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Buying gem stones in Myanmar

- - - - - gems stone precious stones jade Myanmar emerald ruby

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15 replies to this topic

#1
Banga

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I'm planning a trip to Myanmar and I have read that it is very famous for its gems, having important ressources in such precious stones. So I would like to take the opportunity and buy one or few of them.

But actually I am not a specialist at all and I would like to know how not to get cheated on the product, are there any easy tricks to recognize real from fake, good from bad quality. Or maybe someone can give me an address of a trusworthy reseller where I could go.

Thanks for your help,

 



#2
TruthTraveller

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Hey Banga,

 

What kind of gem stone you would to buy?  Mostly, here in Myanmar, when we buy gem stone, we used to check it with Lamp to see inside of gem stone. Specialist can classify gem stones by their experiences and eyes. Let me know what kind of gem you intend to buy. Maybe I can pass you some contact of gem dealers. :D


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#3
Giana

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That's something which could interest me as well, I am not an expert either but I read that Burmese jade was really valued by visitors and especially by Chinese people who are really fond of the stone and come to Myanmar especially for that.

So if I want to buy some, would there be any hints on how to recognize good quality and to be sure that I am not sold a fake, and of course as Banga asked, a good address where I can buy from trustworthy people.

Thanks already



#4
Banga

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Hi TruthTraveller,

 

I'm sorry but I don't have the expertise of these specialists you are talking about and I am not able to check the stone quality just by looking at it with a magnifying glass... So maybe you could tell me a few clues on how to see what is bad or good, if you know :).

I read that Burma is very famous for it's rubies, so I would most likely be interested in this kind of stones, but I am worried that since the quality can be really good, price can also be very high.

What I would like to avoid also, is to buy gems that were extracted thanks to forced labor, I heard it does exist in Myanmar and I really don't want to support that kind of activity. Is there any label or some sign in the shops that could guarantee you that you the stones bought in the shop are not extracted with forced labor ?



#5
TruthTraveller

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Hey Banga and Giana,

 

  Here are some tips and photos which might be useful for you guys.

 

  There are over 20 different kinds of Ruby. If you check a real ruby with lamp, you can see the white spot or white ray( which is also called silk). You can also check it with 10x lens.  And some real ruby has bubble in it. an artificial ruby also has bubble in it but the bubble inside is definite circle. Real ruby bubble can be oval or other shape. If the bubble is look like definite circle, it is not real ruby. And there's also a liquor which can test ruby is real or not. But not so easy to find it in Myanmar. Better buy that liquor in oversea. Sorry I don't know how to call it in English. If you put a ruby in that liquid, a real ruby will sink until the bottom, for Spinal Ruby ( low quality Ruby) will be stay in the middle of liquid and for artificial one it will float over the liquid.

 

  Here I attached some Spinal Ruby.

 

  Attached File  IMAG1111.jpg   164.93KB   2 downloads   Attached File  IMAG1113.jpg   153.64KB   1 downloads

 

  You can test ruby at laboratory but there are some artificial ruby which cannot be clarify easily at laboratory. It made up with French glass inside and stick with ruby powder ( powder of low quality ruby) on the surface of it. You can check it with ultra violent rays. 

 

  Photo of Peridot.  Attached File  IMAG1092.jpg   141.96KB   0 downloads

  Photo of Sapphire. Attached File  IMAG1108.jpg   194.49KB   1 downloads

 

  Photo of Cat eyes(Moon Stone)Attached File  IMAG1095.jpg   90.19KB   0 downloads

 

  Photo of Quartz.  Attached File  IMAG1093.jpg   135.35KB   0 downloads

 

 

  For that Quartz gem, it was white color originally. But people colored it by laser rays and chemical. So color will stay forever like this.

 

  For Judge, I don't know exactly about it. If you check it with lamp, there some rays inside of it.

 

 

  Buying gems stone is not so easy to handle. Because even the expert can be chatted sometimes, for buying Judge especially. You better learn the facts and market of gems stone before you buy a precious one.

 

 

  Hope this is helps anyway.

 

Cheers,

 

T. T

 

Attached Files


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#6
HarriCM

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Is it possible to go in the Mogok valley now?



#7
Hsorino

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Yes it is possible to go to Mogok now, it is open for a few months already. But I don't know exactly how is it open, since I haven't tried it yet. Probably you still need to ask for a permit and to be accompanied by a registered guide. I read an article a few days ago saying that around 50 foreigner tourists have visited the place since it was opened to international travelers. You may check with tour guides in Mandalay.

#8
Hsorino

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By the way, very instructive article TT :). I doubt that any of our traveler fellow members will have x10 lens or chemical product to test the rubies though lol. What is the stone that you call Judge, is it the white one from the last picture?
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#9
TruthTraveller

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Is it possible to go in the Mogok valley now?

