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"Blood Rubies" ?

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by bebe, Nov 30, 2007.

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  1. bebe
    Ideal_Rock

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    by bebe » Nov 30, 2007
    I just rec''d my Dec. issue of Fortune magazine and there is a small article that caught my eye. I''ll write it as it is in the article.

    A Stand Against Blood Rubies
    If it''s rubies you want for Christmas, you''d better hurry up. Both Cartier and Bulgari have sworn off the gems, 90% of which are mined in Myanmar, whose military regime fired on pro-democracy demonstrators in Sept. Still smarting from the controversy are so called blood diamonds mined during Sierra Leone and Liberia;s civil wars int he 90''s, the jewelry industry are hoping to avoid another PR disaster. We didn''t want to be supporting a regime using direct violence on civilians", says Pamela Caillens, Cartier''s corporate responsibility director. Many jewelers are asking suppliers for proof of origin and urging Congress to ban the import of Myanmar''s gems through other countries. Cartier, meanwhile, is bracing for a ruby drought. "We''re turning to other stones." says Caillens.
    (Vivienne Walt for Fortune)

    Just wondering if this is old news? I read everything I can get my hands on, but I haven''t seen this mentioned before.


     
    


    


  2. surfgirl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by surfgirl » Nov 30, 2007
    bebe, I dont think it''s new news...I work a bit in Myanmar and have seen amazing Burmese rubies there but I''d never buy them because I know the money goes directly to the pockets of the junta higher ups and I know so many people who are living a pretty awful life there because of the political situation. I probably would only consider buying an antique ruby these days because of that. But, you have to pick your battles because just about everything these days is tied to something one could/should take a stand for, you know? Burmese rubies are known for their "pigeon''s blood red" color, though many are spinels (sort of pinkish I think) or not quite blood red. To be honest, I''m not sure where else in the world rubies can come from because I''ve only known about Burmese rubies. Perhaps someone else can tell us other sources...For some reason I want to say Mozambique mines rubies but I''m not sure about that.
     
  3. Pandora II
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Pandora II » Nov 30, 2007
    Vietnam (best quality rivals fine burmese) GET SHOPPING SURFGIRL!

    Sri Lanka (Top grade as good as fine burmese, but most are more pinky/purple.)

    Kenya (Gem-grade stuff is really good, but not much of it)

    Afghanistan (very small quantities, but the best are comparable to burmese)

    Thailand/Cambodia (very flat crystals, so shallow stones, high iron content so no fluorescense (which is what makes rubies ''glow'') and no silk. Look much more ''garnety'' - with much more extinction than other rubies)

    India (low grade star rubies)
     
  4. bebe
    Ideal_Rock

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    by bebe » Nov 30, 2007
    Is it possible for a jeweler or dealer to really know the origin of a stone?
    That has to be difficult. I suppose a dealer would have a certain level of trust
    with his supplier.
     
    


    


  5. Pandora II
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Pandora II » Dec 1, 2007
    You can tell a lot by the types of inclusions, and other characteristics.
     
  6. eac
    Shiny_Rock

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    by eac » Dec 1, 2007
    It makes regrettable sense, I''m afraid. The other day I was at the library and I took out this book on imperial jade, thinking, "Something about gemstones - that will be a fun read." Instead it was a harrowing account of suffering and indentured servitude in Myanmar''s imperial jade mines.

    http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Heaven-Unearthing-History-Imperial/dp/0316095583/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1196566537&sr=8-9
     
  7. surfgirl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by surfgirl » Dec 1, 2007
    Pandora, shut UP! Are you serious? I'm in Viet Nam all the time and I've never heard of great rubies there. Any idea what part of the country they come from?!? In fact, I've never even heard of good rubies there. Man, I need to hang out with new friend there!

    India, yeah, I've seen them there but they always seem to be more that pinkish spinel color, rather than the rich deep ruby red.

    Thanks for the tip Pandora...Hmmmm...another thing to shop for next trip...like I need something else to shop for there... [​IMG]

    eac, I was up in the mid-north of Myanmar on an assignment and my govt. sponsored babysitter wanted to take us to one of the most famous jade mines there...I wanted to go because there was probably a lot of sex workers there and thus, with my HIV work it was relevant. But the govt dude wanted me to go buy jade, so he'd get a kick back. We ended up not going when I made it clear I didn't want to buy any jade. But yeah, in the region, Myanmar jade is known for being one of the last jade veins that has that deep imperial jade from days goneby. Alas, the world is so messed up...
     
  8. DiamondExpert
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by DiamondExpert » Dec 1, 2007
    Rubies from Vietnam come from the Luc Yen and in Quy Chau areas, which are northwest and southwest of Hanoi, respectively. Most of the material was mined in the ''90''s.
     
  9. surfgirl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by surfgirl » Dec 1, 2007
    Gary, do you know if most of the rough gets cut and polished in country or is it sent out to other places like BKK or India? I honestly have never seen it in Hanoi and I''m there all the time. Weird!
     
  10. DiamondExpert
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by DiamondExpert » Dec 2, 2007
    I believe a lot if the rough gets cut right there, in the mining area...but not positive. Of course, things end up wherever they can command the highest price...it''s the law of bribery and demand[​IMG]!
     
    


    


  11. CaptAubrey
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by CaptAubrey » Dec 3, 2007
    surfgirl, unless you really know what you''re doing, and are experienced at buying loose gems overseas, I would not even think of trying to buy rubies in Vietnam. There are some wonderful stones, but you have to obey Hughes'' Law: The number of scams and fakes on the market rises exponentially in direct relation to the proximity to the mine. You might come home with a great stone, but you''re more likely to come home with a handful of worthless flame fusion junk. The dealers over there will take you the cleaners unless you know your stuff cold. Even experienced buyers get taken, because the sophistication of the fakes nowadays is almost beyond belief.

    In any case, the best stuff doesn''t get sold to casual buyers; it gets sold to the serious dealers who know enough to pay what the stone is worth. So you''re unlikely to even see something worth buying.
     
  12. surfgirl
    Ideal_Rock

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    by surfgirl » Dec 3, 2007
    Capt, I was only curious about where they come from over there since I''ve never really seen them in country. I''d never buy anything other than pearls because I know what I''m looking at. But colored stones? No way! I''ve seen way too many over priced sapphires in Bangkok, and bad quality stones in Cambodia. I''d never chance it.
     
  13. CaptAubrey
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by CaptAubrey » Dec 4, 2007
    Okay--didn''t mean to sound pedantic. [​IMG] i just know too many professional gem dealers who have gotten ripped off over there.
     
  14. movie zombie
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by movie zombie » Dec 4, 2007
    agree with the Captain: novices and pros alike have been scammed, especially with rubies, but with many different color stones.

    surfgirl, if you're in hanoi a bit, you may be interested in the following: http://www.fieldgemology.com/

    'where travel and gems' meet.........


    movie zombie
     
  15. Nicrez
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Nicrez » Dec 4, 2007
    Hmmmm... I guess this means that Cartier and Bulgari Burmese ruby vintage and antique pieces will be going UP... [​IMG][​IMG]

    Thanks for the info!

    Also, some Vietnamese and Thai top quality are often Burmese stones that are shipped FROM Burma, as they can not often be sold there easily...

    Here is a website with some interesting information on rubies I found: (Go half-way down and ignore the frightening marketing)
    Ruby website
     
    


    


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