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Gemstones in Thailand
How to buy gems & jewelry

 

The Myth of Gemstones in Thailand

Thailand's reputation as a center of civilization in the Orient has been reflected by the rich forms of art that has formed an integral part of most Thais. The artistry of Thai artisans have intrigued men and women around the world for its exquisite, delicate splendor and beauty. The long tradition of fine craftsmanship has passed through several generations and is still very much intact today.
Gems and jewelry is one of the key industries which has flourished ever since ancient times. Traditional belief suggested that by wearing certain jewels and clothes which agree with the colour of the day and or birthday would bring good fortune and success.

Here is the guide: For those who are born on:
Sunday Wear jewelry with Garnet and Zircon and clothes in orange or red
Monday Wear jewelry with Pearl and Diamond and clothes in cream or yellow
Tuesday Wear jewelry with Topaz and clothes in pink
Wednesday Wear jewelry with Emerald and clothes in green
Thursday Wear jewelry with Cat's eye (Chrysoberyl) and clothes in orange
Friday Wear jewelry with Pearl and Diamond and clothes in sky blue or dark blue
Saturday Wear jewelry with Spinel and Ruby and clothes in black or purple
There has also been a myth about decking oneself with certain gem-stones based on his/her month of birth in order to capture the best fortune and prosperity. It goes like this: For those who are born in the month of
January
February
March
April
May
June
- Garnet
- Amethyst
- Aquamarine and Bloodstone
- Diamond
- Emerald
- Pearl and Moonstone
July
August
September
October
November
December
- Ruby
- Peridot
- Sapphire
- Opal
- Topaz
- Turquoise and Zircon

A Birthplace of Jewels. Fine Craftsmanship and Discovery

Thailand has been recognized as one of the world's major gems and jewelry centers. The Kingdom is not only endowed with dedicated and gifted artisans, but also gemstone resources.
Sapphires have been discovered in Kanchanaburi. Chanthaburi, Si Saket, Ubon Ratchathani, Phrae, Phetchabun and Sukhothai. Chanthaburi's districts of Pong Nam Ron, Bo Rai and Khao Saming have been known as producers of rubies: in addition to. Nam Yuen district of Ubon Ratchathani.
The red rubies discovered in Chanthaburi have been known as "Tab Tim Siam" or "Siamese Rubies" which are sought after by jewel lovers around the world for their dazzling red and magical looks. The Siamese Rubies have thus credited Thailand as the "Land of Jewels of die East."
Thailand's gems and jewelry industry has systematically developed from a cottage level to a large-scale export-oriented scale. The sector has become one of the country's top-ten foreign exchange earners, generating tens of billions of Baht to the economy and creating jobs for millions of people.
Quality, attention to detail and reasonable pricing are elements of continued success of the Thai jewelry industry. To enhance the sector's competitiveness, the Royal Thai Government has exempted tariffs on imported raw materials.
Furthermore, to make the purchase of gems and jewelry in Thailand even more attractive, the Royal Thai Government has agreed to provide full refund on Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on jewels bought by foreign visitors.

The conditions currently applied to VAT refunds are as follows:-

icon Purchase at shops with the sign "VAT Refund for Tourists".
icon Bring along the goods with oneself within 60 days from the date of purchase.
icon Minimum value of purchase from one shop in one day is 2,000 Baht.
icon Total value of goods purchased for a VAT refund must be at least 5.000 Baht.
icon Sales clerks will prepare a VAT refund form and hand two copies of the form to buyers with a Tax Invoice.
icon Goods eligible for VAT refund must not be restricted items such as firearms, explosives and the like as well as unset gemstones.
icon Must bring along the goods to the port of disembarkation for display to Customs officials.

