Myanmar Plans October Gem Auction
August 27, 08
Myanmar (Burma) is planning to hold a mid-year gems auction in October, in order to encourage the sale of more quality gems, jade, pearl and jewelry by national gem traders, the southeast Asian country’s Central Committee for Holding Myanmar Gems Emporium announced today, according to Xinhua.
This is the country’s 17th mid-year Gems Emporium, to be held at the Myanmar Convention Center. Official dates have not been released.
The gems emporium is proceeding despite recently enacted legislation in the U.S., banning imports of Burmese gemstones in an attempt to deprive the country’s ruling junta from one of its most significant sources of funding.
Proceeds from the gem sales, the report noted, are counted as legal export earnings. The Burmese government’s third largest source of funding comes from its ruby and gem sales.
However, the controversy does not seem to be keeping buyers away. Myanmar’s annual gem emporium, held in March, saw approximately 3,000 foreign buyers in attendance – those being mostly from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, India, Italy, the UK, Japan, Australia, the U.S. and Canada. Over 7,000 jade lots, 300 gem lots and 270 pearl lots were sold at the auction.