goto content

  • sitemap
  • sign up
  • my page
  • visitkorea on Facebook
  • visitkorea on Twitter
  • visitkorea on YouTube
  • visitkorea on RSS

Korea Banner (Left)

Jewelry print

Precious jewels such as dazzling diamonds, gold, and elegant pearls can render a person merciless to their beauty. Koreans are especially interested in fashion and beauty, making precious jewels and metals, without a doubt, extremely important elements. Shopping for precious jewels and metals is a popular leisure activity. However, the trends are changing. In the past, people preferred expensive and large jewels, whereas today, more people prefer simple and practical jewels. The consumers are no longer middle-aged, but a younger generation that has now taken over.

Shopping areas for precious jewels and metals can be divided largely into three locations. Luxurious top quality jewels can be found in department stores. Less-pricy and more affordable shopping can be found in retail stores like Minigold and Lloyd with products in the mid-price ranges. Wholesale stores are popular for soon-to-be-wed couples looking for affordable quality jewelry for their wedding.

Therefore, let’s compare the prices and the quality of products at the three shopping places mentioned above.

[Price Comparison]

Because jewel products usually are not manufactured in common designs, it is almost impossible to set a price standard for comparison. For that reason, as the next best price comparison standard, we will look at the price of a woman’s simple 14k gold band weighing about 3.7kg, most commonly sold in all three types of stores.
[As of February 2007]
Department Stores Lloyd, Minigold, Retail Stores Wholesale Stores
180,000 ~ 220,000 won 90,000 ~ 120,000 won 70,000 ~ 80,000 won

● Department Stores: Here, the quality of the products is guaranteed, but very expensive. (A fixed price system)
● Retail Stores: Price range falls between department store and wholesale store prices. (A fixed price system)
● Wholesale Stores: Most affordable prices are offered because the products come directly from the factory. If you have strong negotiating skills, try shopping at a wholesale store. You can bargain for a slightly cheaper price depending on how well you talk.

[Design & Quality Guarantee]

● Department Stores: Department stores offer the most definite product quality guarantee. Also, department stores house a large variety of luxury jewelry brands. If you prefer luxury brands, shop in one of the department stores. The design quality is guaranteed, but the design range is wider in wholesale stores.

● Retail Stores: The most popular retail stores are Minigold and Lloyd, followed by various individual retail shops. Minigold and Lloyd are the largest retail chains, and they offer product quality guarantees. The variety of product designs is also quite large, and is targeted primarily to the younger generation. Other local retail stores offer product qualities similar to that of wholesale stores, and the customers are usually made up of middle-aged groups and older. There are retail shops specializing in luxury jewelry in the Gangnam, Cheongdam-dong and Apgujeong areas, noted for their quality design and products.

● Wholesale Stores: Small wholesale shops are housed in one large building complex. The numerous shops offer a wide range of designs to choose from. The range of designs offers more variety than the department stores and retail stores. The quality of products is usually credible, but the quality of precious stones like diamonds is not as high as those sold in department stores.

[Where do I shop?]

● Department Stores
Galleria Department Store
Lotte Department Store
Shinsegae Department Store
Hyundai Department Store
* Click on each picture to view the directions to and detailed information on each department store.
● Retail Stores

Lloyd and Minigold stores can usually be found in any commercial area. Today precious jewels and metals retail stores mostly come in the form of chain retail shops, but in nearby markets outside of Seoul and in the countryside, you can still find a few “Gold/Silver Shop” retail stores, which were once popular retail stores in Korea. A few luxury retail stores are also located in the Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong area.
[LLOYD Myeong-dong /mini GOLD Jongno]
● Wholesale Stores
The most popular precious jewels and metals wholesale complexes are the Gangnam Jewels & Gold Complex located next to Honamseon Gangnam Express Bus Terminal, the Samho Woojoo Jewelry Fashion Town located in Namdaemun Market, and the Jongno precious jewels and metals wholesale street located between Jongno 1-ga and Jongno 5-ga. Of the three, the Jongno wholesale street is the most well known.