Over the years, Thailand has developed to become one of the world's top-five jewelry polishing centers which has included Israel, Belgium, the United States and India.
The Kingdom's gemstone polishing capability has developed by leaps and bounds, leading to the creation of "Bangkok Cut", which is widely admired.
With the advantages mentioned above, it always makes a good reason to buy a piece of jewelry in Thailand when you are here right in the one of the world's forefront gems and jewelry centers.


The quality of Thai jewels is assured

Retailing of gems and jewelry in Thailand is governed by proper trading rules which are closely supervised by government and industry organizations. The quality of gems and jewelry is examined and guaranteed by internationally accepted local bodies such as the Asian Institute of Gemological Science (AIGS), the International Gemological Institute (IGI), the Gems and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, etc.
The adoption of stringent examination processes and issuance of quality certificates assure you of the quality standards of the goods you purchase exactly match your expectation both for personal pleasure and investment.
So if you are looking for something that reminds you of fond memories of your visit to the Land of Civilization of the Orient that is rich in arts. heritage and friendship, consider buying a Thai jewel.

List of gemological institutes

icon  Department of Mineral Resources Physics Section, Rama IV Rd., Phayathai, Bangkok 10400 Tel: 202-3690 Fax: 202-3681
icon  The Gems and Jewelry Institute of Thailand Faculty of Science Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Rd., Bangkok Tel: 218-5030-2 Fax: 253-0337
icon  Asian Institute of Gemological Science (AIGS) Jewelry Trade Center Bldg. 6m Floor. 919/1 Silom Rd., Bangkok 10500 Tel: 2674325-7 Fax: 267-4327
icon  International Gemological Institute (IGI) B.G.I. Bldg. 9 Soi Charoenkrung 36, Bangkok Tel: 630-6726-7 Fax: 630-5030-2
icon  Tokyo Gem Laboratory (Thailand) Co., Ltd. 1 Floor, 55/11 Soi Charoenkrung 42/1, New Road, Bangkok Tel: 235-1667-8, 235-7324 Fax: 630-9735

How to choose a gemstone and a piece of jewelry

Nature of Gemstones
First, it is essential to have the basic knowledge about the characteristics, colors, clarity, cutting style and the weight of the gemstones you are selecting. Generally speaking, there are two categories of gemstone - precious and semi-precious.
Precious stones are Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, Yellow Sapphire, Emerald and Cat's Eyes.
Semi-precious stones are Tourmaline, Peridot, Tazanit, Garnet. Opal, Spinel, Zircon, Aquamarine, Moonstone, Agate, Pearl, Sunstone, etc.
The commercial value, hardness, and durability of semi-precious stones are normally less than precious stones.
Thailand is one of the world's most important sources of Corundum. the collective gemological name for precious stones like Ruby and Sapphire.

ruby Ruby Its color ranges from dark red to pink hardness measured in Mohs is 9: reflective index is from 1.762 to 1.770 (+/-0.009 - 0.005}: and specific gravity of 4.00 (+/- 0.10 - 0.05). This precious stone has its origin in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam and Tanzania.
saphire Blue Sapphire It is another species of Corundum with properties quite similar to Ruby in terms of color, hardness and specific gravity. Its origins are Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma).
saphire Yellow Sapphire As part of the Corundum family. Yellow Sapphire has specifications like 'Blue Sapphire and Ruby, but it is only found mostly in Thailand and Sri Lanka.
diamont Diamond Discovered mostly in Africa, Australia, Russia and South America, the Diamond is normally colorless, though some come in the shades of light yellow and brown. Its hardness is 10 in Moh measurement; reflective index of 2.417: specific gravity of 3.52 (+/-0.01).

Quality and value of gemstones

The value of a gemstone lies in its beauty, measured by its color, luster, transparency, clarity, perfection of cutting (polishing), size, durability as well as rarity.