 

By the way, very instructive article TT :). I doubt that any of our traveler fellow members will have x10 lens or chemical product to test the rubies though lol. What is the stone that you call Judge, is it the white one from the last picture?

Yeah, It is possible to go Mogok valley now. :)

 

And Hsorino, Thanks for your comment about my article. As I have mentioned in the very first reply about it, the gems stone expert usually can check by their eyes, experience and touch to it. According to the gems expert, they can feel the real gem stone by the touching feeling. They sometimes touch it with their lower lip. But for me it is no different :P because I can't feel it. x10 lens is not so big to bring it when you come to gems market but for the liquor, I am not sure :D In our country most of the things are done by the eyes judgments. Or if you are not expert, just count on the expert only. I didn't attach the photo of Judge and the last photo is the photo of moonstone.


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#10
Banga

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Thanks Truth Traveler, very useful information even same as Hsorino I might not be expert yet, that will help me a lot in the process of buying.

Hope I can find a beautiful one at a fair price.

Would you recommend some person or address in Myanmar, maybe a market that is specialized in such stones?


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#11
IngridIngyin

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Just go to Bogyoke Market in Yangon. You need to bargain from half price.

For example, the quality of baked ruby and original ruby is different and price as well. They may ask you the same price with original ruby stone for baked one.

There is also a shop at the corner of Sayar San Road and opposite side of Pearl Condo. This shop is called Lady Luck I think.

They are selling Myanmar hand made items too. They can speak English very well and hop you enjoy there.


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#12
Hsorino

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Yeah, It is possible to go Mogok valley now. :)

 

And Hsorino, Thanks for your comment about my article. As I have mentioned in the very first reply about it, the gems stone expert usually can check by their eyes, experience and touch to it. According to the gems expert, they can feel the real gem stone by the touching feeling. They sometimes touch it with their lower lip. But for me it is no different :P because I can't feel it. x10 lens is not so big to bring it when you come to gems market but for the liquor, I am not sure :D In our country most of the things are done by the eyes judgments. Or if you are not expert, just count on the expert only. I didn't attach the photo of Judge and the last photo is the photo of moonstone.

 

So we should just suggest to Banga and Giana to kiss the stone as the expert seem to do then hahaha... No offense guys :)

Thanks for the extensive explanation TT


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#13
Banga

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Lol, I will try to kiss the ruby to see if its real or not, but I have no idea how I should feel...

 

Thanks for the address Ingrid, I will have a look there. If there have also Myanmar handmade stuff it's another good reason to check out the place.



#14
RajuGautam

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Hi TruthTraveller,

 

I'm sorry but I don't have the expertise of these specialists you are talking about and I am not able to check the stone quality just by looking at it with a magnifying glass... So maybe you could tell me a few clues on how to see what is bad or good, if you know :).

I read that Burma is very famous for it's rubies, so I would most likely be interested in this kind of stones, but I am worried that since the quality can be really good, price can also be very high.

What I would like to avoid also, is to buy gems that were extracted thanks to forced labor, I heard it does exist in Myanmar and I really don't want to support that kind of activity. Is there any label or some sign in the shops that could guarantee you that you the stones bought in the shop are not extracted with forced labor ?

Hey Banga,

 

I guess the idea that forced labour is applied to extract rubies is a myth although intense human labour in dangerous working conditions is common. That also is by consent of the workers because most of them are paid a share of the price of the rubies extracted. I grew up and lived until 17 in Mogok, which reportedly produces 90% of ruby for the world. However, it becomes trikcy when it comes to jade. Kachin State, where jade are extracted is a conflict zone between the govt and an ethnic rebel group, and forced labor may prevail there. Bogyoke Market is the Yangon ruby hub. It is safer to buy from the shops than from individuals (traders and brokers who walk around and sell).



#15
Banga

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I'm sorry but I just take information from what I read and see, I have no exact idea of the situation in Myanmar and Mogok in particular apart from what I am told by the media and eventually the governments, I think Myanmar gems trade still face heavy sanctions from most of the countries, and I believe rubies are concerned.

So since you know the region of Mogok which indeed provide most of the world's rubies, why do you think they have these sanctions for Mogok rubies if there is no forced labor involved, would it be because the safety conditions are bad and lots accidents happen there, or because the military is implicated in the extraction and trade of ruby stones?



#16
farhan

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Hi Banga,

 

You can check from a range of Sapphires, Rubies to Aquamarine and many more here https://allsapphires.com/

 

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: gems, stone, precious stones, jade, Myanmar, emerald, ruby

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