US President Obama Sampling Burmese Ruby at Vendors Fair in Naypyidaw during his second visit to Myanmar
An Introduction to GIA in Yangon, Myanmar
Institute provides gem and jewelry information to the public, May 31
BANGKOK – May 28, 2014 – Representatives from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) in Thailand will host a meet-and-greet in Yangon, Myanmar on May 31 to introduce the public to the Institute’s gem and jewelry education programs and laboratory services. The networking and informational event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will include exclusive seminars, a special education giveaway and more.
An 83-year old public-benefit organization dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gem and jewelry purchases, GIA is globally recognized for its education, research discoveries and laboratory services. The event will include a “lucky draw” for a GIA Diamond Essentials online course, screenings for How to Choose a Diamond and Pearls at GIA, a buffet lunch and an information booth for GIA education and lab services. Presentations scheduled:
* Claudia D’Andrea, GIA’s director of Education in Bangkok, will give an introduction to the “Multifaceted GIA” * Pairach Nalinthrangkurn, GIA’s operations manager for the laboratory in Bangkok, will discuss the GIA DiamondCheck™, GIA’s new device that accurately identifies colorless natural, untreated diamonds in the D-to-N range and refers diamonds that are potentially synthetic or treated for further examination * Nicholas Sturman, GIA’s senior manager of Pearl Identification, will present on “The Colorful World of Pearls and their Mollusks”
The “Introduction to GIA” event begins at 9:30 a.m. on May 31 in the “Konbaung & Tagaung Rooms” on level 3 of the Sule Shangri-La Yangon (formerly the Traders Hotel) in Yangon, Myanmar.
Gems lab angles for global recognition
SU PHYO WIN
A PRIVATELY owned gems laboratory equipped with the latest technology opened its doors yesterday, but, it will take time for the industry to receive international recognition, insiders say.
Myanmar, Gemological Laboratory will be able to provide a range of reports at a cost of K15,000 to K-150,000 to identify natural or synthetic stones, including treatment and geographic origin, according to its founder U Wai La Win.
“If we can make hundreds or thou- sands of reports matching [the quality of reports by] internationally recognised labs, with local coordination, it will be quicker to get the reputation of local labs recognised in. foreign couniries I ” he said.
U Wai La Win added there are about 10 such labs in the country, but most use somewhat outdated technology compared to his lab.
Leading Myanmar geologist Daw Yin Yin New said she supports the private sector as the government it- self is decentralising.
“By competing with the private sector, processes on the government side become more competitive and qualified. There should be no more monopolising by the government, I think,” she said.
Government gems experts should also work closely with their private i sector counterparts in efforts to re- ceive international recognition- Cur- rently, local stones often must be certified in foreign countries, but this business could be completed locally, she said.
“The government needs to liberalise and decentralise the sector by handing over mining processes to the private sector and simply collecting Lax from them, like Indonesia- This avoids conflict. of interest, though does not fully control all the country’s resources from leaving..” she said. Gems dealers say they welcome efforts to bring international-quality gems appraisal to Yangon.
U Thaung Tun, owner of Yadana Theingi Gems and Jewellery, said when local gems are resold at inter- national exhibitions, they must often be re-appraised to meet their standards.
Gary Nelson, a gems businessper¬son, said that while some of the laboratories here may not be glob¬ally recognised, they have a lot of ex¬perience and understand Myanmar gemstones.
However, laboratories bring a level of objectivity to gem appraisals. They have necessary equipment and can tell the characteristics of stones and how they stack up against inter¬national gems.
“They can identify stones very eas¬ily and very correctly,” he said.
Part of the problem for local gems laboratories is the world was in the dark for so long about the industry in Myanmar, and it was also difficult for Myanmar people to take in interna¬tional best practices.
Mr Nelson said the situation was different for U Wai La Win, as he studied and worked overseas for the Gemological Institute of Amer¬ica, and is bringing that experience back to Myanmar. In the past, most Myanmar labs catered to the local community.
Ideally, locally valued gems with a proper certificate should be accepted internationally, which will help local traders have the confidence to go places like New York or London and present the stone, he said.