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My name is Gemma and I am The Sapphire Merchant. In 2018 I travelled to Sri Lanka in search of the perfect yellow sapphire for a ring. This journey took me from the capital Colombo to Ratnapura (Gem City), Nivithigala to Pelmadulla and then down to Beruwala (the home of the largest cut stone market in the world). These locations are famous for their gemstone mines and for their cut and uncut gemstone markets. This first buying trip ignited my passion for the gemstone industry, for the people who work within it and for the beautiful gemstones that pass through many hands each and every day. 

A roadside sapphire mining operation in Sri Lanka

Upon returning home to New Zealand my fascination with precious gemstones continued to blossom and I dedicated many hours to educating myself on how to evaluate, identify, select and care for coloured gemstones. The concept for The Sapphire Merchant came into fruition and my mission became clear; to make these beautiful treasures more accessible and to give my fellow countrymen a better range of choice when it came to purchasing a coloured gemstone in New Zealand.

In 2019 I set off on my second buying trip. This time to Chanthaburi in Thailand. Chanthaburi has a rich ruby and sapphire mining history and is a major cut and uncut gemstone trading hub. People come from all around the world; Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Madagascar, Pakistan, India, Burma, Australia and The United States of America to trade their precious and semi-precious gemstones and buy them to take back to their countries. Here I spent an incredible 10 days within the local community, meeting and learning from people who had worked within the trade their whole lives. During my time in Chanthaburi, I carefully selected 29 sapphires from the many thousands I had the pleasure of viewing over this time to buy and bring back to New Zealand.

From these early beginnings, The Sapphire Merchant has continued to grow and evolve as a business. I undertake regular buying trips to Thailand, to source my gems in person. I also offer a jewellery manufacturing service, utilising the expertise and craftsmanship available in Thailand, a renowned hub for jewellery production. The Sapphire Merchant (T.S.M) manufactures high-quality custom jewellery, allowing you to customise your precious gemstone into your dream jewellery piece. Outsourcing to Thailand allows me to offer you more cost-effective solutions. With The Sapphire Merchant, you get a breathtaking piece of jewellery and a memorable experience tailored to your preferences and budget.

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