Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

My Burma Myanmar gemstones :)

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Made a quick stop at Gem Museum to say hi to my jewellers before flying out on Christmas Eve and was shown these :D

A trio of 1 carat and under Mogok natural untreated sapphires that the trader wants to sell as a lot. The bluish-violet sapphire is 1 carat and I think it's colour-change - perhaps similar to a sapphire that Seaglow has and posted in her thread? It shows up as just a medium violet/purple in daylight, but has more blue under halogen light. No time for finger shots as I had to zoom off to catch my flight. The pink sapphire is also about 1 carat and has an interesting darker streak of pink running down the middle. I'm told this is unusual. The off-white sapphire is very shallow and 0.72ct - which is why the trader wants to sell as a lot, as this piece is technically a "gift". My jeweller likes the pink one to keep for fun as it's interesting for them. I rather fancy the bluish-violet one :) Let's see what the trader is willing to reduce to.

They also had this interesting piece of clear, translucent jade. No flaws. It's carved in the shape of a detailed open hand holding a round object. I think it's either Buddha's hand or a monk's hand. Tried asking my mum but she doesn't know what it symbolises. If anyone here knows, please tell me, thank you.

_38745.jpg

_38746.jpg

_38747.jpg

_38748.jpg
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Jumping on the imperial jade bandwagon, finally. I'm getting the tiny round one that has a tiny price tag :) the actual colour is a slightly lighter green with more glow. My LG phone tends to intensify certain shades. Will probably do a diamond halo around the jade when I decide to get it set.

With that, I'm out of the country on vacation for the next 1.5 weeks!

img-20161229-wa0000.jpg
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
And it would so happen that the chaps from Hong Kong would come on the late night flight the very same night I flew out of Yangon for my year end vacation!

My jewellers collected my new baubles in their 18k gold and diamond settings, negotiated a small discount and sent me these photos so I could drool over them for the next 2 weeks till I return.

I think they used flash with their phone camera so most are somewhat overexposed. That's not a complaint, just saying :)

image-0-02-06-aabf4e1b1a8ded94fb8eec20de1798c2c7867ec4a7e6282062a9be78d7e46fb4-v-1.jpg

image-0-02-06-06cdc8ec261c17405801a330337aa57b54eb4033cf9f370d9e0d5bfe92e140c6-v-1.jpg

image-0-02-06-ae6c8ed7ba22a36e87b208ddb8e23e8aca07efae1efad27bd99bd09725395840-v.jpg

image-0-02-06-a601057b4128cf2a2c3c31b5aff8609cc42215d9ba891d049f5f623904eb94b0-v.jpg
 

Seaglow

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
1,091
Good call having them set in HK. :) I love halo settings. Congratulations on your new pieces. :)
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Seaglow|1483071591|4110612 said:
Good call having them set in HK. :) I love halo settings. Congratulations on your new pieces. :)
Thank you :) Can't wait to get my hands on them! But off to the holiday first :) Happy New Year, Seaglow!
 

737lizakg

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
387
Burmesedaze your collection is amazing!

Would you be willing to give your contacts for Burma? I will be there in 5 weeks and have a modest budget for sparklies.

Also, any pointers you can give for what to avoid and which labs are best in Yangon would be very much appreciated. I'm so excited! :dance:
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,103
You have some gorgeous pieces!!! I love to look at these pics.
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Thank you ladies. I shall be heading back to Yangon later in the week. Can't wait to collect them and post more pics over the weekend.
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
737lizakg|1483809464|4113301 said:
Burmesedaze your collection is amazing!

Would you be willing to give your contacts for Burma? I will be there in 5 weeks and have a modest budget for sparklies.

Also, any pointers you can give for what to avoid and which labs are best in Yangon would be very much appreciated. I'm so excited! :dance:
Sure I can. Which stones and specs have you in mind? The higher end vendors usually prefer to visit you in the office or hotel. For more average stuff I'd recommend my jeweller at Gem Museum. If you have the time you could browse around other places like SP Gems (equivalent of local Tiffany's)... But I'd advise you to get loose stones rather than mounted ones.

AGGL located on the second storey of Bogyoke market is considered the most reliable lab. Others like Stalwart are also being used but I hear that AGGL has stricter standards. Nevertheless you should always get them tested again when back home if it's pricey.

There's a fair bit of chicanery going around and there's no such thing as "local price" because many can and will fleece their own, especially those from the more rural states. But if you show you know your stuff they'd respect you more.
 

737lizakg

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
387
Burmesedaze|1484043175|4113963 said:
Sure I can. Which stones and specs have you in mind? The higher end vendors usually prefer to visit you in the office or hotel. For more average stuff I'd recommend my jeweller at Gem Museum. If you have the time you could browse around other places like SP Gems (equivalent of local Tiffany's)... But I'd advise you to get loose stones rather than mounted ones.

AGGL located on the second storey of Bogyoke market is considered the most reliable lab. Others like Stalwart are also being used but I hear that AGGL has stricter standards. Nevertheless you should always get them tested again when back home if it's pricey.

