August 18, 2018
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Naypyitaw gems emporium nets record sales

In this file photo, traders prepare for the 48th Gems Emporium in March in Naypyitaw in which jade, gems and pearl lots were sold. Photo: Mizzima

The just-ended 50th annual Myanmar Gems Emporium has fetched 2.4 billion U.S. dollars, a record sale of gems and jade over the past few years, local media reported Saturday.

The sale picked up from the last annual event when it experienced a slumping business with proceeds of merely 702.66 million U.S. dollars.

There were no state-sponsored interim special and mid-year gem sales over a year's period after the last annual event as jade mining work in Pha-Kant, northernmost Kachin state, was suspended since May 2012 when armed conflict between the government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) escalated, effecting the mining area run by hundreds of mining companies.

Starting on June 15, the two-week Myanmar Gems Emporium Golden Jubilee resumed at Maniyadana Jade Hall and Myanma Gems Museum in Naypyitaw.

Out of over 10,000 jade lots, over 300 gems lots and over 200 pearl lots displayed for sale under open tender and competitive bidding systems, over 8,000 jade lots, over 100 gem lots and almost all the pearl lots were sold, said the Voice Daily.

Nearly 4,000 foreign gems merchants and more than 4,000 locals joined in.

Myanmar started to hold gem shows in 1964 selling gems annually. Since introducing the mid-year one in 1992 and the special one in 2004, the gem emporium has now become a thrice event annually.

Since 1992, private companies have been allowed to work for jade and gems mining and in 1995 Myanmar Gems Law was promulgated, allowing local citizens to excavate, produce and sell gems.

Since 1997, local citizens have been allowed to buy gems, so the sale of jade and gems is now on the increase.

The latest official figures show that in 2011-12, Myanmar yielded 43,185 tons of jade and 13.398 million carats of gems which include ruby, sapphire, spinel and peridot, as well as 1,091 kg of pearl.

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