About Us

Founded by gemologist Ben Hoo in 1996, Big Lab Research provides expert services and advice to consumers, gem brokers and jewelers worldwide. Big Lab Research prides itself in providing accurate and unbiased reports while complying with international standards.

Big Lab Research was originally a gemological laboratory set up to examine and determine the authenticity of gemstones. The firm has evolved into one of the most respected gemology institutions in Asia. 

Big Lab Research conducts up-to-date research and is equipped with the latest technology for gemstone analyses. The firm issues detailed gemological reports, which are recognized and accepted by famous auction houses, royal families, jewelers, gem traders, and collectors worldwide. 

Ben Hoo 侯本俊

Big Lab Research Founder, Chief Gemologist and Registered Master Valuer (GG, CGJ.D, GEMG, HRD, IGI)

Ben Hoo is a respected gemologist with an international reputation for his extensive knowledge

and expertise in gemology.

He has been in the industry for 36 years, starting from 1983 when he decided to acquire and widen

his knowledge of gemology by studying with a few renowned Gemological institutions namely

GGI in Idar Oberstein, Germany, GIA in California, USA and IGI in Antwerp in Belgium.

After Europe, he returned to Singapore to work as an independent gems broker for a few years. Through his travels and contacts, he acquired more knowledge including a process called heat treatment that could enhance the clarity of rubies and sapphires. The following two years were spent trading in the gems market in Chantaburi.

Ben decided to lay roots in Singapore, opening his own gem laboratory in May 1996. Since then

Ben has built up a clientele including the wealthy and prominent in Asia. Till today, many

have continued to rely on him for advice on their gems purchases.

Kevin Howe 侯伟  

Graduate Gemologist (GIA) and Registered Master Valuer 

Kevin Howe's interest in gemstones was ignited when he visited a diamond cutting factory whilst on

a holiday in Amsterdam. What started off as a flicker of interest in gemstones has since spun into a

rewarding career for more than 15 years.

He pursued his initial interest, after leaving the Singapore Air Force, by researching and learning

more about the gemstone industry which led him to take up the Gemology course with the

Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

His first step in his career was as an apprentice working alongside Ben at Big Lab Research in 2003.

Under Ben’s mentorship, Kevin acquired more skills and knowledge. Since then, he has acquired

a reputation for identifying, appraising and grading precious gemstones for high-end jewelery

businesses and prominent clients.

In 2019, Kevin returned to the roots of his gemology career by joining his mentor, Ben, at Big Lab Research.