Breaking news on the world’s finest rubies

ruby2If you’re dreaming of a ruby, here’s news you need to know. The gold-standard of this blood-red gemstone are those from Myanmar—formerly known as Burma—especially the valley of Mogok, a district in Upper Myanmar. These beautiful gems are extremely rare. Even rarer are unheated rubies. (Heating is used to reduce any blue tones, making them even brighter red.) How valuable are Burma rubies? In 2014, the Graff Ruby, an 8.62-carat Burma stone, sold for a record $8,600,410 at Sotheby’s.

If their scarcity wasn’t enough, there’s been an additional fly in the ointment. As a result of human rights violations by Myanmar, the US government placed an embargo on products—including rubies and jadeite—from the country in 2003. As a result, Tiffany & Co. and other high-end jewelers declined to sell these gems in recent years.

The embargo ends

In a major shift, last month President Obama announced that the U.S. is lifting economic sanctions on Myanmar. And last week, a delegation of heads of the US gemstone industry traveled to Myanmar to discuss the possibility of re-opening trade between the two countries. According to a press release, “The delegation met with a wide range of stakeholders in Myanmar from the gemstone industry, government, and civil society. The next stage of the trip will include visits to observe mining conditions and practices in Mogok.”

A Burma ruby

A Burma ruby

Will the release of trade sanctions result in more Burma rubies? And if so, how fast will the stones begin to appear? We don’t know right now, but this could be a major event for what is one of most coveted gemstones in the world.

I’ll keep you updated on any other breaking news. In the meantime, if you have any heirloom jewels that you need to insure, this is a good time to get an updated appraisal. I’ll be happy to help.

Brilliantly yours, Aimee

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