I recently returned from a fascinating tour of Jaipur, India where I had a glimpse of the inner workings of one of the top colored gemstone production capitals of the world. Jaipur’s culture is immersed in gems, going back centuries.
One of our supplier factories has been continuously producing gems and jewelry for 19 generations - since the 1500s! They have world-wide contacts and sourcing, and process rough gem material from Brazil, Colombia, Africa and Southeast Asia. Master faceters and carvers finish the gems, a skill passed down through generations.
Our tour was sponsored by GJEPC, the Indian government’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council which promotes the production and export of colored gemstones worldwide, and initiated by Nancy Robey and Holly Granofsky, the official GJEPC USA agents. I met with dozens of gemstone vendors representing some of the top firms in the “Pink City” (as Jaipur is known due to its prevalent pink architecture) and sampling a jaw-dropping array of gemstones, a feast for the eyes, everything from precious emeralds, sapphires and rubies to rare opals, tourmalines and spinels. Jaipur is also known for its master carvers of gemstones. Skilled carvers can intricately carve any gemstone including precious emeralds, rubies and sapphires to your specifications.
I was also able to tour several factories including gemstone faceting shops and jewelry production plants where the newly minted gems are masterfully set in beautiful creations of 18 karat gold with diamonds. The Sita Pura area of Jaipur is organized by the government to help promote jewelry production for larger firms in a beautiful area that is clean, modern, spacious, organized and efficient, using state-of-the-art technology including CAD CAM and laser welders.
Jaipur’s culture is deeply immersed in gemstones and jewelry. For a jewelry designer or lover of gemstones this is ground central! Gemstones have always been my inspiration. During the trip I was continually inspired, designing new pieces and being immediately able to have them produced.
But the trip was not all work and no play! Next time: The Flavors of India: Sights and Sounds of Colorful Jaipur
Note: India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) sponsors several trips yearly. Their next event for buyers is the India USA Jewellery Meet Up Event in Mumbai, Sept. 10-12, 2019 followed by the India Diamond Meet Up Event Oct. 15-17, 2019 with suppliers of natural loose diamonds. “Buyers” are defined as designers, wholesalers, importers, retailers - especially those with 5+ storefronts - and manufacturers looking for loose gemstones and/or private label unbranded resources for finished diamond or mixed stone jewelry. GJEPC also hosts retailers who are the head of merchandising discussion groups or buying groups, industry associations or organizations.
Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 100 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877-539-3569, facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC, subscribe to her YouTube channel www.youtube.com/channel/UC2B-53XBuB_HD5-bofc5jAA