It was started out by Shri Kesrimalji Kothari and furthered by Shri Ghisilalji Kothari. Shri Ghisilalji had spent most of his early years in Burma and made frequent trips to the ruby mines in the border areas. Sales were mainly in Burma and India.
Needing to tap the vast overseas market and be able to supply these rare and very sought after rubies, Shri Ghisilalji prompted his eldest son, Mr. Bhimraj Kothari, to travel to Hong Kong in 1958. In a span of three years after his arrival ,he established Universal Gems in 1961 and very soon was well regarded by the Hong Kong jewellery community. By 1970 he was established as one of the top gemstone traders and stockists in Hong Kong.
To further his quest for expanding the business, Mr. Bhimraj, through his frequent travels to Thailand, set up an office in Bangkok, Thailand in 1981, (Emrusa Ltd), and two offices in Jaipur and Bombay, India, were also set up in 1986, in order to get a constant and well sourced supply of diamonds, and to avail of a good supply of precious stones as well as for the sourcing and creation of Indian enamelled jewellery.
In 1981, his elder son Narendra Kothari graduated from the Gemmological Institute of America in Los Angeles, USA, and joined his father's business in Hong Kong. In 1983, his second son, Virendra Kothari, after his graduation from Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) in , joined the family business by taking over the Bangkok operations.
From the roots and starting of Burma rubies, ultimately their business grew to involve not only rubies from Burma, but rubies from Thailand and Africa, sapphires from Sri Lanka and Kashmir, emeralds from Colombia and Africa.
Since 1985 they have progressively added large diamonds to their inventory and since 1990 have become full fledged jewellery makers, making only exquisite handmade jewellery pieces of unique designs and distinctions. Today not only are they supplying loose gemstones to the trade and customers but also are supplying one of a kind jewellery pieces to major retailers in Hong Kong, and the USA. Their supply of jewellery to these retailers has provided a solid backbone for those retail operations.
is their latest venture to add further a dimension to their existing businesses. Their object here was to bridge the gap and bring the wholesale market closer to the public by offering them jewellery from way down the production line, as well as from privates, wholesalers, buy-outs, stock-lots, liquidations sales from court seizures, bank auctions here and overseas. The directors travel extensively to bring their collections from all over the world.
Although the sources are varied, their jewellery specialist ensures that only pieces that are in good condition and of acceptable value are selected for the auction.
The pieces presented in the auction are always given estimates and reserves low enough to invite competitive bidding and added interest because of the variety.
Universal Gems celebrated 50 Years in Hong Kong!