FROM finding a reliable dealer, to choosing a cut, to negotiating a price, buying a gem can be a daunting task. It helps to know where to go and what to expect when you get there. The following places are the best Yangon has to offer:

BOGYOKE AUNG SAN MARKET, PABEDAN A favourite of foreigners, Bogyoke Aung San is full of dealers that prioritise small gifts and crafts like jade figurines and gemstone images. Fine jewelry is also available. After 3 pm, the market’s D block is packed with brokers, including some from upper Myanmar. On display you will find jade, rubies, sapphires, diamonds and emeralds, , and many shops also offer considerably cheaper products like tourmalines, spinels, zircons, moonstones and scapolites. Summit and Color Stones are two well known shops where vendors are particularly knowledgeable and capable. Before purchasing gems, buyers can visit testing centres in the market, which have specialised laboratory equipment for checking gem quality.

MYANMAR GEMS MUSEUM, MAYANGONE The ‘mart’ at the Myanma Gems Museum is the easiest place to find high-quality raw and finished gem products. Eighty-two counters on three floors offer rubies, sapphires, peridot, pearls, jade and more. The mart is open from 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday.

FMI CENTRE, PABEDAN The FMI shopping centre has offerings similar to Bogyoke Aung San, but is far smaller and more focusd on fine, fmished jewelry.

MAHABANDOOLA RoAD, LATHA Shops on Mahabandoola primarily specialise in gold products, many of which are adorned with fine gems. The section between 29th and 30tt streets is best for synthetic stones.

SHWE BON THAR STREET, PABEDAN Gem shopping is best in this area before 2 pm, when many dealers pack up and move to Bogyoke Aung San Market. GGA, a major gem dealership near 30d1 street, is known for its knowledgeable vendors.