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The world renound ruby mines at Mogok, Burma

The sapphire mines at Bang Kacha, Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Gem mining at Pailin, Cambodia.

Sapphire mining at Bo Ploi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Ruby mining at Bo Rai, Trat, Thailand.

The marble village of Sagyin, Shan State, Burma.

Mogok's Gem Markets

In the past foreigners were forbidden to purchase gems in Mogok. However, things are changing in Burma and today it is now possible to buy cut stones in Mogok. It is still illegal to buy rough gems but this could change in the future. Great care should be taken in these markets as there are many tricks waiting for the unsuspecting buyer.

Dotted around Mogok and Kyatpyin are several open-air markets where gems are openly traded. These vary in size from gatherings of hundreds of people to a few people meeting up on street corners. Two of the biggest markets are the Panchan gem market in Mogok and the Pan-Ma gem market in Kyatpyin to the west of Mogok town. The Panchan market is in the heart of Mogok and busy with hundreds of brokers and dealers sitting at tables under umbrellas to shelter from the sun. Rough and cut stones are available here but most gems offered are low to medium quality. Opening prices asked for gems can leave buyers wondering if prices are being quoted in dollars or kyat!

Mid-afternoon there is a movement of dealers and brokers to the Pan-Ma market in Kyatpyin. The market is conveniently located close to a school where many of the ladies sit outside the gates waiting to collect their children. With brass trays in hand they wheel and deal in gems along with dealers who have come over from Mogok.

 

 

Panchan Gem Market, Mogok

 

 

 

 

Brokers sit around tables in the market chatting, eating and waiting for buyers.

Brokers at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

Brokers at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

 

 

 

 

Many different people come to buy and sell gems at the Panchan market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rough Mogok rubies are readily available. Parcels are generally low grade but single better quality stones can also be seen.

Ruby crystals for sale at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

Brokers showing me sapphires at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

 

 

 

Sit at one of the empty tables in the Panchan market and you will instantly be surrounded by dealers and brokers offering all kinds of gems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rather nice red spinel from Mogok.

A red spinel for sale at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

A bag or ruby crystals at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

 

 

 

 

Large bags of ruby crystals for sale at the Panchan market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three brokers discussing their dealings at the end of the day.

Brokers at the Panchan Gem Market.

 

 

 

 

Pan-Ma Gem Market, Kyatpyin

Brokers making their way to the market.

Brokers making their way to the market.

Brokers congregating at the school entrance.

Brokers congregating at the school entrance.

 

 

 

 

 

A parcel of rough rubies being offered at Pan-Ma. The red staining on the finger nails of the vendor would lead to suspicions that there was some dye being added to the stones.

A parcel of rough rubies being offered at Pan-Ma.

 

Crowds gather at the Pan Ma Gem Market.

 

 

 

 

 

After 3pm large crowds gather at the Pan Ma Gem Market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokers sitting in groups outside the school gates at Pan-Mar. Note the small brass trays they all carry and use to view the gems.

Brokers at the Pan-Ma Gem Market dealing stones.

 

Brokers at the Pan-Ma Gem Market dealing stones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokers at the Pan-Ma Gem Market dealing stones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brokers at the Pan-Ma Gem Market dealing stones.

Brokers at the Pan-Ma Gem Market dealing stones.

 

A parcel of cabochon sapphires.

 

 

 

 

 

A parcel of cabochon sapphires being offered for sale at Pan-Ma gem market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A parcel of rough rubies & sapphires being offered for sale at Pan-Ma gem market.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mogok - Valley of Rubies & Sapphires by Ted Themelis Gems & Mines of Mogok by Ted Themelis

References obtained from the above books. Both these titles are thoroughly recommended reading and can be ordered directly (subject to availability) from www.themelis.com

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