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My Burma Myanmar gemstones :)

Discussion in 'Colored Stones' started by Burmesedaze, Oct 9, 2016.

  1. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 9, 2016
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    Hi All,

    While I'm new to posting on Pricescope, I've been reading the forum for YEARS. But until my job transfer to Myanmar/Burma, I didn't really have anything worthwhile to post. I've been here over a year and probably have 1 - 2 years more to my stint here.

    Being in Yangon this past 1+ years has really opened my eyes to the dazzling world of colours! However, it's really tricky getting (a) genuine, unheated Burmese (not Sri Lankan/African/Indian) gemstones here (b) buying them at a fair price and (c) having them set in decent settings. My first few purchases were duds. I was sold Brazilian purplish pink tourmalines passed off as Burmese ones, had jadeite set in less than 18k gold although I had requested and was charged accordingly and having silversmiths and goldsmiths mangling what I thought were simple enough designs. Just to name a few. After paying my "tuition fees", I finally found an extended family located at Gem Museum that are honest, have been in the business for over 15 years and willing to teach me on my purchases :) Through one of their trader friends, I also get to have my stones set in Hong Kong settings instead of rough Burmese ones. That entails a waiting time as the stones are brought back to Hong Kong (and to their factory across the border) to be set but definitely worth the wait. Plus, you get genuine 18k gold and sparkly diamonds. Bearing in mind that the stones are native cut and uncalibrated, some customisation is often necessary. Meanwhile, I continue to do my market research and go round to other shops to get a sensing of the stones available in the market and the mostly ridiculous prices expected. Good stones are scarce. Honest sellers scarcer (like having kyanite being touted to me as sapphires with a nice blue colour). Most of the top quality stones are either over the border or else brought out of Myanmar to be sold to exclusive royal clients. In short, don't expect cheap for top quality in Myanmar since they can easily get more overseas, hence no impetus to sell low locally for top snuff.

    What I've been purchasing are what I think are decent value, untreated stones with colours and cuts that speak to me and with acceptable flaws that I think can be masked in a setting. Problem with a magpie like me is I tend to go for variety rather than settling on a few "investment" pieces. I've seen, through their higher end trader friends, a few sapphires and rubies of the right cornflower, royal blue and traffic-light red silky pigeon blood to silk-less pigeon blood rubies. But to be honest, those sizes and prices are out of my budget :)

    With that preamble out of the way, here are a few of my coloured bling blings, starting with a blue sapphire cabochon ring

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  2. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 9, 2016
    1 more shot of my blue sapphire cabochon ring.

    Here's a tiny 0.85 ct pigeon blood ruby, sold to me as such, that scores a deep red on the local AGGL lab's cert. It's a lovely deep red in the sunlight, not as brown as how it looks to me on my monitor. Because it's below 1 ct, it didn't break the bank :razz: An acquaintance of mine bought a 1 carat traffic light red silky pigeon blood, that had intense red on the cert.

    Frankly, I'm not really a ruby person. Blues and pinks are more me. But when you're in ruby land...

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  3. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 9, 2016
    A shot of the AGGL cert and how I selected the Hong Kong settings during a jewellery fair here.

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  4. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 9, 2016
    My first pink sapphire purchase. This is 1.8 something carats, sweet light pink, rectangular native cut, pretty good clarity but the shape is a tad tough for a classic "halo" setting. Settled for this as co-proposed by the Myanmar goldsmith. It's rather chunky to wear on my fat fingers and I paid a premium for the 18k white gold as apparently there's no labour fee for 18 yellow gold, but they levy that for white gold. In addition to a higher per gram charge. As gold is really king in Myanmar, they can't exactly do thin delicate settings unless there's a pre-existing machined mold, I was told. This was set before the Hong Kong settings company first came to town.

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  5. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 10, 2016
    2 pairs of blue sapphire earrings :)

    In their original sterling silver setting. The blue cabs are tiny. The faceted light blue ones are not exactly the same shade, but will do - these are around 1.3 - 1.4 ct each.

    Had the blue cabs set in dangles that can slip onto the pair of simply tiny diamond hoops I already had.

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  6. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 10, 2016
    Oh and I found a better pic of the pink sapphire ring :)

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  7. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 10, 2016
    I was on the lookout for a pair of hot pink or close to hot pink sapphires for earrings. Got lucky and scored these stones just before the Thingyan holidays, when traders were trying to sell what they could in time for their water festival cum new year break.

    These were also before the Hong Kong settings came to town, hence the thick setting. I might get it reset some day, but not anytime soon, as the diamonds and white gold cost me a fair bit!

