ALL gem collectors
are attracted to the beauty, rarity and durability of
precious stones, but different people have different goals
while searchjng for new additions to their treasure troves.
There are three types of collectors in Myanmar. Some buy
gems as a means to consolidate their wealth and as an
investment that will gain value as they pass the collection
on to the next generation. Most such collections primarily
consist of diamonds, rubies, jade, sapphires and pearls.
The second type of collector buys gems with the aim of
selling them at a profit.
And there are those who collect simply because they are
addicted to the qualities of gemstones for their own sake.
Such collectors take pride in owning rare stones and get a
deep sense of satisfaction in new finds that will complement
Diamonds are the most popular stones among wealthy
collectors because of their hardness, lustre and beauty. The
value of diamonds also tends to remain stable in the world
Rubies, with their rich beauty and intense colour, are the
second most popular gems among collectors. According to one
gemologist in Yangon, the best rubies in the world come from
Mogok in Myanmar.
Jade stands in third place among collectors, particularly
the Chinese, many of whom believe the stone protects its
wearer against danger and gives them good health.
Many collectors are also attracted to the beauty of various
inexpensive colour stones, such as cat's eye, amber, topaz,
pink spinel, zircon, tourmaline and moonstone.
U Khin Mg Win is a collector who has been gathering precious
stones since the age of 18 and has been at it for more than
He said most of his stones were found by his own effort
while searching in forests near
gem mines. However, he has also purchased a small portion of
the gems in his collection.
He said his obsession with collecting has sometimes led him
to neglect his family business, but he is lucky to have a
family who understands and supports his hobby.
Although he has had attractive offers to sell his
collection, he has decided to hang onto it and pass along to
the next generation. He hopes his children will be inspired
to continue collecting and eventually place the stones in a