Myanmar to Host Gem Show in March

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RAPAPORT… Myanmar will host its annual gem show in March despite an ongoing boycott by some of the country’s precious stones. 

The 45th annual Myanmar Gems Emporium will take place March 9-to-12, 2008, the state-run New Light of Myanmar reported.

The 12-day event will showcase quality gems, jade, pearls and jewelry produced in Myanmar, and the items will be sold both through competitive bidding and at fixed prices, the newspaper said.

The United States and the European Union implemented economic sanctions against Myanmar, also known as Burma, to protest the country’s human rights abuses.

NGO’s and Jeweler of America have called for a boycott of the country’s gems to protest Myanmar’s human rights transgressions, recruiting top jewelers, including Tiffany, Bulgari and Cartier, to refuse to sell the country’s stones.

Strong demand in the Far East, however, has kept Myanmar’s gem trade stable despite the boycott, evident when 600 lots were sold at a five day auction in January for an undisclosed amount. A previous auction in November reportedly generated $150 million.

At the 44th Annual Gems Emporium in March 2007 the country raised approximately $185 million as 3,652 lots of jade, gems and pearls were sold out, the New Light of Myanmar reported.

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