Thailand’s history is rich with gemstones, beginning in the 1400s when its mines first produced the sapphires and rubies that adorned the crowns, swords and even the footwear of the country’s royalty. And as recently as May, jewelry fans took note of the glittering sapphire and diamond necklace and earring set that Queen Suthida of Thailand wore at King Charles III’s coronation in London.
But since the 1970s, Thailand has mostly been known as a global hub for cutting, polishing, heating and trading stones, doing business with its gem-rich neighbors Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, along with countries far beyond.
And after years of pandemic disruption, the organizers of the 68th
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