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MYANMAR GEMS

There has been great progress regarding gem and jewellery sales in Myanmar since early 1980s. The Government started to open up its activities by purchasing gems and jewellery from private dealers or owners. They were paid acceptable prices for their items. Then Myanmar stepped up its privatization momentum by allowing private owners to exhibit their gems for sale at their annual emporiums. Those who were successful in the sale of their items were allowed to open foreign currency accounts at the banks. The Government then inspected private shops and allowed them to sell their items in foreign currency. The final effort was to open gem trading centres where jewellery were openly sold with 15% tax paid to the Government. A new plan is underway to open up a gem and jewellery market under the name of Pyinlan Gem and Jewellery Shopping Centre.
      Myanmar Gem Trade and Pearly Emporium have been held once every year since the year 1964. No wonder Myanmar is known internationally as the 'Ruby Land'. Some famous Myanmar rubies are as follows:

      - Ruby Ngamauk - mined in 1661 AD, weighed 81 carats, got lost during the British annexation of Myanmar.
      - Hlawgan Tin Lay stone - mined 1785 AD, weighed 78 carats
      - Hlawgan Tin Gyi stone - mined 1837 AD, weighed 44 carats
      - Star of India, weighed 100 carats, known to have set the world record, now in Smithsonian Institute in Washington, USA.
      - Mogoke Tharapher - mined October 1984 in Mogoke, weighed 5.56 carats.
      - Nawanat Tharaphu - mined April 1990 in Nawanat Stone Tract (Pyinlan), weighed 9.7 carats, kept as standard and national treasure.
      - State Law and Order Restoration Council Ruby - mined in 1990 at Mogoke, weighed a record breaking 504.5 carats (uncut), and kept as national treasure.

From merchants of Venice centuries ago, to the present day businessmen, the treasures of Myanmar still continue to draw them. And this coupled with the opening up of an economy will undoubtedly be a factor in the development of Myanmar in the years to come.

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