Burmese Rubies: Costly and Controversial – by Nazanin Lankarani (New York Times – November 22, 2021)


Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has long been a producer of some of the world’s priciest gemstones: pigeon’s blood rubies. Known by their deep, natural red fluorescence with blue hues, they command higher prices per carat than any precious stone on the global market, with the exception of colored diamonds.

But political conflict and trade embargoes have made rubies from Myanmar highly controversial for more than a decade, creating complicated sourcing problems for jewelers.

Many now buy gems mined in neighboring countries or in Mozambique — and routinely require dealers to provide detailed documentation that gems did not originate in Myanmar.

“Today, the mines of Myanmar are no longer producing large or gem-quality stones, but demand is high and supply very limited,” said Vincent Pardieu, a world-renowned field gemologist, explaining that the government suspended mining licenses in 2016. “Today, 99 percent of Burmese rubies found on the market were extracted decades, even centuries ago.”

For the rest of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/22/fashion/jewelry-rubies-myanmar-mozambique.html