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Special Report

Burma Gem Sales and Statistics

Rough Burmese Jade photo image
* = Updated 9/11/14

Burma gem sales figures aren’t always easy to come by, so we’ve compiled some, from the following sources: AP = Associated Press; AFP = Agence France-Presse; BP = Bangkok Post; CMA = China Mining Assoc.; EMG = Eleven Media Group; IPG = Irrawaddy; KNG = Kachin News Group; MN = Mizzima News; MT = Myanmar Times; NLM = New Light of Myanmar; PD = People’s Daily, China; YCD = Yangon City Development; XNA = Xinhua News Agency.

Annual (Spring) and Mid-Year (Fall) Myanma Gems Emporium

  • Jun–Jul 2014 (51st): $3.4 billion (XNA, IPG)
  • June 2013 (50th): $2.4 billion (XNA)
  • Mar 2012 (49th): $702.66 million (XNA)
  • Dec 2011–Jan 2012 (20th): $903 million, or €700 million (MT)
  • Mar 2011 (48th): $2.8 billion, or €2 billion (MT)
  • Nov 2010 (19th): Postponed from early Oct (MT, XNA, and EMG); $1.44 billion, or €1.08 billion (Reuters)
  • March 2010 (47th): $496 million, or €400 million (XNA)
  • Oct–Nov 2009 (18th): $120.5 million, or €96.46 million (XNA)
  • March 2009 (46th): $191 million (from jade only?) (AP)
  • October 2008 (17th): $175 million, or €130 million (AP)
  • March 2008 (45th): $153 million (MT and AFP)
  • November 2007 (16th): $185 million (MT); revised from $150 million (MT)
  • March 2007 (44th): “biggest ever,” $185 million (AFP and XNA)
  • October 2006 (15th): estimated at more than $125 million (MT)
  • March 2006 (43rd): about $101 million (PD)
  • October 2005 (14th): almost 70% of $48 million worth on offer (AFP)
  • March 2005 (42nd): unknown sales of $29 million worth on offer (PD)
  • October 2004 (13th): nearly $35 million (MT)
  • March 2004 (41st): nearly $23 million (€18.5 million) (NLM)
  • October 2003 (12th): over $17.9 million (€15.2 million) (NLM)
  • March 2003 (40th): over $23 million (Pala)
  • October 2002 (11th): topped $30 million (MT)
  • March 2002 (39th): about $20 million (MT)
  • October 2001 (10th): about $9.5 million (Pala)
  • March 2001 (38th): about $10 million (NLM)
  • October 2000 (9th): over $16.5 million, double the previous year (IPG)
  • March 2000 (37th): about $25 million, breaking the 1990 record (XNA)
  • March 1990 (27th): about $14.8 million, a record until 2000 (XNA)
  • Total sales: (includes Other Sales below)
    • 1964–2003 – $400 million (MT)
    • 1964–April 2006 (pre-summer sales) – over $500 million (IPG)
    • 1964–October 2006 (before Oct. mid-year sale) – over $600 million (PD)
    • * 1964–March 2014 – over $16.928 billion (Pala estimate based on statistics above and below)

Other Sales

  • Unnumbered Sale (July 1–13, 2011): $1.57 billion or €1.1 billion (Reuters; possibly mis-labelled the 49th Myanma Gems Emporium by MT; identified as Jade, Gems and Pearl Special Sales 2011 later)
  • 29th Gems & Jade Sales 2010 (UMEHL, Aug 20–24, 2010): No figures available (UMEHL)
  • Special Sale (Jun 25–Jul 7, 2010): $885.5 million or €700 million (XNA)
  • 28th Gems & Jade Sales 2010 (UMEHL, Jan 11–15, 2010): No figures available
  • Biannual Pearl Auction (September 23–25, 2009): Was to be held in Burma’s largest gem museum (XNA)
  • Special Sale (June 22–July 4, 2009): $292 million (from jade only?), topping the (March) 2009 annual emporium (AP)
  • 26th Gems & Jade Sales 2009 (UMEHL, Jan 5–9, 2009): No figures available (YCD)
  • 25th Gems & Jade Sales 2008 (UMEHL, Aug 19–23, 2008): No figures available
  • Special Sale (June 24–July 4, 2008): over $120 million (MN; AFP)
  • 24th Gems & Jade Sales 2008 (UMEHL, Jan 15–19, 2008): 357 jade lots (out of 1,214 offered) and 247 gem lots (out of 397) were sold, but no monetary figures (NLM)
  • Special Sale (UMEHL, December 2007): No figures available
  • 23rd Gems & Jade Sales 2007 (UMEHL, Aug 21–28, 2007): 404 jade lots (of 1,121 offered) were sold; 315 gem lots were offered; no monetary figures (NLM)
  • Special Sale of Gems, Jade and Pearls (July 4–16, 2007): estimated at over $185 million based on its being the “biggest ever gem auction” (AFP and MT)
  • 22nd Gems & Jade Sales 2007 (UMEHL, Jan 30–Feb 3, 2007): 335 jade lots (out of 943 offered), 204 gem lots (out of 308) were sold, but no monetary figures (NLM)
  • 21st Gems & Jade Sales 2006 (UMEHL, Aug 28–Sep 1, 2006): 321 jade lots (out of 1,029 offered) and 224 gem lots (out of 312) sold, but no monetary figures (NLM)
  • Myanmar Jade, Gems & Pearls (Jun–Jul 2006): estimated at $125 million, topping the (March) 2006 annual emporium (MT)
  • 20th Gems & Jade Sales 2006 (UMEHL, Jan 16–19, 2006): unknown jade lots (out of 986 offered) and unknown gem lots (out of 286) sold; no monetary figures (NLM)
  • 19th Gems & Jade Sales 2005 (UMEHL, Aug 9–13, 2005): 412 jade lots (out of 747 offered) and 309 gem lots (out of 406) sold; no monetary figures (NLM)
  • 18th Gems & Jade Sales 2005 (UMEHL, Jan 24–27, 2005): 199 jade lots (out of 308 offered) and 246 gem lots (out of 317) sold; no monetary figures (NLM)

