trends vary greatly among Myanmar consumers and often
reflect a buyer's age and economic status, representatives
of the gem and jewellery industry say.
Young people are likely to buy lighter and more delicate
jewellery, whereas middle aged people tend to prefer
heavier, traditional pieces containing large precious
Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine, the owner of the Golden Palace Gold
and Jewellery Centre, said teenagers often buy light and
thin platinum jewellery that is small and petite enough to
be worn everyday.
"Young girls and boys are more interested in things like
earrings and ankle chains," Dr Thet Thet Khine said.
"Adolescents like to wear small earrings or studs, and girls
wear slightly larger earrings or sometimes studs with black
pearls. They also like semiprecious stones like olivine,
synthetic diamonds, blue topaz, amethyst and sapphires," she
While young women like to wear smaller stones set in modern
designs, middle-aged women prefer to wear big rings and
necklaces with large stones. The most popular metal among
older women is gold set with high-quality diamonds, rubies
The different age groups understandably prefer different
styles of jewellery , but people's tastes are also dependent
on their budget. Young men and women are likely to choose
cheaper jewellery that they can wear every day, while older
people collect jewellery for a different reason.
Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine said customers always buy jewellery
that suits their budget. Many older people buy jewellery as
a means of investment.
"Some of the customers ask for large amounts of gold, for
example a 300 gram gold chain when an 80 gram chain is the
more stylish, because they want to invest their money and
save it that way," she said.
While this may be an example of economic savvy, more people
buy jewellery to wear, and when they want to know what is
fashionable and what is not, many turn on the television.
According to industry sources, design and style popularity
is based on what TV stars are wearing and on the styles and
stones that are featured on commercials.
"When we advertised our shop with Htet Htet Moe Oo on
television, our ring and pendant designs become very popular
as people seemed to take notice of the styles that were
being shown," said Mya Kay Khine, the owner of the Shwe Sin
Gold and Jewellery shop.
"We produce new designs every month or so and when an
actress is seen wearing one of them, they become a popular
part of everyday fashion." As the result, jewellery trends
change very quickly. The past few years have seen many
styles go in and out of fashion.
"Jewellery sets that includesa pendant, ring arid earrings
with amethyst, blue topaz and star ruby are very popular at
the moment. They are quite reason- ably priced, ranging from
K100,000 to K300,000, depending on the gem colour, the cut
of the stone and the overall design," said Mya Kay Khine.
Ma Sint, from the Aung Nilar jewellery shop in the Super
World Jewellery Hall at Bogyoke Market, said Myanmar people
prefer gold accessories to platinum.
"The most popular design at the moment is gold painted red
and green in a traditional Thai style," she said.
Myanmar women also tend to choose pendants and earrings that
are shaped like rain drops and flowers. Wearing many gold
bracelets has also emerged as a new trend,
"The fashion now is to wear at least:20 gold bracelets at
once, and some people even wear up to 40. This style came
into fashion after 2002 when it was no longer popular to
wear small gold chains," Mya Kay Khine said.
Of all the types of jewellery available, bracelets and
necklaces are still at the top of most people's shopping
"Everybody who buys jewellery starts off with necklaces and
then moves on to buying a variety of different bracelets,"
Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine said.
Foreigners and tourists make up a large percentage of gems
and jewellery consumers and often appreciate different
"Foreigners like single, natural and genuine gemstone rather
than brighter ornaments," Daw Shu San from the FMI shopping
In a bid to give consumers more choice, many retailers and
producers are also offering foreign designs.
"We often combine Myanmar traditional style jewellery with
styles from other countries to create something new," Mya
Kay Khine said.
Dr Daw Thet Thet Khine agreed and said the industry tries to
keep up with international fashion trends as well as those
The industry also provides consumers with the option of
recycling their jewellery so that as the fashions change,
people can either exchange their jewellery for the latest
styles or have their stones reset.