I ATTENDED THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF THE WORLD FAMOUS BANGKOK GEMS AND JEWELRY FAIR WHICH STARTED FROM 13 TO 17 SEPTEMBER 2012 AT IMPACT CHALLENGER CONVENTION CENTRE ABOUT HALF AN HOUR FROM CENTRAL BANGKOK.
I WAS THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED AND BOWLED OVER BY THE MAGNIFICENT SETTING AND GRAND BOOTHS.
A WORLD APART FROM KUALA LUMPUR'S FAIRS WHICH ARE A POOR COUSIN TO BANGKOK'S GEMS AND JEWELRY FAIR!
As befits its 50th anniversary that has propelled Bangkok into the big league of jewellery making, the fair was declared open by the Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Sinawatra, the younger and beautiful sister of former Prime Minister Taksin.
The Prime Minister of Thailand Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra giving her speech. I thought she would be in a gown or cocktail dress and dripping with diamonds but she came in a spiffy and stylish business suit. Surprisingly, she was not decked from head to toe in jewels like me!
Of course no jewellery fair is complete without a spectacular fashion show featuring bling as big as a stupa to awe-strike locals, sellers, buyers and visitors from all over the world as Thailand exports around RM 38 billion worth of jewellery abroad last year. So the bling trade is a bigtime industry in Thailand and though not as conspicuous as its tourism industry, it is an important sector as it complements the fashion, accessory, shoe and handbag industries.
White diamond necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets and brooches are best admired on contrasting black gowns and cocktail dresses.
I love the men's attire, so glamorous and courtly!
I am sure I will look divine in the guys' costumes
This is my favourite gown
I can't figure out if they are cabochon jade or emerald but one thing is certain---they are gorgeous and can be seen from a mile away
All set for 2013!
The Prime Minister of Thailand says the Thai Govt will launch supportive steps to ready Thai gems and jewelry industry for AEC challenges when the ASEAN market is open to every member nation in 2015.
As a show of strong support from the Thai government for the launch of the “Golden Anniversary” of the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra boosted morale for the Thai gems and jewelry industry by pledging to introduce measures that will aid trade for Thailand for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Presiding as the Chairperson over the Grand Opening Ceremony of the 50th Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair at the Royal Jubilee Hall at Impact Challenger Convention Centre, Prime Minister of Thailand Yingluck Shinawatra announced with confidence that the Thai government will expand its support for the Thai gems and jewelry to ensure its position as the “World’s Gems and Jewelry Hub.”
PM Yingluck also welcomed the delegates attending the 1st ASEAN Gems and Jewelry Presidents’ Summit Plus 6 to Bangkok and commended the Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association for the initiative to forge better ties within regional the gems and jewelry industry.
Recognizing the importance of the Thai gems and jewelry trade to the Thai economy in the US$12 Billion in generated export revenue last year and in employment creation, PM Yingluck said the industry must be supported to stay the course as the AEC approaches.
“We are in the process of eliminating the Value Added Tax and exempting the duties on imported raw materials used to make jewelry products such as rough gem stones to reduce production costs and enhance competitiveness,” she says. “We are also considering allowing the course of participation in gems and jewelry exhibition overseas to count towards deductable expenses for Thai companies and to encourage more Thai companies to expand their businesses more in the global market.”
“My government welcomes all foreign investments and partnerships that would benefit the Thai gems and jewelry business in all aspect.”
She added that on the part of the government, investments are being made to protect the supply chain connectivity at both national and regional level. The government will continue to discuss with foreign countries to secure legitimate source of raw material, new technology and expertise of the gems and jewelry industry. As for AEC 2015, she believes that foreign investors and partners in the gems and jewelry industry will benefit from using Thailand as the gateway to a single market and a base for 600 million consumers.
“I also encourage the Thai industry to prepare for its arrival and take advantage of the opportunity,” she said. “In this connection, I understand that there is an MOU to ASEAN cooperation in this sector such as in information sharing and technological transfer.”
“I congratulate the gems and jewelry in ASEAN member states for this important initiative.”
