Thailand – The World Centre of Precious Gemstones

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Thailand Gemstones

Thailand’s history with gemstones is rich and wonderful.The first sapphire and ruby mines were active over five hundred years ago producing precious stones that adorned the crowns of the Kingdom’s monarchy and ruling classes dynasty after dynasty.

Gemstones are rich in the country’s heritage

Mined for centuries, the Thai ruby, also known as the Siamese Ruby has a captivating deep red hue and clarity that makes it one of the most sought-after rubies in the world. This ruby is said to possess a higher density, greater durability, and a color intensity brought about by the concentration of chromium and iron within its crystalline structure.

Early Records

The first record of the famous Thai ruby dates back to pre-Victorian times in the early 1800s when King Rama III commissioned the mining of rubies in the Chanthaburi Province. The extraction of these rubies brought prosperity to the region that was later to become known as the City of Gems as trade of the stones flourished and brought wealth to the region.

Gems Market in Chanthaburi

Gems Market or Gems Road is a well-known commercial area in Chanthaburi where there are no fewer than 120 gold, gems and precious stone shops clustered together. This is Thailand’s biggest hub for gems trading. Gems Market operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and is crowded with Thai and foreign gems dealers looking to find a diamond or a ruby in the rough. Chanthaburi Gem and Jewelry Traders Association has initiated and served as the venue for premium gems and jewelry trading since 2003.

Global Center for Gem Preparation

Since the 1970s Thailand has become known mostly as a global center for the preparation of gems discovered in neighboring Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Cutting, polishing, heating, and trading of precious stones is undertaken by a number of craftsmen in the capital city of Bangkok. Finding the right jewelry factory in Bangkok Thailand can be a daunting experience. For several decades Thailand has been known by industry experts as the country from which to source the most beautiful and enticing gemstones. Specialized heat treatment knowledge, passed down from generation to generation, has produced a level of craftmanship unrivaled worldwide.

Expertise in Jewelry Making

Not only is Thailand renowned for its secretive heat treatment process, it is also skilled in the art of jewelry making that make it a special place for precious stones. Provinces throughout the kingdom specialize in different expertise. Kanchanaburi, with close proximity to Myanmar is famous for the blue sapphire, while Chang Mai is famous for silverware. Chinatown, in Bangkok, is the trading hub for gold, while jewelry of all types of precious stones are traded in the heart of the bustling capital of Bangkok and exhibited in annual trade shows and exhibitions.

Economic Impact

In this modern age, and with many economic pressures, many consumers worldwide are turning to synthetic and machine-made diamonds while the trade in natural gemstones in Thailand remains strong generating income for over 1.2 million people in the industry’s workforce. Exports of gems and jewelry accounted for over US$15 million in 2019, the third largest export after computer hardware and automotive parts in the Kingdom.

With its modern technology, natural resources, and skilled workforce, numerous international jewelry brands have chosen Thailand as a manufacturing base.

Enhancement Processes

These days, practically all commercial rubies and sapphires on the world market have undergone some sort of enhancement process. Mostly speaking, almost all premium rubies traded in the global market have once circulated through the hands of Thai gem experts.

The aforementioned heat treatment represents one of the most popular stone-enhancing approaches, using both low and very high temperatures to enhance the quality of the stone. Different kinds of furnaces harnessing temperature gauge technology are utilized in this process. The heat enables an actual physical transformation of the stones, resulting in brighter colors and clarity, fissure healing, and reduction of the blemishes that devalue a stone, are restored.

Competitive Edge

Thailand’s competitive edge lies in the value addition of heat treatment and polishing methods. Such processes are globally known in ruby and sapphire enhancement. They can even recover low-quality materials for more beautiful results, such as glass-filled ruby and sapphire. This wealth of knowledge, coupled with know-how in quality enhancement of different aspects in gemstones, has been continually developed and preserved in each local area – strengthening Thailand’s status as the world leader in polished gem manufacturing and trade.

Trading in Gemstones

If you are looking to trade in gemstones in Thailand it would be advisable to employ the services of a gem broker who can not only access the value of the product but also negotiate with the seller in their native language.

Tax restrictions regarding the exportation of gemstones are to be followed and the necessary work permit most be acquired before legally trading precious stones in the Kingdom of Thailand.