There's a fair bit of chicanery going around and there's no such thing as "local price" because many can and will fleece their own, especially those from the more rural states. But if you show you know your stuff they'd respect you more.

Thanks so much Burmesedaze! I am visiting a friend who has been working in the north but based in Yangon, so could have them come to her place, but your Gem Museum guy sounds more suited to my budget.

I think I want to only spend a max of 500 on any one stone. I've made some pricey mistakes in Sri Lanka and Turkey and am not knowledgeable enough to tell a spinel from a sapphire from a piece of glass... 500 is my limit where I can tell myself that my worthless purchase was 'a learning experience' without crying (too much) about it.

I'd send the stones off for testing regardless of how cheap they are because it's quite cheap to do isn't it? Do you buy, then take it yourself to be tested or do you ask for the store to include the cert first? As you can see, I have no idea how to go about it. Previously I have been naive and trusted whatever printout the seller has provided. You live, you learn.

I'm not looking for a deal; just to be able to browse and buy without having to rely on vendor photos and a complicated pricy import tax ( I'm based in Switzerland) is exciting enough!

I've read that haggling/bargaining isn't really done in Myanmar, and that the price is more or less fixed. Is this true for gems? Say they tell me that a grey blue spinel is a sought after colour and that since it's untreated it is worth a king's Ransome, would it be insulting to bargain the price down by pointing out that I know a little bit about stones, or would that just shut down the sale? I really don't want to be perceived as a pushy aggressive foreigner if that's not culturally accepted.
 

737lizakg

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Messages
387
And I just realised I jacked your thread of show and tell. If I have anymore questions I'll start a new thread asking for help. Embarrassed now. I'm sorry!
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
737lizakg|1484142038|4114311 said:
And I just realised I jacked your thread of show and tell. If I have anymore questions I'll start a new thread asking for help. Embarrassed now. I'm sorry!
No worries! It's perfectly alright with me :)

If the stone is say a few hundred dollars then I'd request them to send the gem to AGGL first and come back with the lab report (usually within a day or 2 max). It's about 15,000 mmk (approx. US$11ish) for the small laminated cert. There is a paper version that basically just tests for treatment which is I think 3,000mmk or 5,000mmk (US$2 - 3+) which I don't really bother with, but it exists. The testing cost is usually absorbed by the seller.

Oh no, bargaining is a MUST in Myanmar, from the wet markets to the unmetered taxi drivers and the gem stores. But you see, there is no "standard". For example, if a stone's original tag is US$1,000, there's no usual "start with 50% less", because the markup differs from place to place. I was at the old international airport (they call it terminal 2) a few weeks back and saw a pair of small imperial Jadeite earrings set in the standard silver setting. The tag had US$3,750 on it. I asked to view it and enquired if it had an extra zero on it by any chance ;-) She then quoted me US$900 (which is still too much as they are tiny and I would have paid tops US$500 for them?). The first sale of the day is also considered a lucky thing, so if you are an early buyer, in the morning chances are you can get a much better price. This is a culture present in both Thailand and Myanmar that I'm aware of thus far. Bogyoke Market, which is the main tourist market, is full of jewellery shops and other native wares but because they enjoy a good footfall, they usually don't like to bargain too much. The better quality items are also not to be found there. But worth taking a stroll through and educate yourself on the wares and prices available.

Don't need to worry about being a pushy foreigner because that beats being taken for a ride! No need to be in a hurry to buy as well, do take your time and do compare.

My jewellers' address at the Gem Museum (old building - there are 2, an old and a newer building at the same compound, this is the old one with cheaper rent)

Mandalar & Snow White
No.20/21,1st Flr,Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd,Myanmar Gems Museum, Mayangone

They are on the 1st floor above the ground floor, once you take the stairs and turn left and enter, they are right smack in the middle aisle. Depending on who's there, it could be Ma Thet Mar, Ma Thida, or their aunt whom I call Kyi Kyi (Burmese for aunt) or their cousin Ko Zeyar. You could tell them that I referred you - the one that adores cats, has a cat named Tiger back home and works in Yangon. Do ask them to quote a good price so no one needs to bargain too much :D

The ground floor also has quite an array of jewellery but prices tend to be higher. Many are not quite as honest too. I was shown some sapphires and the jeweller then kept them back in the plastic bag with baby oil. I asked why was oil necessary and was told "the stones are newly cut and needed oil to cool down"... needless to say, I never got anything off her :twirl: Another shop on the ground floor was where I bought Brazilian pink tourmalines passed off as Burmese tourmalines - which AGGL told me couldn't be Burmese as they were too purple. Gem Museum is only supposed to sell stones of Burmese origin, but many sell opals, Brazilian, Ceylon stones there. Gem Museum is closed on Mondays and public holidays and most will end their working day by 3.30pm - 4pm.

Do check that when you request a receipt to be issued, it states origin: Burma, Mogok area or others; Treated or untreated and the type of treatment; and the weight of the stone as well as colour description. Should your stone be found to be otherwise, you can head back to whichever store with the detailed receipt to request a refund.

