Burmese-Only Jade Sale Pegged for December

By Kyaw Hsu Mon 1 October 2015

RANGOON — The Myanmar Gems Enterprise will hold the year’s first and only jade sale exclusively for local traders in Naypyidaw this December, with industry players hoping to see more purchases of raw jade and jadeite made with value-added intentions.

In Thursday’s state-run newspapers, the Ministry of Mines’ Myanmar Gems Enterprise announced that the central committee of its subsidiary Myanma Gems Emporium would organize the sale of raw jade stones and jadeite at Mani Yadana Jade Hall in Naypyidaw from Dec. 7-13.

The Myanmar Gems Enterprise typically aims to hold jade sales for only local traders at least twice a year, but the December showcase will be the only one for 2015.

According to the announcement from the Myanmar Gems Enterprise, Burmese citizens for whom one of the following applies are eligible to attend the sale: licensed jade and gem mining operators; licensed businessmen engaged in manufacturing, selling and buying of finished jade and gems products; those who hold a gems company registration; and members of the Myanmar Gems and Jewelry Entrepreneurs Association.

Tun Hla Aung, joint secretary of the Myanmar Gems and Jewelry Entrepreneurs Association, said organizers were hoping to encourage more emphasis on local entrepreneurs adding value to raw cuts of the precious stones on offer.

“We want local traders to produce more value-added jade accessories; that’s why we aimed to hold this kind of sale at least once per year, but it has been delayed due to various things,” he said.

“We expect that there will many quality raw jades on display,” he added.

The supply side of Burma’s jade market has bounced back since the September 2014 lifting of a suspension of jade mining operations in Kachin State amid fighting between the government and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in recent years.

Foreigners are invited to bid on jade and jadeite at an annual jade emporium, usually held mid-year. This year’s emporium, held from June 24 to July 6 in Naypyidaw, saw a total of 8,934 jade lots and about 320 lots of various other gems, including highly coveted Mogok rubies, on offer.

Tun Hla Aung said it was too early to speculate on the December jade showcase.

More than 2,000 local traders attended the annual emporium earlier this year, and the association leader said similar attendance was expected for the Burmese-only sale.