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Thailand Hosts World Ruby Forum

Government aims to establish the stone as the country’s ‘most important exported gem.’
Nov 5, 2017 10:21 AM   By David Brough
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Gemologists from around the world gathered at the World Ruby Forum in Bangkok on Saturday, where leading industry figures spoke about supply, marketing and certification of the red gemstone.

The forum — a showcase for rubies manufactured in Thailand — was in line with government policy that “aims to establish the ruby as Thailand’s most important exported gem,” according to the country’s commerce minister, Apiradi Tantraporn.

The Asian nation is establishing itself as the leading hub for colored-gemstone jewelry manufacture and export, said Duangkamol Jiambutr, director of the state-run Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (GIT), an organizer of the event.

In the first nine months of 2017, Thailand exported some $10.66 billion worth of gems and jewelry, according to the GIT. Rubies account for over a third of the country’s precious-stone exports by value.

“Demand for colored stones is going up. We would like the value of Thai gem and jewelry exports to go up by 5% a year, but the world economy is very slow,” Jiambutr told Rapaport News on the sidelines of the forum.

European markets for colored stones, such as Switzerland and Germany, have been buoyant, but the US has seen more sluggish growth in demand, she added.

Gemologist Vincent Pardieu, who has traveled widely to ruby mines around the world, pointed to East Africa and Greenland as potentially important sites for future discoveries of ruby deposits.

The gathering preceded the annual congress of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), which runs in Bangkok until Tuesday.

In a keynote speech at the forum, CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri appealed to leaders of the colored-gemstone industry to apply high standards of corporate social responsibility.

“Once the goods have entered the pipeline, members of the trade are encouraged to incorporate into their management operations a due-diligence system,” Cavalieri said. “What is not an option is to do nothing.”
Tags: Apiradi Tantraporn, bangkok, CIBJO, colored gemstones, David Brough, Duangkamol Jiambutr, Gaetano Cavalieri, Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, GIT, rubies, ruby, thailand, Vincent Pardieu, World Jewellery Confederation, World Ruby Forum
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