By Nadeen Abdel Hady
Lately, fake or plastic jewelry prices have been skyrocketing, even though they aren’t really worth the money you’re paying. Instead, indulge in authentic stones and gems by following Cairo East Magazine down the meandering passageways of Khan El Khalili for a guide to all bodily ornamentation authentic and valuable.
When you first get to El Khan, head straight to Naguib Mahfouz coffee shop, that’s where all the best jewelers are. To the left of the coffee shop you’ll find Harazem, a large store to satisfy all your accessory needs. Whether you like silver or gold, rings, necklaces or bracelets, ancient or modern, you’re bound to find something here. Feel free to try on everything and bargain a good deal.
Continue going left of the coffee shop and you’ll find Mahmoud & Ali Tawfik’s store, about two stores down from Harazem. You can find very good bargains in silver designs that very few in Khan El Khalili still make. You can also give Ali a picture of any piece of jewelry you like; whether from the internet or something of your friend’s, and he can make it for you using real silver and your choice of gemstones.
Keep going down that tiny alley from the Tawfik shop and right at the corner you’ll find Yassin Aleish Jewelry. This is one of the oldest and most celebrated stores in Khan El Khalili and is known for its refined taste and hefty prices. However if you really want that one-of-a-kind statement piece, this is the place to go. Be prepared, this is not a place for a bargain, but window-shopping never hurt anyone!
Past the Aliesh store, and the tiny alley it’s in, is a larger, better-known alley named El Saliheya. Here is where you’ll find all the gemstone sellers, so you can buy your own genuine gemstones to make your own unique pieces by yourself or with your own jeweler. Or you can visit Hassib M. Yazdy’s store and ask them to make the piece for you using their beautiful stones. They are pretty quick at making most pieces so while you have a bite to eat at the coffee shop, your piece will be ready!
When you leave the alley and go back to El Moez Le Din Allah Street, ask for Sultan Barkouk’s mosque and visit Al Moez Silver. Gamal Shoosha, the owner, has a great collection in his store, from silver jewelry to bronze plates and copperware, and once you get friendly, good deals can come around.