Things to do in Rio – Part Cinco – H. Stern and the Bourne Identity


‘I can tell you the license plate numbers of all six cars outside. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab or the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Now why would I know that? How can I know that and not know who I am?’ – Jason BourneThe Bourne Identity. 

The girls and I took an early tour of the H. Stern factory. I sat obsequiously between them and the sales girl opposite who brought out a multitude of precious stones, one tray after the next from the vault. In the background, a samba version of Can’t Buy Me Love was playing, no shit. ‘I’ll buy you diamond rings my love..’ 
The tour and the haggling of prices between the girls held my attention, but only for about 20 minutes. Because I’m a dick and I’ve seen too many heist movies, I look for cameras and try and figure the best way to rob the place.


I feel like Bourne eyeing up the security, knowing he’s left handed, a little out of shape, not wearing decent enough shoes to plant his feet to anchor a decent punch.

After Annie asks for my opinion on the 200th ring that is slightly sparklier than the last I tell her to go for something small, in case she gives me a right hook one day. A small stone will leave less of a mark.

We watched beach volleyball late afternoon and returned to our favourite haunt Cavalo Marinho in the evening for more gray shrimp and of course, passion fruit Caipirinha’s, Brazils national cocktail made from Cachaca, which is distilled from sugarcane.


H stern – the tour is interesting, I picked up new words like Tourmaline, Citrine, they have 20,000 stones in the vault, mostly classical and traditional stones, nothing elaborate in design. They have regular party tours of Chinese and Japanese who normally blow their wad. It’s cheaper here than anywhere else, mostly exclusive, not available online or in London. You don’t have to pay exportation tax or VAT here, so if you’re in the hunt for some jewellery, the amount you’d save on a ring you can get a holiday to brazil out of.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *