Legend has it that the spirits of the forest are the ones who gave up the secret location of Pailin Gemstones to the elderly Yat Couple so the region inhabitants would become wealthy and stop hunting in the wilderness.
During the Khmer Rouge era massive mining was undertaken, mainly by Thai companies, and it is said that over 2000 large excavators dug for several years and changed the landscape forever, leaving in some instances some surreal hillsides and panoramics.
There are still a quantities of quality gems in Pailin and it is a local hobby to walk the hills and even the dirt tracks after the rain for there are often gems to be found right on the ground. Some people prefer looking for gems in the rivers where it is allowed without a license, for foreigners as well, as long as no machinery is used.
After the civil war Pailin Gemstones traders
who until then had exported their own stones exclusively, benefited from the boom of African and world gems trade in neighbouring Chanthaburi in Thailand.
Pailin has since then become the nation's hub for gemstones for lapidary activity and trade of stones from around the world.
Most Cambodian gems can be found in Pailin such as Zircon from Rattanakiri which counts among the best in the world, Peridot from Mondolkiri, but also Amethyst, Quartz and lots of other types of stones from the 4 corners of the country.
In Pailin can also be found regional gems from Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and further countries such as Sapphire from Australia,
Madagascar, Tanzania and also Ruby from Mozambique and Songkia and much more...
Buying Gems in Pailin is easy. Walking along the main national road towards the Phnom Yat temple you will see lots of gems retail stores with exceptionally low prices, surely less than a quarter of the price you would find in Europe or any other country.
You can request for Gems guides and translators to accompany you and help you in your purchase, it is usually pretty cheap, around 20$ for half a day or so, but don't be shocked if the shops also give the guide a small commission when you buy something, it is normal practice usually doesn't exceed 2 or 3% of
the sales price. We recommend that you contact the renowned company "Pailin Gemstones" if you want to be assisted by a certified, knowledgeable, reliable and trustworthy agent in your purchases.