 Ruby The most valued Ruby is in pigeon's blood red. The stone with dark to purple red color has a lesser value. The Ruby which yields good transparency is considered more beautiful and has more value than the lesser one. The value of Ruby can also be judged by its clarity which is normally a key characteristic of the stone, and physical site.
Another beauty yardstick of Ruby is the "Asterism" or star in the stone that renders it the name of "Star Ruby." The star can be best appreciated from Ruby with a cabo chon shape placed in the light.
 Blue & Yellow Sapphire The highly priced color of Blue Sapphire is "pure" blue not being tainted with green or gray, yet not too dark or black. The most beautiful color for Yellow Sapphire is dark yellow and golden yellow. The popularity of the two shades varies from one market to another, depending on tastes and fashion trends. Blue and Yellow Sapphires with good transparency and clarity command more value with size as another determining factor, though it is easier to find a bigger size of Blue and Yellow Sapphires than Ruby. Like Ruby, Blue Sapphire has the "star" while it is rare to find a star in Yellow Sapphire.
 Diamond More common colors of diamond range from light yellow and light brown while while is rarer (*see color grading table). There are also established clarity levels of diamond (*see clarity table).
The bigger the size the higher the value of the diamond. Well-proportioned cut diamond is capable of reflecting light, yield more brilliance and sparkle, thus is more valued.
Color grading
GIA Color Scale Trade Terms
Colorless to D Colorless Finest White Jager Colorless
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
E River
F Fine White
G Near Colorless Top Wesselton Stones in this grade look colorless face-up: slight traces of color will not be apparent in mounted stones to other than the trained eye.
H White Wesselton
I Commercial White Top Crystal
J Top Silver Cape Crystal Small stones in these range will look colorless face-up when mounted but large one will be tinted.
K Faint yellow Silver Cape Top Cape
L
M Light Cape Cape Mounted stones in this grades will display a Yellowish tint even to the untrained eye.
N Very Light Yellow Low Cape
O Cape Very Light Yellow
P
Q
R
S Light Yellow Dark Cape
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Fancy Yellow Z Fancy

Clarity
 
GIA Scandinavia Exchange USSR Alternate W. Europe
FL FL   10X CLEAN IF
IF IF PURE
VVS 1 VVSI 1 VVS 10X CLEANISH VVS 1
VVS 2 VVSI 2
VS 2 VSI 1 10X VERY SLIGHT VS 1
VS 1 VSI 2 SI
SI 1 SI 1 10 SLIGHT EYE CLEAN SI
SI 2 SI 2
I 1 PIQUE 1 PIQUE VERY SLIGHT TO THE EYE PIQUE 1
I 2 PIQUE 2 SLIGHT TO THE EYE PIQUE 2
I 3 PIQUE 3 MARKED TO THE EYE PIQUE 3
gems
FL Flawless
IF Internal Flawless
VVS Very Very Slightly
VS Very Slightly
SI Slightly included
I Imperfect

 

Content of Fine Gold and Precious Metal in Alloys

Fine gold
24 karat (Kt)gold is referred to 100% pure gold
gold 22 Kt = 92%
18 Kt = 75%
16Kt=67%
14 Kt=58.5%
12 Kt=50%
10Kt=41.7%

Platinum
PT950=95%
PT900 = 90%

Weight measurement for gold, gemstones and diamond

The weight of gemstones and diamond is measured in carat and grams. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams, while one gram is 5 carats or 1.000 milligrams.
Gold is measured in karat, referring to the percentage of gold in alloys. Karat, in gold measurement, is usually written with a capital "K" or "Kt" to provide a distinction from "carat" for precious stones measurement.

Certification of Gemstones and Jewelry

certificate In normal practice, the issue of an authenticity certificate for jewels purchased rests on a laboratory. However, such certificates can be issued by specialists who have graduated from gemological institute and been employed by jewel stores.
With the growing use of synthetic stones in jewelry, it is very crucial that buyers demand the certificate of authenticity with a gem identification report being issued by authorized gemologists from the stores they make the purchase.

Information by: Jewel Fest Club, Charn Issara Tower,  Rama 4 Rd., Bangkok