Guide to Buying Gemstones in Bangkok

Jewelry Trade Center, Silom Rd
Bangkok skyline, with Jewelry Trade Center on the left side

Bangkok is known as the gemstone capital of the world, and with good reason. Virtually every kind of gemstone is traded here, and material from mines around the world is brought to Thailand to be processed. A large jewelry industry has also grown up in the city to take advantage of the rich supply of gems. For gem dealers around the world, Bangkok is known as the place where gems of every grade can be purchased at the best prices.

Gem Shops on Silom Rd
Retail gem shops, Silom Road, Bangkok

The colored gemstone business is concentrated in the Bang Rak district of central Bangkok around the intersection of Silom Road and Mahesak Road. There are hundreds of shops in the district selling everything from loose gems to finished jewelry and all the equipment used by gem dealers, from tweezers to microscopes. There are also more than a dozen gemological laboratories in the district, including well known names such as GRS (GemRearch Swisslab), GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and AIGS (Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences). The skyline is dominated by the Jewelry Trade Center, a 59 storey skyscraper completed in 1996.

Since Bangkok is the source for most of the world's colored gemstones, it is natural to think that this is the best place for consumers to shop for gems. The answer, unfortunately, is that it is not so simple. Though the streets in the gems district are lined with retail shops, this is not the way to find the best prices on high quality gems. A lot of the goods sold in the retail shops are commercial grade stones offered at high prices to the unwary buyer. There are a number of reputable shops selling higher grade stones, but you'll pay top price.

 Sita Building, Gems District, Bangkok
 Sita Building, Gems District, Bangkok

To get the best prices on fine gems such as  sapphire, ruby, spinel and tourmaline, you need to visit the wholesale dealers who supply the world's leading gem dealers and jewelers. However, you won't find these dealers at the street level shops. They are mainly located in the upper floors of office buildings throughout the district, and do business through their network of contacts around the world. Though their business is chiefly wholesale, many of these dealers will also sell to private buyers by appointment. So your best strategy is to contact the dealer of your choice before you come to Bangkok and arrange to view gems in his office.

AJS Gems is located in the Sita building at the corner of Silom and Mahesak in the heart of the Bangkok gems district. You are welcome to visit our offices when you come to Bangkok. Please email us at to make an appointment. You can review our all inventory on our website, and indeed you can purchase fine gems at Bangkok direct prices without ever leaving home.

See our selection of Fine Gemstones at Bangkok Direct Prices