Thailand Gem Institute develops gem color guide system

The Gem and Jewellery Institute of Thailand (GIT) has developed its own gem color guide system for several kinds of precious stones to meet world standards, the Bangkok Post reports.

The stones included in the system are Oriental sapphire, topaz, amethyst, tanzanite, garnet, and pink sapphire.

The gem color guide standard was created to help promote Thailand as a world jewelry trade hub, said Veerasak Supprasert, director of the Industrial Restructuring Co-ordination Centre, part of the Industrial Economics Office. The color of precious stones is a key factor in determining their value, particularly in the United States and Europe, the Thai newspaper reports.

The precious stone and ornament industry was the country’s fifth largest export earner in 2002 totaling $2.17 billion. Main destinations include the U.S. and European countries (notably Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, and Spain). Earlier in the year, the Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders Association said that exports in this sector could grow by 12% this year.

Prof. Sakda Siripan, GIT director, said research and development on color comparisons of precious stones was conducted with Associate Prof. Pongchan Chanthayos of the Asian University of Science and Technology. The system took two years to develop, he said.

The institute will begin offering precious stone quality certificates, Siripan reportedly said. This could help upgrade the standard and credibility of gem products from Thailand, which in turn would directly benefit marketing and export planning activities.

“Now is the right time to focus on research and development in order to enhance competitiveness and credibility over our rivals, including China, India and Sri Lanka where labor costs are lower,” Siripan reportedly said. “As well, our ability to issue the standard certificate will enhance the credibility of our precious stones and ornaments.”