In Memory of Our Chairman: 23rd October 1923 - 13th January 2015s

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, Mr. Ho brought his family to Thailand in 1964. It is from here that started 'World Lapidary Co., Ltd.', while also operating a gem brokerage business. Ho's honesty, reliability and modesty was appreciated by buyers and sellers alike and his name soon became well-known throughout the international gems and jewelry community.

He 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". Ho's vision brought forth the founding of AIGS, as Asia's first professional gem school and testing laboratory. A non-profit venture, the objective of AIGS was to provide the best gemological training in Asia and to maintain the highest standards of professionalism within the industry.

Ho was also one of the founders of the 'Thai Gems and Jewelry Traders' Association' and worked alongside it's members to remove import duties on diamonds. Known as the 'Diamond City Plan', the aim of this proposal was for Thailand become - initially as a cottage industry, but later in the form of large-scale industrial production - a major world diamond-cutting center. He believed that colored stones and diamonds always went hand-in-hand and argued that one would always be incomplete without the other. Additionally, he was among the first in Thailand to import non-indigenous rough gemstones from such places as Australia, Tanzania, Russia, Taiwan, Columbia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Canada, China, India, Brazil and the United States.

Mr. Ho is also credited for building Asia's largest gems and jewelry marketplace, the 'Jewelry Trade Center' (JTC). Bangkok's tallest skyscraper upon its 1996 completion, this multi-purpose complex comprises of 180,000 square-meters of office, retail and residential space, situated on 58 floors. Now, twenty years later 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 hard work, 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 has done in his life.

Message from our Founder-President, Mr. Henry Ho

Thank you for taking a moment of your precious time to consider AIGS and Bangkok as a venue for your gemological studies. Since our founding, AIGS has been committed to providing the finest education possible and our vast collection of gemstone samples - including many that are unusual and unique - have been collected over several decades to provide our students with the necessary knowledge, skills and hands-on experience for their new careers within this industry.

During 2015, AIGS will be expanding its range of educational courses, with special emphasis on our local 'Asian Economic Community' (A.E.C.) region and Chinese language-based programs. These include our new 'Master Gemologist Program', as well as courses specializing in colored diamonds and jade. We have also created an entry-level 'AEC Gem Appreciation' class, while also adding several new field trip destinations for our students.

Message from our CEO, Mr. Kennedy Ho

AIGS continues to produce some of the world’s finest gemologists. This is because our location within the center of Bangkok's gem district gives AIGS students a unique insight into the inner-workings of the jewelry industry that cannot be experienced from a classroom environment alone. The best way to learn about gemstones is through practical hands-on contact with as many samples as possible and our huge gem collection gives AIGS students a unique advantage in this regard.

As AIGS continues to keep up-to-date with the latest technological advancements, we are also in the process of developing an online "knowledge bank", so our students have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge, skills and experiences of some of the world's leading industry experts.

Message from our Manager, Ms. Oratai Chatchonbut

Welcome to AIGS!
As our organization enters its 37th year, we are proud that our educational, research and testing services continue to operate at the highest-level within the gem and jewelry industry. Our flagship 'Accredited Gemologist' (A.G.) Diploma program, in particular, continues to be recognized as one of the world's best, and many of our recent A.G. graduates have quickly acquired important positions within the industry or have achieved success as business owners.
2015 is shaping up to be a very exciting year at AIGS and I look forward to seeing you here in the near future!