Thailand is known as a top manufacturer of jewelry pieces that are not only finely crafted but affordable as well. The country’s gem and jewelry are among the top 10 export products (third major export items) that have contributed to Thailand’s increased GDP.
Currently, the country is trading with the U.S., European Union and Japan. Additionally, it is strongly considering new and potential markets including China, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Thailand boasts of small and large jewelry making factories. They’re situated in the different parts of the country with more than a million employees.
To those who may not knowledgeable about the country’s jewelry products, the top five being exported abroad include diamond, precious gems and pearls, jewelry, imitation jewelry and processed gems.
Japan is a major partner of Thailand in the jewelry trade. It is actually the country’s second major market which imports multi-million dollars worth of Thai jewelry. In terms of preference, the married Japanese folks normally like the gold and platinum pieces. The teens and single people, meanwhile, go for the inexpensive jewelry that they can wear on any occasion.
Did you know that Japan ranks fourth in the world jewelry market in terms of authentic pieces and third in the imitation market? It also exports its creations to Hong Kong and Italy.
The young Japanese contribute to the demand of this imitation jewelry from Thailand. Most of those who buy them are the teens and working women owing to their low price. They also prefer those made with beads and colorful stones.
Right now, there is a Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association that works together with the Thai government in ensuring the growth of the industry. The association also has a Jewelry Fast Club that operates together with the country’s Tourism Authority in an effort to promote consumer confidence in the purchase of Thai jewelry products.
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Japan, for its part, has a jewelry association (JJA) with a goal of improving the quality of the country’s jewelry and educating people about them. It was in 1988 when the JJA was established through the efforts of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
Each year, the association holds a Japan Jewelry Fair that features a pearl auction, fashion shows, talk shows and other events. This year, the fair held in the last week of August marked its 20th edition and showcased items just in time for the holiday season.
Interestingly, Japan also has its Jewelry Day apart from the yearly fair they conduct. This jewelry day, celebrated every November 11 of each year, started when carat was first used in the country as the official weighing unit for jewelry and that was in the year 1909.
A growing trend as well is the personal customization of jewelry items courtesy of the Parts Club. The club enables people to buy jewelry by parts online and encourage them to create their own set.
The winter season is the peak time for jewelry buying in Japan. This is because of the tradition of finding gifts in time for Christmas and the New Year. The month of December usually comprises 20 percent of the annual sales of retailers.
Photo via jewser.net
About the guest author:
Miyaki is a jewelry maker who has been selling her creations in Thailand. Apart from jewelry, she also sells fashion accessories including cufflinks.