It’s akin to stepping into Ali Baba’s cave and the prices are a steal too. It sparkles from a range of precious and semi-precious gemstones, jewelry, accessories, antiques, and even kris daggers with gem-studded hilts.
It always a pleasure to go to the newly built Rawabening Market Gems Center Jakarta, a far cry from the earlier traditional market – Pasar Batu Aji Rawa Bening, which was established in the year 1974, in East Jakarta. The smart, clean air-conditioned mall replaced the earlier disorganized market recently in 2010 and is a far cry from a cave but its charm lies in the piles of glittering gemstones and jewelry everywhere. Strands of pearls of varying shapes, sizes and even colors jostle with strings of different stones Swarovski crystals and even plastic beads.
In a separate section within the mall is an area for gemstone cutters and polishers. One can also get electroplating services here. In addition to stones, large variety of basic rings or bond – silver, stainless steel rings with prongs not fitted with jewels. These are called squirrel teeth, which hold the stone with the four prongs.
It has been my favorite haunt to find and ‘make to order’ customized, unique gifts for my friends. There is such a huge variety to go through that it requires reserves of patience and persistence to finding the perfect buy. Pearls, brilliant rubies, cat’s-eyes, agate, emeralds and more jostle for attention. Ready to wear bracelets, brooches, rings and more tempt the eye and the wallet.
Indonesian antiques, silver ware and ceremonial kris can also be purchased here. The authenticity of the stone and products however cannot be guaranteed. Be aware and knowledgeable about what you want to buy. My suggestion is to buy attractive affordable items and leave expensive stones and jewelry for certified shops and establishments. It’s a place to have fun.