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U.S. Virgin Islands Shopping

Donald Schnell Studio
Amore Center
Cruz Bay , St. John
U. S. Virgin Islands 00830
Tel: 340 776 6420

Interested in taking home a piece of your hotel? Many luxury resorts in the Caribbean—including Sir Richard Branson's exclusive Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, Caneel Bay in St. John, and Frenchman's Reef in St. Thomas—use wall sconces and table lamps fashioned from raw coral sand and melted glass by Donald Schnell. His studio, one of St. John's most renowned shops, sells similar pieces, as well as carefully sourced ceramics, glass, and tableware from other artists. Of particular interest are Schnell's hanging light fixtures, many of which have unusual carved designs like stars and shells that show through when illuminated.

Open daily 10 am to 7 pm.

Cruz Bay , St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 693 8625

Snap up signature island jewelry at this whimsical Cruz Bay boutique. Freebird carries a wide selection of pieces made with larimar, the light blue stone that is the only gem mined in the Caribbean. It is also the best place to buy the classic Caribbean hook bracelet, which is worn with the hook facing up towards the heart if the wearer is taken, or down and away from the heart if the wearer is single and ready for action.

Open Monday through Saturdays 9 am to 9 pm, Sundays 10 am to 9 pm.

IB Designs
Company Street at Queen Cross
Christiansted , St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00822
Tel: 340 773 4322

Featuring handcrafted gold and silver jewelry—much of it hammered and made on site by Dominica native Whealan Massicott—this cozy shop in the heart of Christiansted has been selling island-inspired bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings for more than ten years. Signature designs include the Infinity Collection (fashioned after a knotted loop), the Karma Collection (with circular swirls to help spread those positive vibes), and the Umoja Collection (meaning "unity" in Swahili, it links three circles).

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm.

1116 King Street
Christiansted , St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 719 2888

Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but jewelry designer Anita Schultz makes a strong case for yellow sapphires. The co-owner of this sunny Christiansted studio creates delicate baubles such as hammered gold drop earrings and black pearl pendants. Popular for its wedding band designs, Jewelweed also creates pendants out of rings from broken engagements. After all, a diamond is forever, even if the relationship isn't.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 am to 5:30 pm.

Mitchell Larsen Studio
58 Company St.
Christiansted , St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 719 1000

At this sunny store near the center of town, artist Jan Mitchell sells photographs, platters, and eclectic gifts (there's an adorable tic-tac-toe "plate" with colored glass marbles as playing pieces). But those in the know go to scoop up Mitchell's island-inspired glass Christmas ornaments. Her whimsical creations regularly appear on the White House's Tree of Peace. Six were chosen in 2004: an amaryllis, two wreaths, a reindeer, a Santa Claus, and a penguin clad in fish-patterned swim trunks.

Closed Sundays.

Mongoose Junction
Cruz Bay , St. John
U.S. Virgin Islands

A short stroll from the Cruz Bay ferry dock, Mongoose Junction is a winding, multilevel shopping center with more than a dozen restaurants and boutiques selling jewelry, art, and apparel with an island flavor. R&I Patton Goldsmithing creates baubles with Caribbean influences, such pieces incorporating the St. John petroglyph—an island symbol believed to have been carved by the Native Americans who greeted Christopher Columbus. Other standouts include Bamboula for vibrant ethnic paintings and jewelry, and the three-story Big Planet beachwear and surf shop.

Open daily. Hours vary by store.

Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative
1 Tolbod Gade
Charlotte Amalie , St. Thomas
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 777 1153

More than 150 Caribbean artists are represented at this warehouse-style space across from the Emancipation Garden. Stock changes regularly but often includes calabash bowls, straw baskets and hats, African-inspired jewelry, colorful quilts, and shell lamps. You can also buy "bush tea" (made from local herbs), home-brewed guavaberry liqueur (available around the holidays), and regional cookbooks.

Closed Sundays.

Nelthropp & Low
1102 Strand Street
Christiansted , St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
Tel: 800 416 9078
Tel: 340 773 0365

In addition to having one of the largest selections of diamond jewelry on St. Croix, this downtown shop also sells a wide variety of "chaney"—broken shards of colonial china wrapped in gold or silver then fashioned into pendants, bracelets, and more (island children would use the pieces as play currency; the word was created by combining "china" and "money"). Made from china pieces found on old plantation estates across the island, chaney commonly features blue ink designs on an ivory background, but the shop also sells rare pieces with purple, red, and green patterns.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 5pm.

Sonya Ltd.
1 Company St.
Christiansted , St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 778 8605 or 877 766 9284

In 1964, San Diego native Sonya Hough was living on St. Croix with her husband (artist David Hough) and experimenting with jewelry design. Elephant-hair bracelets were in vogue, and their style prompted Sonya to create the now-famous St. Croix hook bracelet. A simple silver or gold bangle with a horseshoe-shaped clasp, these pieces are synonymous with St. Croix, and locals and tourists proudly sport them. Island lore says whether you wear the hook facing up or down depends on your relationship status, like an Irish claddagh ring. Sonya's collection now includes jewelry inspired by flowers, animals, and even hurricanes. The shop offers a trade-up policy to wider widths, different metals, and bigger wrist sizes (great for children as they grow).

Closed Sundays.

Yacht Haven Grande
9100 Port of Sale
Charlotte Amalie , St. Thomas
U.S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 774 5030

What do you do after docking your megayacht? Why, go shopping, of course. As one of the only spots in St. Thomas with parking for oversized watercraft, this collection of high-end boutiques—think Vuitton, Bulgari, and BCBG—was built with the deep-pocketed crowd in mind. Its proximity to Charlotte Amalie also means a significant cruise ship contingency. Be sure to ask your hotel concierge how many ships are in town: fewer than two and many shops will be closed, more than three and the crowds will be heavy. Either way, end your day on the back patio of W!kked to recharge your retail batteries with fresh, casual fare like coconut-rum flamed tuna.

Open daily 10 am to 9 pm.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.