Gems auction nets $1.5 billion for Myanmar

Supremely beautiful, Burmese rubies of the quality shown here are rare and desirable. This ring featuring an oval cut 22.25-carat ruby in a platinum setting with two trapezoid-shape diamonds sold for $276,000 (inclusive of 10% buyer's premium) in a Sept. 18, 2007 auction conducted by John Moran Auctioneers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and John Moran Auctioneers.

Supremely beautiful, Burmese rubies of the quality shown here are rare and desirable. This ring featuring an oval cut 22.25-carat ruby in a platinum setting with two trapezoid-shape diamonds sold for $276,000 (inclusive of 10% buyer’s premium) in a Sept. 18, 2007 auction conducted by John Moran Auctioneers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and John Moran Auctioneers.

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar’s state-sponsored gems auction has reaped another $1.5 billion in foreign exchange despite U.S. sanctions against the industry.

The weekly Voice news magazine reported Saturday that 22,317 lots of jade, 284 lots of gems and 355 lots of pearls were sold July 1-13 at the mid-year Gems Emporium.

Some $2.8 billion was earned at the main auction in March and more than $1.44 billion at last year’s mid-year auction. Myanmar is one of the world’s biggest producers of jade and rubies.

The sales are a major foreign exchange earner for the military-dominated government, which faces sanctions from the West because of its poor human rights record. In 2008, the United States enacted legislation banning the import of gems from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE


Supremely beautiful, Burmese rubies of the quality shown here are rare and desirable. This ring featuring an oval cut 22.25-carat ruby in a platinum setting with two trapezoid-shape diamonds sold for $276,000 (inclusive of 10% buyer's premium) in a Sept. 18, 2007 auction conducted by John Moran Auctioneers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and John Moran Auctioneers.

Supremely beautiful, Burmese rubies of the quality shown here are rare and desirable. This ring featuring an oval cut 22.25-carat ruby in a platinum setting with two trapezoid-shape diamonds sold for $276,000 (inclusive of 10% buyer’s premium) in a Sept. 18, 2007 auction conducted by John Moran Auctioneers. Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and John Moran Auctioneers.