Travelling in a group can be an incredible and life-affirming experience as long as everyone understands group etiquette and expectations, and the same is true for a Gemstone Tour with The Gemstone Detective.
If you’ve read about my travels with renowned field gemmologist, Vincent Pardieu, you’ll know that we had to spend a few lunches getting to know each other before he would invite me on one of his expeditions into the field. Vincent won’t travel with people he doesn’t know, because he cannot risk taking people who are not team players or who might pose a liability to the trip.
Though I’m always up for lunch with fellow gemstone enthusiasts, you can sign up for your Gemstone Tour without us needing to get to know each other beforehand. But—and it’s a big but—you do need to think carefully about whether an expedition is right for you.
On a Gemstone Tour you’ll get an educational, hands-on introduction to the gem trade in that location. You’ll get to visit gem mines, gem markets and gemstone & jewellery shops, and witness jewellery, goldsmithing and gem cutting & polishing workshops. Along the way, I make sure you get to experience the local culture and way of life!
So, now to the ground rules!
Gemstone Tour Etiquette and Ground Rules
Here are the 3 most important questions to ask yourself before signing up:
Do I have a good level of health and fitness?
Full disclosure of health issues is extremely important.
We have small group tours planned to South East Asia, where the weather is hot and humid. We sometimes visit places with very little shade. You need to be sure that you can handle this and come equipped with a hat, water bottle, sunscreen etc.
Miners sifting the gem gravels to find gemstones. Mogok mine in Myanmar
Most toilets outside the main hotels are squat toilets. Are your knees up to the job? The mines rarely have toilets, even for the miners. Can you cope?
At the gemstone mine in Mogok, Myanmar. No shade. No toilets.
Some of the tours require a certain level of fitness to reach the gem mines, which can be dangerous to navigate, with rough terrain. Are you able to walk down steep verges, balance along planks and jump over little rivers?
Can I keep to a schedule?
Gem Tours are kept deliberately short to fit into our busy lives and so our schedule is tightly packed. Are you able to respect group timings and make sure that you don’t keep your fellow travellers waiting? Heavy sleepers need to have some contingency measures in place—an alarm clock (in addition to your phone alarm); a buddy system etc!
We visit the Goldsmith in Mogok, Myanmar
Am I prepared to be a team player?
Are you willing to participate in activities and push yourself to try new experiences and foods? It can really drag a group down if there’s one person who refuses to try anything new or unfamiliar. These expeditions are designed to immerse you not only in the gem trade of each location, but also the local culture—grab the opportunity with both hands and get involved!
Beautiful, fresh, home-cooked cuisine in Mogok
If you're ready to book a Gemstone Tour, visit www.gemstonedetective.com/gemstone-tours/
and complete our application form. You'll here from me (Kim Rix) within 24 hours.
I look forward to meeting you.
Kim Rix GG GIA
Be sure | Be smart | Buy with confidence