If you have a chance to visit Luc Yen, you will reach not only a gem mining area but also Luc Yen gem market. The market is located in a small corner of the town center of Yen The, Luc Yen, Yen Bai City, but it is always is crowded by traders from all over the country.
Luc Yen Market
Luc Yen gem market is the center selling gems exploited from mining areas of Luc Yen. According to locals, it grew fastest in 1991 and 1992 when they discovered gem mines in Luc Yen. They quitted farming to dig gems. Meanwhile, Luc Yen gem market had hundreds of stores large and small. People in other areas, even in other countries found Luc Yen to buy gems. There were two joint ventures mining gems (Vietnam - Russia, Vietnam - Thai) for years. However, gems in Luc Yen were not suitable for being exploited in the large scale. In 2000, these ventures stopped mining gems in Luc Yen leaving people free to mine gems.
Luc Yen gem market is held in a pretty nice location on the corner of a shimmering lake in Yen The town. The market only happens for three hours in the morning every day. Depending on the season and the weather, the fair takes place sooner or later. Usually at around 6.30 am, sellers begin to go to market. They slowly show their goods. No tent mat or a cabinet picky, each booth only has one seller with a small table having the area of half a meter square. On the table, the seller pours one kind of gems into each cell. Gems can be polished or raw. The market has about 30-40 stalls. Most sellers are women while most buyers are men. Each buyer holds a small flashlight to check the quality of gems. In addition to gem businessman, craftsmen go to the market to buy materials. Also, many people come to see and buy gems as souvenirs.
Gems on Luc Yen Market
Luc Yen is also the only place in the country making gemstone paintings. Coming here, you can learn about the job, and see the pictures worthing hundreds of million dong. Luc Yen gem paintings are not only copied from famous traditional pictures such as Dong Ho paintings (Bac Ninh) and Hang Trong (Hanoi) paintings but also ordered by customers who want to adapt the famous paintings of the world.
A gem painting
If you want to see gem mining areas, you must travel about 30 minutes by motorcycle. Unlike gold mining areas, gem ones are scattered throughout the mountain. Local people are free to exploit. Therefore, there is a market for selling and buying. It is the place to provide raw materials for making gemstone paintings. Luc Yen gem market is a source of raw materials. Above all, this is an interesting destination for tourists visiting Luc Yen.