HTHs. Anything else just lmk!
 

Seaglow

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
1,091
I have to agree with Burmesedaze... Haggle! Haggle! Haggle!

Burmesedaze, have you checked the shop inside The Strand hotel? Last time I was there, their spinels were decently priced and some loose in good sizes.
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Seaglow|1484156862|4114395 said:
I have to agree with Burmesedaze... Haggle! Haggle! Haggle!

Burmesedaze, have you checked the shop inside The Strand hotel? Last time I was there, their spinels were decently priced and some loose in good sizes.
3 years ago when I wasn't based here yet and clueless about gems :D

They just renovated The Strand, should check it out again :)
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
A few new purchases today for the new year :D

2 pieces of white icy jadeite. I also have another pair that's oval and slightly greyish/bluish but with a nice texture. That pair has been sent to be repolished to the same size. That will be set as simple studs to be used in the eye-shaped diamonds jackets that were made for the apple green ones in an earlier post.

In the tiny black box, top row 3rd from left a cushion dark salmon pink spinel over 1 carat, next to it a tiny roundish neon pink spinel possibly from the Mogok Man Sin mine.

2nd row 4th from left a baguette spinel in a similar neon pink but with more red, possibly from Man Sin mine too.

3rd row 2nd from left Princess cut Mogok spinel that the cert calls orange brown. Last in the row an orange red step cut Mogok spinel.

Since there's space for more photos, 2 rings from the latest batch I'm wearing today. 3.21ct purple Mogok spinel in 18k white gold with 0.16ct diamonds. A 4.31ct dark greenish-blue Mogok spinel in 18k white gold with 0.22ct diamonds.

20170114_163309_hdr-1.jpg

20170114_163408_hdr-1.jpg

20170114_163347_hdr-1.jpg
 

Seaglow

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
1,091
Congrats on your new pieces! I love the jacket concept on the earrings!
 

theredspinel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 14, 2015
Messages
889
Love everything. Please don't ever stop posting your photos!!! :love: :lickout:
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Thanks for the kind comments :)
Here's the pair of greyish icy jadeite ovals repolished.

20170115_163404-1.jpg

20170115_163432-1.jpg
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Just sharing some stuff I saw today. Not getting any though. They don't quite hit the spot.

Icy jadeite, but these are flat and the texture is somewhat occluded. Not as glowy and clean as my existing pair. These are leftover jadeite from the trader that carved a nice white Buddha statue from the rough. They are polished pretty flat which accounts for the lack of glow/sheen.

A dark blue sapphire from the famed Baw Mar mine in Mogok. 2.2+ ct but faces up larger. Good cut and clarity. A tad too dark for my liking. Untreated. Going for US$3K.

image-0-02-06-36e7b27cb577b1022f7a3effd69c3d7772183a19e1cc322d1cda6dc2405caf80-v.jpg

20170121_151453.jpg

20170121_151630.jpg
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Sunday viewing for these 2 stones, a 1.96ct peach spinel recut from old stock that was around 3 carat. A window remains but not as big in the original stone. Slightly over US$100.

Pink 1.46ct Mogok sapphire, very clean to the eye, but faces up smaller as it has a deep culet. The colour isn't evenly captured but the zoning isn't too bad. Going for US$600+.

Passing up on both as the shapes don't really appeal to me and I think I have enough smallish stones.

20170122_134038.jpg

20170122_134115.jpg
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
Was shown a few nicely cut stones today.
Green tourmaline, 2.22ct purplish spinel and 1.8ct bluish grey spinel. All from Mogok. Spinels are cut in what they call diamond cut here. I'm getting the purple spinel.

Photos are in assorted lighting conditions.

Last photo shows a Goddess of Mercy carving on type A jadeite. Unpolished as the China craftsman has returned home for the holidays. Very fine work compared to native carvings.

20170129_131846-1.jpg

20170129_131726-1.jpg

20170129_131713-1.jpg

20170129_122834-1.jpg
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
More photos of the Goddess of Mercy, including the same rough jadeite piece it's from. Black piece is quartz and that's the form the polishing will take with matte and shiny finishes.

20170129_122953-1.jpg

20170129_122925-1.jpg

20170129_122906-1.jpg

20170129_122838-1.jpg
 

Seaglow

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
1,091
Burmesedaze,

If I have time during my visits to Myanmar, I'd definitely buy a small rough and have it carved myself. :)

Keep the posts coming. It's always interesting what's currently in there. :)
 

Burmesedaze

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
3,754
My jeweller was offered about US$200 for the jadeite rough, before it was carved, but he turned it down :razz:

But where would you send the jadeite rough to be carved?
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    August Birthstone 2020: Peridot
    August Birthstone 2020: Peridot
    Fabulous 5 Carat Emerald Cut and More!
    Fabulous 5 Carat Emerald Cut and More!
    Stunning Engagement Ring Upgrade
    Stunning Engagement Ring Upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top