The Name’s Arthur Lau

I am a Gemologist by profession, graduated as a Graduate Gemologist (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City. I hold an MBA degree from Cranfield University, London and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics at University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

My earlier profession was a banker, when in the early 90s, I was recruited to head a bank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was a nation that was ravaged by war for almost its entire history. It was also a very dangerous place to stay for a foreigner. But the money was good, and we needed the money to finance the education of our children.

After two and a half years in Indo-China, I switched profession and went into the hospitality industry to head a resort in Myanmar. There I found jade. I was so intoxicated with the “Stone of Heaven” that I gave up a lucrative job and landed myself in New York City to do my GG.

My 3 children were then coming of age. To make up for the little time that I spent with them, I took the family for long overseas vacation. Travelling would form a great part of their education as I believed that they would learn more than the mundane rote learning at primary school.

The eldest daughter wanted to become a lawyer, second son wanted to be a pilot while the youngest son didn’t know where he was going, except that he has a brilliant mind and all he wants is to make money. With the connivance of My Excellency, we persuaded them to follow their old man’s dream of selling diamonds, stones and jewellery.

Thus, we packed them off to New York City to do their GG, when they finished their High School at the age of 17.

For the past 30 years I have stayed in First World and Third World countries, London, New York City, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong and China. Most of the time I stayed and travelled alone, working, studying, doing something, doing nothing, seeking, learning, unlearning, observing, dreaming, as well as to partake some of the customs, traditions and way of life of the people in the countries I passed through.  

Life experiences gathered through the years could be enlightening, fleeting, kaleidoscopic, brimming with colors, or at times just dull and grey and perhaps often than not, a state of mindlessness, being woolly-woolly and blur-blur. Years of living abroad were/are enriching, fulfilling, filled with fun and comedy, love and bitterness, joy and pain, happiness and anguish, trials and tribulations, success and failures, in fact the whole gamut of cross-cultural exchanges with the people you met could be inspiring and at times depressing too.

Hence, I have within my psychic a whole load of pent-up emotions, energy and enthusiasm waiting to explode and unleash to anybody who would like to listen or read my ranting, musings and ramblings.

My passion is in stones, reading, writing, traveling, meditation, yoga and some spiritual pursuit. Perhaps I should spend more time in introspection, to go forth in the inward journey within me, for that is where the real evolution of self and consciousness begins – the discovery of my own inner Being.

Now I just want to write some stories of my life as well as to share my experiences on diamonds, jade and gemstones. My family, kith and kin, friends and foes, present and past colleagues, business associates and rivalries, former bosses and subordinates, and all those relevant or irrelevant parties have clearly endowed my life with a rich tapestry of experiences. Perhaps its timely to do something which I like – to do more writing.

And I have to get back to the business world – the world of diamonds, jade, jewellery and gemstones. The words that I oft mentioned to them 3 kids previously have come back to me, as what goes round will come around. I said to them, “You have to earn your own keeps”, “There is no free lunch”, “The woods are lonely dark and deep, but you have promises to keep” (quote and unquote), and so on and so forth.

Now I have to abide by what I have said unto them. Perhaps they think that if I am to retire totally, my mind would have gone to seed, my waist would have ballooned up or my sinews would go rubbery. So, they have given me many tasks to do. I have to listen to them for theirs are the New Age, the New World and the Z-Generation, which in my mind they are always below 20 of age.

They are more interested in diamonds than in jade. So, in turn I have to follow their footsteps, because now I have to live in their world and not enforce them to live in mine. At times I have to run like mad just to follow their shadows.

Blemishes, warts and all, I have to make myself relevant. More to the point I have to justify my existence, by working, by writing, by keeping healthy and by doing more exercises.

Enough said on myself!

Arthur Lau