Jongno Precious Jewels & Metals Wholesale Street

The precious jewels and metals wholesale complexes line the streets of Jongno 1-ga to Jongno 5-ga. There are a total of about 3,000 stores, with the world’s leading regional concentration level. The stores located along these streets usually display a common complex name, but each complex houses numerous different wholesalers. From the outside, they may look like one large store. The precious jewels and metals complex buildings become more concentrated as you go from Jongno 1-ga to Jongno 5-ga. The most concentrated streets are Jongno 3-ga and Jongno 4-ga.

There are 2 especially popular wholesale complexes along these streets. One is the Bongjk-dong precious jewels and metals complex alley, located behind Dansungsa Theater and the first floor of Dansungsa Building. The other is the Yeji-dong watches and wedding gifts alley located in Jongno 4-ga. However, these two areas are connected to the mains streets of Jongno, and are naturally a part of the precious jewels and metals complexes found along Jongno.

The majority of customers seeking this area are soon-to-be-wed couples and the younger generation.

Directions to Jongno Precious Jewels & Metals Complexes : Take Seoul Subway Line #1 to Jong-gak Station or Jongno 3-ga Station / Take Seoul Subway Line #5 to Jongno 3-ga Station / Take Seoul Subway Line #3 to Jongno 3-ga Station
→Click for details

Gangnam Precious Jewels & Metals Complex

Gangnam Precious Jewels and Metals Complex is located in a single building complex, unlike the widely spread Jongno area. The wholesale stores are housed from the 1st floor of the basement level all the way up to the 8th level. Of course, the number of stores is not comparable to that of Jongno, but the interior is clean and simple, and the stores are larger. The prices are similar in all three wholesale store complexes. The customers consist of a wide variety of people, and cannot be classified.

Directions to Gangnam Precious Jewels & Metals Complex : Take Seoul Subway Line #3 to Express Bus Terminal Station, and go out of the exit toward Honamseon (호남선) / or take Seoul Subway Line #7 to Express Bus Terminal Station, and go out of the exit toward Honamseon → Located next to the Central City Terminal (Honamseon Terminal)

Namdaemun Market’s Samho (삼호) & Woojoo (우주) Jewelry Fashion Town

Korea’s most famous market, Namdaemun Market, provides a wide variety of shops that sell a large variety of products. The Samho Woojoo Jewelry Fashion Town specializes in precious stones and metals. The precious stones and metals stores are located mostly on the 1st floor of the basement level, and the upper floors house wholesale accessory stores. Samho Woojoo Jewelry Fashion Town has decreased in size compared to the past, but it is still popular among middle-aged customers. Since the majority of customers consist of the middle-aged, this complex sells many jade products and precious stone products. The prices are similar to that of other wholesale complexes.

Directions to Namdaemun Market Samho Woojoo Jewelry Fashion Town : Take Seoul Subway Line #4 to Hoehyeon Station, and go out of Exit No. 5 toward Namdaemun Market, located near Namdaemun Market Gate 3

[Shopping Tips]

Luxurious and uniquely designed accessories can be found in stores located in the Ssamziegil complex in Insadong. There are about 70 stores specializing in accessories, crafts, cultural items, souvenirs, and more. The complex also houses galleries, cafes, and restaurants. The accessory designs are known for their high quality and uniqueness.
→Click for details & directions

For a wide variety of accessories, head for Dongdaemun Fashion Town. There are several large complexes in Dongdaemun Fashion Town including the Doota Tower on the 5th floor, Migliore on 5th & 6th floor, the basement level of Jeil Pyunghwa Market (제일평화시장), the first floor of Pyunghwa Market, the 4th floor of Freya, the first floor of Migliore Valley, and more. The large-scale area offers a wide variety of designs and product materials.
→Click for details & directions

More fashion accessories can be found in the shopping districts of Myeong-dong, Insa-dong, Jongno, Sinchon, and Ehwa Women’s University. Accessories are mostly sold by street vendors in these areas.

Quick Menu Quick Menu