The gems of Myanmar are ruby, sapphire and jade. It is especially rubies that have made the reputation of Burma abroad. Since the days of the Burmese kings, Burma has always operated its mines and discovered beautiful stones. According to legend, at the time of the second-to-last king of Burma, French merchants were unable to decide the price for the ruby of Padamya Ngamauk (a ruby the size of an egg) as it was so impressive.
In Burma, ruby mines are located in several areas including: Maishu, Mogok, Pyinlon, Namyar, and Sakyin. The high-quality Mogok ruby is the most sought-after, and is among the finest in the world. The “pigeon blood” color of rubies is the most popular and expensive.
The Burmese wear the ruby to attract fame, peace of mind, charisma, and to repel any kind of malice. Sapphire is synonymous with friendship, loyalty, and keeping hatred away. Jade helps to achieve peace, courage, modesty, wisdom, and justice.
It is not advisable to buy these precious stones in the street because all the red stones are not rubies, and all the blue stones are not sapphires. We also have a large selection of red and blue stones, like tourmaline, zircon, topaz and garnets which are semi-precious stones, not to be confused with the precious gems when shopping!
The situation is the same with regard to jade. All green stones are not jade. There are actually 27 colors of jade in Burma that range from white to black, and include gray, purple, and different shades of green. If the color is light green and transparent, jade can be as expensive as an emerald. Jade is exported in large quantities to China.
You need to be very careful with synthetic stones that can be found everywhere! Their physical properties and chemical compositions are the same as in the corresponding natural stone.
There are several treatment methods to improve the quality of stones, such as the treatment with fire, treatment with radiation, or chemical treatment.
Despite these risks, if you are well advised, precious stones can be purchased much more cheaply in Burma than in Europe. For about 350 Euros, you can get a ruby ring of average quality. A general sale of rubies, sapphires, and jade is held two times a year in the capital. If you wish to purchase gems, buy them in serious jewelry stores that will give you a certificate of authenticity to be able to leave Burma. In many jewelry stores in Yangon, you can pay by credit card (but only if the internet line is good). However, you will get better discounts if you pay with cash.