Burmese Sapphire Ruby and Gemstones


Jun 23, 2011
Just an FYI
Last few months my company has gotten quite a few requests regarding Burmese Gemstones, and seems to be some misinformation floating around. The questions we received were in reference to importing and buying Burmese origin stones. I guess the misinformation came about because in 2008 they modified the law and the new revised title was "“Tom Lantos Block Burmese Ruby and Jade Act of 2008"
This left people with the impression that only Jade and Ruby were the target of the ban, but in fact all gemstones coming in from Burma (either directly or indirectly) are banned as well. Just to make sure I wasn't mis-informed I contacted the Economic Officer at the US Embassy in Rangoon, and he emailed me back and his response is below. Be happy to email anyone a copy of the PDF he sent as well, just email me at [email protected]

Dear Mr. Tolliver,

Current U.S. sanctions prohibit just about all Burmese origin products from entering the U.S. – including all gems/precious stones. The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers U.S, sanctions and can provide definitive answers to any sanctions questions. However, the short answer is that Burmese sapphires cannot enter the U.S. The same is true for jade, rubies, etc.

I’ve attached a short guide to U.S. sanctions. It is helpful and does a good job outlining the effects of the relevant laws/executive orders. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions. You are also welcome to contact OFAC for their input. They maintain a sanctions hotline for public inquiries.


Marc Porter
Economic Officer
U.S. Embassy Rangoon

95-1-536509 Ext. 4227
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