Thailand has been gradually expanding its production of jewellery. Though the prices are cheap, they?
Thailand has been gradually expanding its production of jewellery. Though the prices are cheap, they are still not as l??? as in some Asian duty-free ports - but the design seems to ???act plenty of tourists. The government is now planning to ???ote Thai jewellery as a tourist attraction.
Gemstones are bought from India, Burma, Israel and South America, either ready-cut and graded into size, or as rough stones. Once the design is decided on, the stones are set temporarily in ???iay for craftsmen to complete the setting. The settings are now made in Bangkok, reflecting a growing Asian trend to replace mass-produced European styles with individual designs made by low-cost, local labour.
The gem-polishing takes time; but some craftsmen are now producing a ring in a day. Prices have dropped, and Bangkok-made jewellery, often fashioned in traditional Thai designs, now costs less than a third of the United States or European equivalent.
SYNOPSIS: Thailand has long been popular with tourists, attracted by its beauty and colourful atmosphere. Now there's another attraction - cheap jewellery.
A thriving industry has developed, with Thai craftsmen working on gemstones bought in India, Burma, Israel and South America.
Some are imported ready cut - but many are rough stones which are cut by Thai craftsmen, who now rival those of any other jewellery-making centre. One reason that Thai jewellery is so cheap, is that the craftsmen are paid on local rates, which are much lower than in the more traditional sources of cut stones. Gem polishing is a painstaking craft. Each edge must be honed to perfection. The stone must be polished to the precise size of its individual setting. It must fit the setting, and all the sides must be equal when it is mounted.
Rings are a speciality of Bangkok, and many are fashioned in traditional Thai designs. Although the rings made in Bangkok are not as cheap as those sold in some well-known Asian duty-free ports, they are still at least a third of the price they would cost in Europe or the USA. And the individual Thai designs are often an extra inducement which brings buyers to Bangkok.
Indeed, more and more tourists are visiting Bangkok simply ???or the jewellery and many shops are seeing their profits soar. They find that as well as the jewellery, the tourists ???op and buy other Thai-made items while they're there
Now, special promotion campaigns are being planned, using the attractive, economical jewellery as a bait for even more tourists.