London-based checker of rare gems and jewellery Intertek has established a laboratory in Cambodia to help regulate and provide guidelines for the gem trade. Officially opening today,
it is the Kingdom’s first gem laboratory. Intertek director in Cambodia Khut Sothy said the country had been lacking in proper quality-assurance methods and resources, and that scams were easy to pull off.
“In the market in Cambodia, no one checks the quality when buying gems; they usually just believe the sellers. If the salesman says the gem is good, people believe them.”
He added that tourists fooled into buying fake gems had filed complaints to their respective Cambodian embassies in the past.
The laboratory will hopefully increase the confidence of foreign buyers, EK Chea, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce’s product development office, said.
“We want our gems to be world-famous, but first they must have recognisable certificates,” he said.