An annual Myanmar gems emporium was opened in Nay Pyi Taw Saturday for its golden jubilee.
Some originally-scheduled interim special gem sales and mid- year event were also stopped over the period following the suspension of jade mining work in Pha-Kant, northernmost Kachin state since May 2012 when armed conflicts between the government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) escalated, effecting the mining area run by hundreds of mining companies.
Held at Maniyadana Jade Hall and Myanma Gems Museum, the 13-day Myanmar gems emporium golden jubilee will last until June 27.
Displayed for sale under open tender and competitive bidding systems are over 10,000 jade lots, over 300 gems lots and over 200 pearl lots, official sources said.
Nearly 4,000 foreign gems merchants and more than 4,000 local merchants have registered to join in the emporium, according to the Myanmar Gems Emporium Central Committee.
The 50th Myanmar gems emporium this year is signified by prescribing 60,000 Kyats’ entry fee for local national media persons who come for news coverage, while 100 U.S. dollars for foreign ones.
There were no such practices seen in the last many gems emporiums when mediapersons were invited for taking news and for interview.
Myanmar’s 49th annual gem sale in March 2012 experienced a slumping business with a proceeds of 702.66 million U.S. dollars, a sharp drop from the previous annual event in March 2011 when it gained 2.8 billion dollars.
The plunge of the earning by about 2 billion dollars was attributed to the low market demand mainly from neighboring countries, from where most merchants visited the Myanmar gem sale.
Myanmar started to hold gem shows in 1964 selling gems annually. Since introducing the mid-year one in 1992 and the special one in 2004, the gem emporium has now become a thrice event annually.
Since 1992, private companies have been allowed to work for jade and gems mining and in 1995 Myanmar Gems Law was promulgated, allowing local citizens to excavate, produce and sell gems.
Again since 1997, local citizens have been allowed to buy gems, so the sale of jade and gems had once been on the increase.
The latest official figures show that in 2011-12, Myanmar yielded 43,185 tons of jade and 13.398 million carats of gems which include ruby, sapphire, spinel and peridot, as well as 290, 984 mommis (1,091 kilograms) of pearl.