In Memory of Our Chairman

23 October 1926 - 13 January 2015

On January 13, 2015, Mr. Waing Kong Ho, Chairman of the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS), passed away peacefully at the age of 91.

Originally from Burma, W.K. Ho brought his family to Thailand in 1964. It was here that he started World Lapidary Co., Ltd. while also operating a gem brokerage business. Ho’s honesty and modesty was appreciated by buyers and sellers alike, and his name soon became well known throughout the international gem and jewelry community.

Ho was one of the true pioneers of the Thai gemstone industry and is recognized for bringing modernity and growth to a country that was fast becoming the “Gemstone Capital of the World.” His vision brought forth the founding of AIGS – Asia’s first professional gemological school and testing laboratory – with the aim of providing the best gemological training in Asia.

W.K. Ho is also credited for building Asia’s largest gems and jewelry marketplace, the Jewelry Trade Center (JTC). This multi-purpose building is comprised of 180,000 square meters of office, retail and residential space, situated on 59 floors. Now, twenty years after opening, the JTC still remains as one of the world’s most prominent gemstone and jewelry trading hubs.

Ho’s success is attributed to his sacrifices, dedication and a relentless commitment to sharing his knowledge to help others. Having provided much of the foundation and stability that the gemstone and jewelry industry here in Thailand now enjoys, Waing Kong Ho’s spirit lives in our hearts as we express our sincere gratitude for all that he accomplished during his life.

Message from the AIGS Executive Management Team

Thank you for considering AIGS and Bangkok as the venue for your gemological studies. Since our founding, AIGS has been committed to providing the finest education possible and we continue to produce some of the world's finest gemologists.

AIGS’s location within the center of Bangkok's gem district gives students a unique insight into the inner workings of the gem and jewelry industry that cannot be experienced from a classroom environment alone. The best way to learn about gemstones is though practical hands-on contact with as many samples as possible. Our vast collection of gemstones - including many that are unusual and unique - have been collected over many decades to provide our students with the necessary knowledge, skills and hands-on experience to prepare for their new careers within the industry.

The AIGS laboratory has a long-established reputation for providing timely and accurate gemstone reports for our clients, as well as serving the industry as a whole via our extensive contributions to gemological research. Being equipped with the latest advanced technology, we ensure that our gemologists are trained and up to date on the latest identification and analysis methods. The lab offers a variety of testing and certification to meet your needs, including the newly redesigned Master Gemstone Report that includes information on the rarity of the gem and the AIGS ‘Star Rating’ in the five page fold-out portfolio.

As our organization approaches our 40th year, we are proud that our educational program, research and testing services continue to operate at the highest level within the gem and jewelry industry. We invite you to visit us in Bangkok.