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Burmese Sapphire


 
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For sapphire, Kashmir receives the highest premium although Burma, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar also produce top quality gems

Burmese Sapphire
Sleepy silky deep blue to crisp blue from Burma and they are very sought after and are still mined. Large stones over 15 carats bring top dollars. A Burma sapphire can bring from over $1000 per carat to $25,000 per carat. Size is not a problem, but Burma stones have strong color zoning so you have to watch out for quality or it might be worth much.

Kashmir Sapphire is Sleepy silky deep blue from the Kashmir Pakistan/India region, the mines are in the Pakistani side, hence it’s overrun by terrorists.

Basically you will not find any of these sapphire selling online as they are professional items and need thorough inspection even at gem labs. It brings top $$$ between collectors and dealers, so anyone claiming Kashmir without a reputable certificate is lying.

Ceylon or Sri Lankan –
Light to deep & vivid crisp blues from Sri Lanka. They come in a variety of sizes and colors so prices are affordable. Some stones run from around $50 per carat up to over $20,000 per carat for large and fine sizes.

Certificate such as an AGTA, GRS, Gubelin, GIA should be request when thinking of purchasing one, otherwise you are at the mercy of the seller. Source : eBay, GIA

 SAPPHIRE MARKET COOL 'AS NORTH WIND OF WINTER'

IN Myanmar's retail gem market, sapphires are second only to rubies in trade volume. Sales, however, have dropped along with that of other precious gems.

One retailer on the lower block of Shwebontha Street in downtown Yangon, an area famous for gemstone trading, spoke for many of his colleagues when he said, "Gem trading on the street is as cool as the north wind of winter."

"Although the trade of sapphires is as cold as other gems, their price never drops," said U Win Myat, a 60-year-old gem specialist based at FMI Centre. The price of sapphires varies according to their quality. Medium-quality stones average around K500,000 a carat, while high-quality sapphires cost at least Kl million a carat.

U Win Myact,short and thin with bright eyes and a sharp voice, said there were few sapphires of good quality available on the market. Those that cost less than K500,000 a carat sell best.

U Nay Win, the managing director of the MG Ruby Co. Ltd, said that sapphire production began decreasing in 2000, and good-quality stones have become harder and harder to find ever since.

He said that although the price of sapphires has remained stable in the country, the price of those from Myanmar has dropped slightly on the intema tional market.

"A couple years ago a high-quality sapphire from Myanmar was worth about US$10,000 a carat in Europe, but the price has dropped to about US$8000 because of an influx of gems from Arica," he said.

Sapphire does not have the same export potential as jade and ruby. Although dark blue sapphires from Myanmar are famous among Europeans, they are less popular among Asians.

"Most Asians like ruby more than sapphire. They like stones that are bold and bright. That's why sapphires have less export potential," said Dr Aung Kyaw Win, the owner of Shwe Nan Daw Jewellery shop.

Most of Myanmar's gem exports go to its neighbours, Thailand and China.

Dr Aung Kyaw Win said that changing jewellery styles is one reason the demand for sapphires has decreased.

"People no longer like to wear jewellery decorated with big stones. Before people wore jewellery to show off their wealth, but now they wear it for fashion. They prefer small, modem, less expensive designs to big, expensive jewellery ," he said.

Sapphires tend to be more popular among older women, who buy the stones to make rings and earrings.

"Blue sapphires represent peace and coolness. So older people like'to wear them," said U Win Myat.

Sapphires are produced in more than two dozen locales throughout the world, most famously in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan.

Most of Myanmar's sapphires come from Mogok and Mongmit in Mandalay Division.

Sapphires come in a wide range of blue shades, with dark velvet blue fetching the highest price and sky blue the lowest, said U Win Myat.

He said that FMI Centre and Bogyoke Market in downtown Yangon were the most likely places to find good-quality sapphires.

 

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Copyright © 2006 by Myanmar Gems.
Prepared by DPS. Last Modified: 23 May, 2008 (slm)

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