Our Staff

Richard W. Hughes
Richard W. HughesCo-Founder

Richard W. Hughes is one of the world’s foremost experts on ruby and sapphire. The author of several books and over 170 articles, his writings and photographs have appeared in a diverse range of publications, and he has received numerous industry awards. Co-winner of the 2004 Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Award from Gems & Gemology magazine, the following year he was awarded a Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Award from the American Gem Society. In 2010, he received the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology from the Accredited Gemologists Association. The Association Française de Gemmologie (AFG) in 2013 named Richard as one of the Fifty most important figures that have shaped the history of gems since antiquity. In 2016, Richard was awarded a visiting professorship at Shanghai's Tongji University. 2017 saw the publication of Richard and his wife and daughter's Ruby & Sapphire • A Gemologist's Guide, arguably the most complete book ever published on a single gem species and the culmination of nearly four decades of work in gemology. In 2018, Richard was named Photographer of the Year by the Gem-A, recognizing his photo of a jade-trading market in China, while in 2020, he was elected to the board of directors of the Accredited Gemologists Association and was appointed to the editorial review board of Gems & Gemology and The Australian Gemmologist magazine. Richard's latest book, Jade • A Gemologist's Guide, was published in 2022.

Wimon Manorotkul
Wimon ManorotkulCo-Founder

Wimon Manorotkul has been involved with gems and gemology since 1979, as a lab gemologist, instructor and photographer. She is an Accredited Gemologist from Bangkok's Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences and for many years directed their lab. Wimon also qualified as a Fellow (with honors) of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. A skilled gem photographer, her images have been featured in books and magazines around the world, particularly Ruby & Sapphire: A Collector's Guide, along with Ruby & Sapphire: A Gemologist's Guide and Inside Out | GEM• ology Through Lotus-Colored Glasses. Wimon not only photographs gems, jewelry and mineral specimens, but is also an expert photomicrographer. In 2013, she founded Lotus Gemology with her husband, Richard Hughes, and daughter, E. Billie Hughes.

E. Billie Hughes
E. Billie HughesCo-Founder

E. Billie Hughes visited her first gem mine (in Thailand) at age two and by age four had visited three major sapphire localities in Montana. A 2011 graduate of UCLA, she qualified as a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA) in 2013. An award winning photographer and photomicrographer, she has won prizes in the Nikon Small World and Gem-A competitions, among others. Her writing and images have been featured in books, magazines, and online by Forbes, Vogue, National Geographic, and more. In 2019 the Accredited Gemologists Association awarded her their Gemological Research Grant. Billie is a sought-after lecturer and has spoken around the world to groups including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. In 2020 Van Cleef & Arpels’ L’École School of Jewellery Arts staged exhibitions of her photomicrographs in Paris and Hong Kong.

Kaylan Khourie
Kaylan KhourieGemologist

Kaylan Khourie is a South African gemologist with almost a decade of laboratory experience focusing on diamond, corundum, beryl, tanzanite and many other gemstones. A Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA) since 2017, Kaylan has since gained a special interest in unique gems, rare synthetics and abnormal treatments. He is a big football fan and enjoys spending quality time with his family. Kaylan joined Lotus Gemology in early 2023.

Sora-at Manorotkul
Sora-at ManorotkulAccountant

Sora-at ('Opal') Manorotkul graduated from the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce with a degree in accounting and joined Lotus in 2017. In addition to his work, he enjoys playing football and riding motorcycles.

Ronnakorn Manorotkul
Ronnakorn ManorotkulPhotographer

Ronnakorn ('Lapis') Manorotkul graduated Bangkok's Suan Dusit University in 2013 and worked as a tour guide, where he developed an interest in photography. After joining Lotus in 2020, he quickly rose to the challenge of photographing gemstones, and has had his work featured in industry publications like Gems & Gemology, as well as on our reports.

Chanon Yimkeativong
Chanon YimkeativongClient Services Representative

Chanon ('Pond') Yimkeativong joined us as a client services representative after graduating from Thammasat University. With excellent language skills, he helps clients submit and pick up stones both in-person and by overseeing shipments. In his free time he is a video game enthusiast.

Teerawan Baengpetch
Teerawan BaengpetchAdministrative Support

Teerawan ('Maew') Baengpetch’s administrative support keeps the laboratory running in a timely manner. Her diligence and attention to detail ensure that report assembly and book shipments go off without a hitch.