyday life. They are also the perfect place to shop for Moroccan traditional items.
In most historical Moroccan cities, Medinas are organized by themes. Thus, there is a small section for each of the shopping needs: Moroccan jewelry, spices, rugs, traditional clothes and so one, making shopping easier and comparison possible.
So when visiting Morocco, ask your local guide for the section where you can find traditional Moroccan jewelers. They often have a very small store and display some of their jewelry in the storefront.
Moroccan Jewelry Prices
Shopping for traditional and authentic Moroccan jewelry is not complicated, as prices depend mostly on the weight of the item and on the value of the stones used.
Mostly, the material used will be either gold, gold plated or silver. The stones used can be semi-precious or precious, often very colorful. Sapphire, coral, and jade are some of the stones that can be used.
Before purchasing your item, ask the jeweler for the price per gram of silver or gold, then compare with other vendors. Often, the vendor will weight the article before announcing the price, if he doesn’t, simply ask how much grams and make the mental calculation. If the price doesn’t much, don’t worry, this can be because the item has complex engravings or is decorated with precious stones.
If you get confused, start by buying a simple item like a silver or gold earing, with no precious stones, then work your way up, once you feel more comfortable.
Prices can go from a 100 dirhams (around 10 dollars) for a light item like a pair of silver earrings, to hundreds of thousands of dirhams and more, for heavier items with precious stones.
Where not to shop authentic Moroccan Jewelry
There are some places where you can be tempted to buy Moroccan Jewelry, and which I absolutely do not recommend.
First of all, unless you are rich and are not looking for great deals, avoid as much as possible buying Moroccan Jewelry from airport Morocco-themed stores. They are often extremely expensive and don’t base their prices on the weight and value of the materials used.
Second, if you are looking for authentic Moroccan jewelry that can last for years, avoid purchasing jewelry items from street vendors as well as vendors who sell other things, like makeup and bags. Moroccan traditional Jewelers only sell jewelry, as this is their specialty and some of them have the craftsmanship in the family for generations.
And last but not least, avoid buying jewelry from stores located in rich neighborhoods, like those with great concentration of luxurious brands stores (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc.), unless you have the money of course.
If you are confused, just ask yourself the question: Is the store located in the Jewelry zone of city’s Medina? If no, you might think twice before purchasing your item.