The Balinese are renowned for their artistic and craft skills. Celuk, located to the NE of Kuta, on the way to Ubud, is famous for producing silver jewelry.
Getting to Celuk from Kuta, you take the Bypass to Sanur, head in the direction of Ubud and take the turn off in the direction of Sukawati. About a mile further, you come to the begining of a long strip of silversmith’s shops, which include small independent places, and larger more organized ones.
The journey from Kuta takes about 40 minutes, and Celuk is easy to find. Along the way, if you stop at a traffic light, a friendly local might pull up next to you, and offer to take you to his cousin’s jewelry shop. They are hoping to get you to make a purchase, so they can get a commission.
There is such a choice of places, you just pick one at random and see what it has to offer. The last time I went, I checked out a couple of places, including one called Asmana (FAX 62-361-298869). There was a lady and a younger guy working and and they let me photograph the cases of silver jewelry. I asked the lady the price for a simple silver ring and she said 20,000rp. I asked how much for 100 rings and she said 2,500rp per gram. I think you can negotiate as well as shop around. The lady told me I could get custom jewelry made here and all the stuff here was made in Celuk. I have been told much of the stuff comes from Java.
Across the street was a weird looking place called Satu Satu Silver (FAX 62-361-248121). They were trying hard with their display and describe themselves as a ‘factory outlet & wholesale, ethnic & contemporary design.’ I asked if they did custom work and they said no. I checked out the items on show but not being into jewelry don’t have much to comment on. They are trying hard to promote their brand obviously.
Half a mile down the street I stopped into a small shop inside a family compound. The business was called Nyoman’s ( phone – 0361 298309) and owner Nyoman Sudarma was busy at work with his staff making new pieces with shells. He can do custom work. I saw his small display area and his wife said I could bargain and that all the pieces are different so its hard to give a blanket price.
Heading back to the main road to Ubud I saw a very impressive place called Sari Dewi ( phone – 0361 771210) and had to stop. This place is 2 years old and is big. I parked in the rear, the security guard looking after my helmet, entered through the staff area and observed them coming back from lunch to their work benches. The showroom is huge and is loaded with cases of gold and silver items. Great selection here and if you are in a hurry you’ll probably do well to come here.
•What its is?
Celuk is the silversmith capital of Bali. It consists of a mile long street, lined with silver jewelry factories and shops.
•Where is it?
Celuk is located NE of Kuta, on the way to Ubud.
•How long does it take to get there?
From Kuta maybe 40 minutes.
•What’s on sale?
A whole array of silver and gold jeweley.
•Is it real?
Probably, enough people shop there. Make sure you are satisfied with an item before you pay for it.
•Best time to go:
During an economic depression. Anytime there are not a lot of other tourists around. The shops will be open all day, 7 days a week most likely.
•Can I get custom items made?
•Is the level of craftsmanship high?
•Is Celuk the absolute cheapest place in Bali to buy silver jewelry?
Don’t know, but you should always go down the alleys, that run back from the main street to the smaller, less flashy shops. With so many shop in Celuk, silver is somewhat of a commodity, which gives you some bargaining power.