The two best places for silver jewellery are Johari Bazaar, the broad street running north of Sanganeri Gate in the Pink City, and Chameliwala Market, just off MI Road in the tangle of alleyways behind the Copper Chimney restaurant. The latter also has the city’s best selection of gems, though it’s also a hard place to shop in peace, thanks to a particularly slippery breed of scam merchant, known locally as lapkars. These young men – usually smartly dressed and speaking excellent English – will regale you with beguiling tales about how you can buy gems in Jaipur and sell them back home for a massive profit. This is nonsense, of course, but by the time you realize this you’ll be thousands of kilometres away with a handful of worthless cut-glass “gems” wondering where all the mysterious entries on your credit-card bill came from. If you’re paying for gemstones or jewellery with a credit card in Jaipur, don’t let it out of your sight, and never agree to leave a docket as security.
There’s a government-sponsored gem-testing laboratory at the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, 2nd floor, Rajasthan Chamber Bhavan, MI Rd near Ajmeri Gate, where you can have gemstones tested for authenticity. The cost is ₹1000 per stone, with reports delivered the following working day (or ₹1600 per stone for a same-day report if you deliver the stone before 1pm).