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  8. LisaRN
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LisaRN » Oct 10, 2016
    Lovely collection Burmesedaze. The pink sapphire earrings are my favorite!
     
  9. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 11, 2016
    Thank you, LisaRN :) I have 1 more pink sapphire set in a ring and a pair of teeny ones that are to the purplish pink side for earrings. Will get around to posting them soon, but none are as pink as the pair of dangling earrings.
     
  10. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 11, 2016
    The 3.27ct lilac sapphire. I've been after a lilac sapphire in a rose gold diamond halo ring setting for MONTHS but couldn't find a decent sized one stone except for this and trust me, I've been around the local shops hunting high and low.

    This is 1 stone that I thought over for months before getting. It's a 3.27ct lilac sapphire from Mogok which is old stock my jeweller had from years back. Was told such a size and colour is getting very hard to find from Mogok. It has slight inclusions, cut on the shallow side and not that sparkly. I paid US$950 for the stone in the end, as this isn't exactly a precious shade and being old stock which was cheaper many moons ago. My jeweller also couldn't tell if the stone would look good after setting. Because of the size of the stone at around 10mm, the Hong Kong settings chaps had to make a custom mould for the halo which they didn't have for this size, which was extra $$$.

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  11. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 11, 2016
    This is the end result - the ring :D

    It sparkles more daylight and I'm pretty happy with the end result and how it's a ring that gives good finger coverage, without being OTT. I've gotten a number of compliments on the ring too.

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  12. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 11, 2016
    Orange-pink spinel ring

    This is a 0.617 ct orange-pink spinel from Mogok which is apparently a hard-to-come-by colour. I've been on the lookout for Jedi spinels from Namsin after reading about them but they remain a myth so far! My jeweller let me have this for just US$80 :) being old stock. The stone size is actually laser engraved on the inside of the band by the Hong Kong settings company, a nice touch I thought.

    First photo shows the first setting I zoomed in on for the stone out of the lot in the tray and it's a perfect fit, except for the band size.

    The spinel was a lot more pink loose but turns more orange after setting. I love how it has a glow to it and is a strong enough shade in spite of its diminutive size.

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  13. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 11, 2016
    Princess Ruby Ring

    I had fun trying to match similar rubies and with the help of my jeweller, managed to find these 3 out of the huge lot of small rubies they had accumulated over the past decade. They're small but I'm told of a nice texture and are clean. Unheated, from Mogok (I also have a pair of small Mong Hsu rubies and the black rutiles you can see clearly in them). Not the "right red", but they are close enough in shade to each other and a decent colour to me.

    Because of the native uncalibrated cuts, it took me a couple of months to think of a design and lots of Google search. I finally decided that the best way to mask the unequal sizes would be to set them in a crown design. This is set locally so the 18k gold is on the thick side. I had it made in white gold and then coated rose gold. This is a different goldsmith from the one that set my pink sapphire dangling earrings and is able to do finer work, imho. We had the wax mould sent over first before deciding to proceed with setting the ring.

    Here's the end result.

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  14. theredspinel
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by theredspinel » Oct 11, 2016
    Omg I love all your jewellery but OMGGGG I love that crown setting; it's a little crown on your finger!!! :love: :love: :love:
     
  15. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 12, 2016
    Thank you, theredspinel:)
    I'm still on the hunt for THE perfect red spinel here in Myanmar.
     
  16. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 12, 2016
    More pink sapphires...

    These are teeny weeny untreated purplish pink sapphires from Mogok, about 0.5 - 0.6 ct each. They are, however, very good in clarity with a decent native cut and close enough in colour. I can't remember how much I paid for the loose gems, probably around US$200+?

    They are a richer tone after setting in their removable diamond jackets :)

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  17. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 12, 2016
    More pink sapphire goodness

    These are 2 pink sapphire pendants that I have. On the lookout for a larger stone to make a solitaire pendant, but that remains elusive, especially with a good price and shade.

    The journey pendant was originally yellow gold and then plated rose gold, set locally in Myanmar although the pendant was cast with a machined mould.

    The cabochon pendant is a Hong Kong setting. The sapphire is very clean and clear with a vivid pink that I'm told is considered almost ruby colour. The pink in both photos, however, appear washed out and not as vivid and glowy as it is in real life.

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  18. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 12, 2016
    Yummy gummy pink sapphire cabochon earrings.

