Jakarta people have to be proud of their city. In addition to a
metropolitan and capital city, Jakarta has a center for jewelry in
Jakarta Gems Center (JGC) Rawabening, Jatinegara, East Jakarta. Jakarta
Gems Center is one of the biggest jewelry centers in Southeast Asia
after the Gems Tower Building in Thailand.
JGC Rawabening deserves to be the biggest jewelry center in Southeast
Asia, because there are thousands of jewel traders there offering
hundreds of kinds of natural stones from many areas in Indonesia.
JGC will be inaugurated on 12 May 2010, but there have been many
transactions since three months ago, after the development of Jakarta
Gems Center building in Rawabening has completed.
JGC Rawabening does
not only sell jewels; it also serves jewel cutting, scrubbing and
Muhammad Chamami Aziz, one of the traders and the traders coordinator,
admitted that there are thousands of stone traders in JGC Rawabening.
But now, there are only 541 traders left.
Besides selling natural stones in various shapes and kinds, JGC
Rawabening traders also sell sacred things like keris, roots and fossil aged hundreds of years. This
uniqueness invites stone lovers to hunt their favorite jewels here.
“The opening of JGC Rawabening can not be separated with the history of
the traders; the traders did not occupy the place at will, but they have
precious history to be like they are now,” said Aziz.
Aziz told, in 1980s JGC was only a traditional market. As many as 20
traders gathered in a parking lot. Later on, the place became a center
for jewel in Jakarta. People from Jakarta and outside Jakarta visited
the market. In 1990s the market started to develop.
Since their existence started to be needed, in 2005 the traders demanded
to have an association. Finally, Jakarta Gems Center (JGC) Rawabening
After the completion of its development in 2010, JGC Rawabening has been
popular among jewel lovers. Many kinds of jewel from across Indonesia
are there in JGC Rawabening, just to name it: Garut or Bacan Islands in
Halmahera, North Moluccas which has Garut and Bacan stone.
Azis hoped, as the center for jewels, JGC Rawabening would be
facilitated by central government in its industrial process from manual
cutting and finishing to the modern ones.
“Traders need 1 hour to work
for the stone by the manual process. I think modern equipment will
shorten the time,” said Aziz.
Meanwhile, Junaidi, the coordinator for Aji stone, Jewel, Ring and
Puspacakra (handicraft) Traders Association, admitted that Indonesian
stones are famous across the world. Indonesian stones are known as Aji
The stone is from Sumatera to Papua. Because of unprofessional
management, the stone seems not precious.
JGC Rawabening has become a medium for collecting natural potentials and
shaping them to be more valuable.
“Experienced worker is needed for transportation, cutting, scrubbing,
and marketing. That’s why we call it as padat karya (need many human resources). If central
govt. can take advantage of this condition, you cannot count how many
people will get jobs,” he explained.
Junaidi also explained that Indonesian stones are so valuable and have
high quality work of art. Garut stone, for example, is sold Rp 2
million, Pancawarna stone USD 25 thousand, Bacan stone Rp 2 million to
Rp 10 million.
“The Europeans prefer natural and colorful stones like Pancawarna," said