The prime minister concluded that the cooperation between the government and the private sector will help Thailand continue to be a leading center for regional and global gems and jewelry industry.
“My government looks forward to further strengthening this partnership and wish all of you much success. ”
FACES OF BLING
FACES AT THE FAIR
The family which owns Royal Stones, my favourite Indian jeweller with branches in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Mumbai. Left; Sagar Rawat, his father Shri Ballabh Rawat, his mother Rekha Rawat and sister Vrinda Rawat
K.C.T Impex sells loose stones cheaply but you have to find someone to set them!
The Africans occupied a huge booth selling rough stones
I wanted to buy this fabulous diamond encrusted bangle from Neon Gems from Hong Kong for RM 24,000 as it contains 81 carats of diamonds and thick enough to deflect and bounce off any bullets! The model is the owner's wife. He offered to model but his wife was far more beautiful
I love this pair of rough cut diamond earrings at RM 78,000. Each central diamond weighs around 5.6 carats and against your crowning glory, they glow and glitter so brightly they can act as lamps
Ruby merchants Sandeep Tak and H.A Hameed from H.S.B.K Multitrade Bangkok. I just love rubies due to their auspicious red colour
Talking heads; each crystal encrusted skull costs RM 3,000 and is guaranteed to be a talking point
Young and handsome jeweller Mack from Mangakara Jewellers. His watch is lavished with diamonds and sells for RM 12,000
Jewellery designer Nisan Ongwuthitham holding his silver gilt lion head belt buckle (RM 1,500) and lion bangle in 18k and diamonds (RM11,000)
Kee Hua Chee with this crystal encrusted near life-sized dragon. I really want this magnificent golden dragon from Cubic Gems but at a staggering RM 600,000 I thought I should buy 2 decent condos and enjoy the rent
Patchararak Thanasintrakul of Cubic Gems with her RM 600,000 golden dragon which is not even unique or one of a kind as there are 10 such pairs at RM 1.2 million per pair!
STARS OF THE SHOW
For comparison, this is how the RM 600,000 golden crystal dragon looks like relative to the surroundings
I had to squat to take this picture
Red eyed with red mouth
Its claws hold a crystal ball to symbolise the owner's domination of the globe!
I wonder how much the delivery charges are and hauling it into your livingroom is no easy task either!
Luckily for poorer folks, Cubic Gems has a cheaper and smaller and lighter version. This pair of golden dragons is around 9 times cheaper at RM 37,000 each.
A more portable dragon
This dragon weighs 7.2 kilos and is 21 by 37 by 37
Just the thing for your dining or living room table
They look alike but this pair of dragons are different and each is one-off
This pair of dragons cost RM 74,000
This is the big brother
Well, there is always Pegasus, swans and rearing horses if you are not in dragons
Pegasus the winged steed is always a favoured icon
I love natural rocks, crystals and diodes. These marvelous specimens are from Agata Fine Crystals of Bangkok
Agate from Agata Fine Crystals. Shine a light from behind and they light up wondrously
True treasures from the earth
Lion bangle and lion head belt buckle from Nisan Ongwuthitham
From Ong Jewelry Design
Lion bangle for RM 11,000
Stunning cuff bangle from shell and featuring denizens of the deep like turtles, coral and sea anemones
This gorgeous cuff is made of shell, gold, semi precious gems and precious stones and costs RM 12,000 from Rudy Crosley
Totally one of a kind wrist bling from Rudy Crosley
I love this aviary!
Silver birds kowtowing to its owner so they should be placed on a high shelf so you can view their heads
A larger than life bust took centre stage at this booth
No one can accuse her of being two-faced!
This golden cup also has 2 faces
This golden cup shows Janus the ancient pagan god with one face facing the past and another the future. January is named after Janus as he faces December, the last month of the year!
From Kabul Emporium in Bangkok
At around RM 48,000 this silver boat costs more than a normal motor boat!
Heads on; each crystal skull costs RM 3,000
This life-sized blue malachite skull is far more affordable at RM 800 each