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
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
- Hlawgan Tin Gyi stone - mined 1837 AD, weighed
- 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
- 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.