A mid-year Myanmar gems emporium kicked off in Yangon Thursday, putting the country's quality gems, jade, pearl and jewelry worth over 75 million U.S. dollars on sale on the basis of competitive bidding.
Over 1,000 merchants from 12 countries and regions, including China, China's Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan, have arrived to attend the 11-day event being held at the Myanma Gems Emporium Hall and Myanmar Convention Center, said Managing Director of Myanma Gems Enterprise U Thein Swe at a press briefing here.
The 14th Mid-Year Gems Emporium will offer more gem items than the previous years for display and will attract more gem merchants than before, U Thein Swe said.
The Gems Emporium will display 4,237 jade lots, which is three times than those in 2004 and two times than in 2005, he said, adding that more jade lots are displayed because of market demand, and the merchants visiting the emporium are mostly from China and China's Hong Kong.
At the Emporium, a piece of most valuable ruby weighing 7.2 grams is displayed for bidding at a basic price of 625,000 U.S. dollars and a jade block weighing 1,188 kilos is also displayed for bidding with no basic price offered.
Mid-year gems emporiums have been introduced in addition to the annual ones since 1992 to boost earnings.
In March this year, the 43rd annual Myanmar gems emporium was held breaking sale record since it was introduced with 101 million U.S. dollars.
Myanmar started to hold gem shows annually in 1964 and since then the country has earned a total of over 600 million dollars from such events including the mid-year ones introduced since 1992 and the special sale since 2004.
Myanmar, a well-known producer of gems in the world, possesses nine gems -- ruby, diamond, cat's eye, emerald, topaz, pearl, sapphire, coral and a variety of garnet tinged with yellow.
There are three famous gem lands in Myanmar -- Mogok in Mandalay division, Mongshu in Shan state and Phakant in Kachin state.
To develop gem mining industry, Myanmar enacted the New Gemstone Law in 1995, allowing national entrepreneurs to mine, produce, transport and sell finished gemstone and manufactured jewelry at home and abroad.
Since 2000, the government has started mining of gems and jade in joint venture with 10 private companies under profit sharing basis.