    This is similarly, a very Burmese design. The local setting is cast in a machined mould and originally in 18k yellow gold. I had it plated rose gold and it intensified the pink of the sapphire cabochons with its teeny companion diamonds. A rather Peranakan look to me and a totally different feel to it as compared to the original 18k yellow gold. I've been hunting high and low to find the same unheated shade of pink with enough round cabochons for a matching ring or pendant, but no cigar. These are very clean and clear. Got them for US$650 "lucky first purchase of the month" from my jeweller's aunt :D

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  19. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 12, 2016
    Can't get enough of pinks...

    This is a 1.67ct untreated pink sapphire similarly from Mogok. It's one of those shades that's tricky to capture on camera and none of the shots do it justice. To me, it looked a decent mid-pink loose. After setting, it's a more vivid mid pink. The Hong Kong setting was customised for me. I wanted a halo that didn't carry too much gold with a thin diamond half band. The end result looks like an open ended flower diamond halo set atop a thin diamond half band.

    The first photo shows how the pink sapphire first looked compared to other stones that were brought in from a trader that day, and the end product after being set in Hong Kong.

    The second photo shows me deciding between one of the 2.

    Third and Fourth photos show the completed ring on my finger compared to the lilac sapphire ring setting.

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  20. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 13, 2016
    Here's a pair of natural untreated Burmese dark purple amethysts in a 925 sterling silver setting with cz. These are on the larger side to me so US$90 for these beauties seemed reasonable.

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  21. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 15, 2016
    Mum's ring refreshed.

    Mum passed me a 14k white gold tiny aquamarine flanked with tinier diamonds ring that she bought in Bangkok over 20 years ago. Because it's 14k, the white gold had turned yellow on the lower band of the ring. The aquamarine had also lost its luster, being small and a pale blue to begin with.

    I swapped out the aquamarine for a blue Burmese sapphire that's on the dark side but glitters well from a decent cut an has a nice flashes in the light. Gave the 14k white gold a coating of rose gold and it looks so much better :)

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  22. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 15, 2016
    Light amethyst brooch

    I know dark purple amethysts are more valuable, but i have a soft spot for lighter shades. Here's a huge teardrop natural unheated Burmese amethyst (I was told it's also from Mogok) that cost me just around US$300. I showed them a photo that I found on Google of a sterling silver ribbon brooch set with a dangling stone and here's the result. Can't remember the silver cost but it's definitely not inexpensive to set anything in Yangon!

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  23. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 15, 2016
    Mum visited for her birthday and scored herself the following. She also had a purple spinel with diamond ring made, which I'm trying to hunt down a photo of.

    She got herself a lovely large natural untreated purple amethyst cabochon which she set into a pendant, red garnet earrings and a pair of pink spinel earrings.

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  24. lilmosun
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by lilmosun » Oct 15, 2016
    So much fun reading about gemstone buying and setting in Burma. Good trusted local jewelers are invaluable, aren't they? Thanks for sharing your beauties!
     
  25. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 16, 2016
    Indeed they are, lilmosun:) took a bit of time but they are really nice people at heart barring a few bad hats as is the case anywhere. They are also still learning to think longterm instead of foreigners as a one time cash cow.
     
  26. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 16, 2016
    My red spinel ring. I'm still on the lookout for that perfect red with a perfect price ;-) so this will have to suffice. 3.28 ct Burmese red spinel that's slightly on the lighter side, possibly leaning the slightest bit orange under strong daylight but otherwise mostly dark red indoors. Set in yet again another 18k white gold with tiny diamond ring setting that gives it an up-to-date *antique* setting.

    Iirc the stone set me back around US$450 or 480.

    Photos taken indoors tonight under white light at my hairstylist's.

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  27. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 17, 2016
    A couple of purple lovelies requested by my mum and made for her. An amethyst ring in a solid sterling silver band and purple spinel that's around4 carats in a customised simple diamond band set in Myanmar.

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  28. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 21, 2016
    This is a sterling silver setting I bought off Ebay years ago from a Thai seller and conveniently forgot till now. Brought it over to Yangon to have it set with blue and pink sapphires and this is the happy result. We then had the ring plated with platinum :)

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  29. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 21, 2016
    I like rubies leaning towards purple and purchased this 1.3 carat dark purple red Mogok ruby in a Hong Kong 18k white gold setting for inconspicuous daily wear.

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  30. Burmesedaze
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Burmesedaze » Oct 24, 2016
    Here's a darling 1.8ct dark blue sapphire pendant that really sparkles when worn. In a customised 18k white gold Hong Kong setting yet again. I'm loving how much detail went to the back of the pendant but because of the relatively closed back, there's less light passing through the stone.

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