A Day Selecting Gemstones

Often someone has a certain type of gemstone needed. They contact us through our website and we discuss at length what exactly they are looking for.  Once we have the brief, we then go on the gem hunt and find the perfect match for our customer.

Before purchasing, we take a day or two to view what is available in the market, discussing price and type. Only then do we start selecting the stones on behalf of our clients.

Lou and I love selecting stones for our customers, I am glad it’s often a daily occurrence; it’s the fun part of the job and makes a change from packaging gemstones and queuing at the post office.

Today, we are buying a small parcel of tiny princess cut yellow and orange sapphires from two different wholesalers here in Bangkok.

First stop, to the post office to send of the previous days orders. Despite the fact we are selecting gemstones, doesn’t mean we can skip a quick visit to the post office. We like to be prompt with our deliveries to ensure our clients get their beautiful stones as soon as possible. Luckily the post office happens to be five floors above one of the largest gemstone markets in Bangkok, so I can view the pretties as I whizz past.

A Day Selecting Gemstones


After posting we couldn’t help but go down into the basement and browse any potential loose uncut gemstone for sale for website stock. But today wasn’t a stock buying day – so I quickly dragged myself away.

Back to the days mission: Yellow and Orange Sapphires.

We walked down the busy Bangkok streets, avoiding motorcycles on the footpaths and street venders selling us snacks, to a plain looking building with a few gemstones in the window. We rung the bell, and were quickly let inside the calm air-conditioned office, a nice change from the bristling streets of Bangkok.  We were told to take a seat, while one Thai girl laid out all a tray with a white piece of paper on it, a silver scoop, a pair of tweezers and a measuring gauge. While the other girl found the yellow sapphires that Lou had enquired about two days earlier and poured them onto the tray.

Lou, quickly got to work and measured the mm of the stone, to ensure we are selecting from the right size stones.

As he worked, he put the measured ones into a separate pile, I then sat down to make sure the colour matched perfectly and rejected a few based on slight variation. Then the process is repeated, ensuring the colour is correct until we have the required amount of stones. In this case; all 32 tiny yellow sapphires.

Selection Yellow Sapphires


We make the purchase, again the Thai girls work as a team, one scooped up the stones and the other wrote out the receipt. Before long, we had completed the first task of the day.

We again walked down the narrow Soi’s (Side Street) stepping over broken pavement with the untiring street venders now washing their dishes. We then rang the bell of yet another inconspicuous gem wholesaler. This particular one looks like an empty house. We entered the foyer that only contained a desk on one side, a long row of chairs on the other and small indoor Buddha temple under the stairs.  We were told to remove our shoes before heading upstairs.

Outside a door on the first floor, Lou presses the buzzer beside the door and we are let into a conservative office. You wouldn’t really know that they sold gemstones, unless you noticed a few specialist tools and the large vault in the comer of the room!

I asked the assistant for a selection of 1.8mm orange sapphires. Once again, a younger girl puts out a white try, a scoop, tweezers and a measurer, while the other assistant emerged from the vault with a selection of orange sapphires all in large plastic bags. We poured over the packets pushing away the wrong shades of orange until we’d narrowed down the selection, making the choice of correct colour.

Selection Orange Sapphires


The other packets quickly disappeared, and the one selected was put through a round sieve to only get 1.8mm size stone for the section. Once done, they measured every stone in the pile to ensure accuracy of size. Only then was the tray turned towards us and I could make my selection of stones and quickly wrapped up the sale.  The girls were so proficient in grading our parcel, they are poetry in motion. It only took them 6 minutes to have the parcel ready for sale.

Happy with our purchases, and completing task of selecting stones on behalf of our clients, we headed across the busy road to a smaller gemstone market, where we discussed with a few vendors the trends for this week and gathered some quotes for the evenings correspondence with other clients – knowing we will be selecting totally different gemstones again the next day from totally different traders! Total Fun!

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