Sunday, 31 July 2016

Mong Hsu Rubies

In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies on a large scale starting in 1991. Through the 1990s it rapidly became the world's main ruby mining area.

The most recently found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya (Namyazeik) located in the northern state of Kachin.
The new deposit has affected the world capital of the ruby business: Thailand. Many of the ruby traders and cutters from Chanthaburi and Bo Rai have moved to Mae Sai in Thailand.

In Tachilek in Myanmar, across the border from Mae Sai, a flourishing trade in Mong Hsu ruby has transformed a village into a prosperous town. Most Mong Hsu ruby is cut and marketed in Thailand.
Thailand is the world's most important ruby trading center with about 80 percent of the world's ruby going through Thailand at some point in the trading cycle.

The largest ruby cutting factories are in the Chanthaburi area of Thailand. Bangkok is generally where the world's buyers come to purchase ruby.
Advances in treatment processes have flooded the gem markets with heat treated ruby. In 2002 labs discovered another Thai method, one that involved treating rubies with beryllium. Stones have been treated with chemicals and infused with lead glass.

US jewellery retailer Zales was exposed when an undercover investigation by Inside Edition caught it selling rubies filled with lead glass to unknowing customers, who were told the stones were genuine.

Chanthaburi Prison inmates cut and polish sapphires.