Thailand, not only known for its marvelous jungles, and beautiful wildlife, has one of the largest industries for gemstones in the whole world. Businessmen in Thailand cut, dry, and polish gemstones for international export, and their own gem collections.
Despite that fact that deposits of Ruby have depleted in Thailand, the cutting and polishing industry for gemstones thrives. Their craftsmen are thought to be the best in the world for gemstones. A great part of all rough coloured gemstones from all over the world find their way here.
What About Diamonds?
The one stone they do not generally handle is the Diamond. The largest cutting and polishing industry for this gem, is the noisy city of Surat, India which is recoginzed as the hub of diamond cutting and polishing worldwide.
The one thing about gemstones is that they are extensively desired all over the world and as for Asia, many of the stones are used for astrological purposes. An example of this is the yellow sapphire, a very expensive stone, that is believed to vibrate on the same wave as the planet of luck and success: Jupiter. However, not everyone should wear the stone. But that’s another story.
Careers in the Gemstone Field
Thailand is a great country for the young who would want to study the art and craft of stone cutting and polishing, including lessons in restoration.
Gemstone cutting and polishing is not just rewarding; some of the gem cutters are award winning celebrities in their own right and possess the artistry and precision that an average gem cutter aspires for.
Young aspiring gem cutters should explore their possibilities with the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand— https://www.git.or.th/index_en.html and similar institutions that they’ll find on https://www.gemsociety.org/article/bangkok-gemology-schools/.
Since the country is the largest stone cutting and polishing centre in the world, the retail and wholesale business market is extremely well developed. Young entrepreneurs who desire their own entrepreneurial path will find many opportunities to establish business relationships for the import of stones to their own countries. For these studies, you must go yourself straight to the Bang Rak district in Bangkok.
Some of the rarest and best quality blue sapphires come from Thailand and Myanmar. Here’s a list of the best regions to find gemstones and cutters in Thailand.
Magnificent twilight blue sapphires are mainly found in Kanchanaburi. The destination is more popularly known for the Bridge over the River Kwai. Those on a quest to find rare gemstones would also do well to explore this area for its history and nature. It’s only a two hour drive from Bangkok.
For rubies and sapphires you’ll head for Bo Rai, Thailand. Even though supplies have depleted or nearly vanished in this area, the die-hard gemstone hunters are difficult to keep away. This part of the country is close to Cambodia on the eastern side. The region saw its best years from the 1960s to the 90s. Tourists and gemstone hunters still go there for the desired stones but also for the Khao Banthat Mountain Range, the waterfall national park, the museums and the spas. Should you be lucky enough to find a ruby or two, the intensity of the colour will dazzle you.
Khao Ploy Waen
On the border with Cambodia, Khao Ploy Waen which literally means Hill of Gems is one of the main mining areas in Chanthaburi and just a short drive takes you to the scenic jungles of Thailand. Chanthaburi itself is a beautiful town on the banks of the river of the same name. There are plenty of things to do here apart from gem hunting. There’s a whole waterfront community in Chantaboon where you meet friendly and welcoming people, national parks and religious shrines.
Just one more, the gemstone hunter said to himself in a hushed voice, just one more.
Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 625177679
Read more articles about gemstones from Sri-Lanka.
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