Gemstone industry veterans and gemmological experts were among the key speakers at the 5th International Gem and Jewelry Conference organised by The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand (Public Organization) or GIT in November.
Held from November 14 to 15 in Pattaya, the conference revolved around the theme, “The Fullmoon of GEMUnity,” in reference to the twelfth month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar, which usually falls in November, when the full moon lights up the sky.
Siripol Yodmuangcharoen, chairman of the GIT Executive Board, said the gemstone and jewellery industry is “very significant” to Thailand’s economic growth. In his keynote speech, Siripol said gemstone and jewellery products placed third among the country’s most important exports in 2016 with an export value of about THB410.72 billion (roughly $11.59 billion). Hence, the GIT conference could not have come at a more opportune time, giving industry stakeholders an excellent chance to exchange knowledge and information, and explore areas for collaboration, he continued.
Dr. Pornsawat Wathanakul, director of GIT, added, “Our main goals are to improve regional and international understanding and cooperation among scientists and major stakeholders, and explore new methodologies and techniques to help build a better future in the field of gemmological studies.”
The conference featured more than 30 lectures by renowned experts and gemmologists, and drew about 300 participants from 22 countries. Pornsawat’s presentation focused on GIT’s master sets of ruby and sapphire; Victor Tuzlukov talked about cutting-edge technology in gemstone cutting and manufacturing; Gaston Giuliani of CNRS-IRD discussed “Gem Corundum Deposits With Regards To Their Geological Origin,” and Rupak Sen of Gemfields gave a presentation on “Coloured Gemstones – A Journey Through Past, Present And Future.”
A pre-conference excursion, which was held from November 9 to 13, gave conference participants access to the gemstone deposits and jewellery markets of Myanmar.
From November 16 to 18, GIT organised a trip to the mines and markets of Chanthaburi in Trat Province, allowing participants to closely explore the world-renowned source of the “Siamese Ruby.”