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.