Mr. Surasak Maneesathianrattana founder of Carletta Jewellery
"Trat has both raw materials and skilled craftsmen, but local entrepreneurs usually produce jewelry pieces using molds. Though it is very convenient, it lacks creativity. Nowadays, people love to buy things which have stories behind them," Mr. Surasak Maneesathianrattana, founder of Carletta Jewellery talked about what he felt about Trat, a province in the Eastern Thailand and a home of the legendary Siam ruby.

He was also a mentor in the Gems Treasures project of the Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand, a project which had the key objective to enhance the capabilities of Thai jewelry entrepreneurs and transform Thai jewelry to become more marketable in international markets.

"…In the beginning I focused on encouraging local entrepreneurs to find inspiration, think more creatively and decide what should symbolize Trat. Locals are proud of Trat history as well as Koh Chang National Park, which shows the bravery of the Royal Thai Navy in the Battle of Koh Chang in 1941," Mr. Maneesathianrattana explained how he worked with the locals in GIT's project. "So, they took an element of the Royal Thai Navy insignia to create a shield-like design and linked it to the Eagle Wood flower, which is an important economic plant in Trat. When setting the Siam ruby into the design, they used the V-Prong Setting. Moreover, there were gem setting in the shape of the ship anchor, so, it was quite clear what the collection wanted to show."

For Mr. Maneesathianrattana's jewelry pieces, he used the concept of Memorial to Trat. He emphasized on the Navy even though the final jewelry was presented in floral design. It's interesting how one piece of jewelry can perfectly exhibit both the strength of the Navy and gentleness of flowers.

"When I decided to utilize the shape of a boat, I thought of triangle-cut gems – as they are of the same shape. And once it's assembled together it happens to create the shape of the Eagle Wood Flower. It's probably through luck that everything fell into place," the mentor of GIT's Gems Treasures project said.

This collection has five jewelry pieces consisting of necklaces, brooch and earrings. The main materials are silver, nylon and they are set with authentic gemstones.

"My collection is separated from what the local entrepreneur did. One of the charming aspects of the project is that it tells the same story through completely different work processes," said the founder of Carletta Jewellery.

He added that he is a designer who knows how to create jewelry design to meet the needs of customers and is focused on design rather than material. He is confident that Trat local jewelry entrepreneurs will be able to export their jewelry to the global market.

"It is possible because they have good quality raw materials and skilled craftsmen. Once they can tell unique stories through their jewelry pieces, it will definitely attract more customers," Mr. Maneesathianrattana explained. "Although most of gemstones are imported since raw gemstones mined in Trat have been depleted, the strength of local Trat jewelers lies in their knowledge in creating jewelry passed on from generation to generation. I believe that if they adapt what they learned from me to their expertise, it would be a good start for a sustainable business."

With the province's strong local wisdom combined with limitless creativity, Trat's gems and jewelry entrepreneurs will deliver more stunning jewelry pieces to the world.