Colored Stones / Diamonds / Gold / Industry / Pearls / Shows / Silver

Optimism Reigns at Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair


Exhibitors, buyers, and organizers were feeling positive as the 68th Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair headed into its open-to-the-public weekend, thanks to robust attendance and the business that was conducted during the trade-only days earlier this week.

The fair, held Sept. 6–10 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center, returned to its full capacity this year after downsizing for a number of shows during the pandemic. Attendance, projected to reach 30,000 overall, surpassed expectations.

Jewelry professionals flew in from all over the world to pick up loose colored gemstones, which occupied roughly half of the show’s exhibition space. Although there was a showing from the U.S. and Europe, the largest number of attendees hailed from China, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

“The show has been going great,” said Sanjana Timsina, sales representative at PSG (Perfect Shine Global), a Bangkok-based loose stone vendor. “Thailand is known as the hub for colored stones, so people come here looking for high-quality rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. We are seeing many people from China, but are expecting more people from Russia, Europe, America, and Australia.”

Beauty Gems booth
Local jeweler Beauty Gems was one of the exhibitors at the Bangkok show.

“Traffic is better than last year and, so far, better than the beginning of the year,” said Adipong Thawornviriyanan, from ruby purveyor Sung Gems in Thailand’s Chanthaburi region. “Single-stone rubies, mostly unheated—some buyers prefer natural stones—are popular.”

Thailand’s colored gemstones market has seen a resurgence since the pandemic, recently prompting companies like London-based Gemfields and Dubai’s Fura to relocate their auction hubs to the country. Moreover, the country is world-renowned for its heat-treating technique, which can coax the most exquisite light, clarity, and hue from colored gemstones.

Loose gemstones
About half the exhibition space was devoted to loose colored gemstones.

Colored gemstones may be the Bangkok fair’s primary draw, but silver, gold, and diamonds also had a large presence. Fine jewelry at the show included everything from sustainable pure gold creations to colored-gems-and-diamond showpieces to whimsical designs. Nutchaya Maneewetwarodom, CEO of Chanthaburi-based Taevika, was pleased with the turnout for her one-of-a-kind jewels featuring mother-of-pearl, pink sapphires, rose quartz, and more. “People are drawn to the style and the storytelling of each piece,” she said. Maneewetwarodom’s work was displayed both at her booth and in the fair’s “Magnificent 40-Year Journey of Brilliance” exhibit showcasing Thai artisans.

Rupak Kumar Agrawal, marketing executive at Jay Vijay Diamond Co., told JCK: “CVD [lab-grown] diamonds are hampering the market a little bit, but we think natural will go farther.” He expected sales to pick up the last few days of the show.

“There are some orders, there’s interest,” said Mohammed Mahallati, manager of Mahallati Jewellery, a Dubai company that manufactures in Thailand. “You don’t need to make a sale here right now. You have to be in touch, build your clientele, get to know them, and get them to know you.” Mahallati has become one of Thailand’s largest jewelers and occupied a prominent location at the show.

The Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair is expected to generate nearly $85 million in business, according to Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director general of the Thailand Ministry of Commerce’s Department of International Trade Promotion, which jointly organized the event with the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand. Jewelry and gems constituted Thailand’s ninth-largest export in 2022, and industry officials predict up to 10% growth this year.

Top: Visitors arrive at the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair. (Photos by Schogn Lee)

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Kristin Young

By: Kristin Young

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