Myanmar Gems Emporium “Biggest Ever”


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On March 20, the 44th Myanma Gems Emporium wrapped up. As reported by the official New Light of Myanmar (NLM) website, a total of 3,652 lots of jade, gems, and pearls were sold, both through bidding and tender. NLM kept a running total of lots sold throughout the sale, March 8–20.


Statistics from the March 2007 sale:
• 3,508 Jade lots, out of 5,858 on offer
o “One jade lot was worth 1.68 million euros (2.21 million dollars), but the official did not reveal if this lot was sold,” according to Agence France-Presse (AFP)
• 47 Gem lots, out of 380 on offer
• 97 Pearl lots, out of 310 on offer
Merchants attending the sale numbered 3,419, including 2,068 from 13 other countries. According to AFP, “the Myanma Gems Enterprise, which runs the sale, refused to disclose how much the auction raised, and said only that it was the ‘biggest ever.’” The October 2006 sale garnered more than $125 million. See all the stats.
Also on the 20th, the Minister of Mines, Brigadier-General Ohn Myint, met with local entrepreneurs and executives. According to NLM, “the minister called for more efforts to be able to create a firmed market, to penetrate international gems markets and to expand the gems industry to increase the revenue of the country.” This is a perennial harangue, as we reported last October. And the market is threatened further by revision of Thai industry figures.