Situated some 45 Kilometers east of Banjarmasin, capital of South Kalimantan Province, Martapura is a sparkling little city literally filled with diamonds and all the precious rocks delved from inside Borneo’s earth. Administratively, Martapura is the capital of the Banjar Regency. The city is well-known as the center of the diamond industry as well as the main diamond cutting and polishing venue in Kalimantan, in addition to being producers of top quality jewelry.
For those who fancy jewelry and accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, and various others made from pure diamond, gold, zircon, silver, various other gemstones, and even plastic or glass imitation, then Martapura is the place to be. The quality of Martapura’s jewelry is globally recognized as one of the best in the world.
At the heart of Martapura, one can find a lot of diamond polishing houses which use both traditional and modern techniques. The most notable of these is the Kayu Tangi Diamond Polishing Center just behind the Cahaya Bumi Selamat Diamond Market. Here diamonds are brought to be polished and processed into various shapes and sizes using traditional techniques.
These sparkling treasures of Martapura are best found at the city’s iconic landmark in the diamond and jewelry market of Cahaya Bumi Selamat. This market could well be one of the most unique diamond markets the world, since instead of featuring exquisite and elegant stores, Cahaya Bumi Selamat Diamond and Jewels Market is merely a conglomeration of simple stores and a few hawkers. It is even not uncommon to sometimes see millions of rupiahs worth of transaction conducted between two men passing in the street, instead of in an established store. The choice of uncut gems, silver and gold jewelry and threading beads-both strung and unstrung- are excellent here.
Aside from being the showcase of Borneo’s most sparkling rocks, Martapura is also where diamonds and other gemstones are mined and processed. While the nearby diamond fields of Cempaka in Banjarbaru may have prided itself with the 166.75 Carat “Trisakti” diamond in 1965, the Pengaron diamond fields in Martapura startled the world in January 2008 with the discovery of a 200 carat diamond aptly named “Putri Malu” or the shy Princess.