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.
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:-
| Purchase at shops with the sign "VAT Refund for Tourists". |
Bring along the goods with oneself within 60 days from the date of purchase.
Minimum value of purchase from one shop in one day is 2,000 Baht.
Total value of goods purchased for a VAT refund must be at least 5.000 Baht.
Sales clerks will prepare a VAT refund form and hand two copies of the form to buyers with a Tax Invoice.
Goods eligible for VAT refund must not be restricted items such as firearms, explosives and the like as well as unset gemstones.
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.
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||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.|
|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).|
|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.|
|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.
|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.|
|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|
|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|
|S||Light Yellow||Dark Cape|
|Scandinavia||Exchange||USSR||Alternate W. Europe|
|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|
|VVS||Very Very Slightly|
Content of Fine Gold and Precious Metal in Alloys
|24 karat(Kt) gold is referred to 100% pure gold |
22 Kt = 92%
18 Kt = 75%
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
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
Published At: http://www.sawadee.com