Myanmar (formally Burma) is known to produce some of the world’s most sort after rubies. The Burmese ruby is popular for its crimson red color often referred to as “pigeon’s blood” rubies. For the most part, the ruby producing areas provide direct and indirect jobs to the locals. However, the Burmese rubies have not gone without controversy. Our goal for this blog is to help you understand what these controversies are, and the story behind our sourcing of our latest Burmese rubies posted on our website.
In 2003, President George W. Bush, placed a ban on Burmese rubies and jade imported to the United States through Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, effectively making it illegal to import rubies and jadeite from Myanmar (formally Burma).
At the time, the Myanmar military leadership were alleged to have controlled most of the financial proceeds of the ruby trade with little or nothing going to the miners. More importantly, there were multiple allegations of human rights abuses from the repressive regime. This ban lasted until 2016 when the situation was reassessed by the Obama Administration, and subsequently reversed. In spite of this reversal, Burmese rubies remained very scarce because major production areas such as Mogok had little to no mining activity taking place. With the United States being the largest importer of rubies, there were limited marketing outlets to incentivize mining and make it financially viable.
More recently, there has been a military coup in Myanmar. This incident made the Biden Administration impose a second ban through the U.S Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control by placing a sanction on three ruby and jade companies for having ties with Myanmar’s military. This will no doubt affect the supply of Burmese rubies in the US market and around the world in the months, maybe even years, to come.
Our Burmese rubies were sourced from a dealer who had inherited the collection from her father, a Burmese ruby dealer for decades. Our inventory has no connection to any of these controversies. Nevertheless, we felt it was pertinent as a company to be open and transparent with the way we have sourced the rubies listed on our site in line with our company’s goal of traceability and ethical sourcing. If you have any questions or concerns about our rubies or any other gemstone please send us an email at email@example.com.