Trade Figures

  • * Jade exports
    • Fiscal Year 2013–2014 – $1.1 billion (EMG)
    • FY 2012–13 – $297.9 million (EMG)
    • FY 2011–12 – $34.2 million (EMG)
    • 2011 – $8 billion in legal and illegal sales (IPG by way of Harvard's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation)
  • Gems and jewelry exports, fiscal year 4/07–3/08 – $647 million (MT)
    • Third place, behind oil and natural gas ($6.043 billion) and agricultural products ($1.140 billion), and ahead of timber ($578 million)
  • Jade and gem exports (including pearls?), 2007 – $562 million (YCD; BP)
    • Jade exports from Hpakant, 2007 – $400 million (KNG)
  • Myanma Gems Enterprise exports, fiscal year 4/06–3/07 – $296.9 million (PD; MT)
    • Third place, behind oil and natural gas ($2.16 billion) and timber ($519 million)
  • Jade (and gem?) sales/exports, fiscal year 4/05–3/06 – $205.47 million (XNA; MT)
    • Fourth largest foreign exchange earning export sector
  • From May 2004 MT special coverage
    • Precious stone exports: about $60 million from Burma
    • Private gem trading companies: about 1,000 in Burma
    • Tons of jade produced: for fiscal year 4/02–3/03, 10,000—a nearly tenfold increase over FY 1995–96
    • Buyers: Thailand buys 90% of Burmese rubies

Gem and Jade Production Figures 1988–2012

Sources: Production figures are updated on a monthly basis at the Central Statistical Organization, of the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development. The CSO data include gemstones broken down by these types: ruby, sapphire, spinel, and peridot.
Other Sources: NLM (1988 data), p. 4 of a PDF, poss. slow download.

  • Gem blocks
    • 1988 – 8 (NLM)
    • 2005 – 635
    • 2006 – XNA mentions 116 blocks for engagement by “domestic entrepreneurs”; CMA breaks this down as:
      • 77 – Shan state
      • 39 – Mandalay division
    • 2006 & 2007 – XNA mentions over 500 gems and jade mining blocks granted, without differentiating how many are gems
    • 2008 & 2009 – XNA mentions 5 gems and jade blocks granted in the following, without differentiating which are gems
      • Shan state’s Mongshu and Namhyar (likely gems)
      • Kachin state’s Moeyin (likely jade)
      • Sagaing division’s Mawhan Mawlu
      • Mandalay division’s Mogok (likely gems)
    • 2009 –
      • MN (1/14/09) mentions 6 new blocks (Mongshu and Namhyar, Shan state; Moenyin, Kachin state; Mawhan, Mawhu, and Hkamti in Sagaing division)
        • CMA (1/12/09) mentions 4 new blocks, likely the same as above (Mongshu and Namhyar, Shan state; Moenyin, Kachin state; Mawhan Mawhu [sic], Sagaing division)
  • Gem production (in carats)
    • 1988 – 126,000 (NLM)
    • 2013–14 – 16.31 million (XNA; IPG)
  Gems (in carats)
Total includes Myanma Gems Enterprise
FY Apr–Mar Ruby Sapphire Spinel Peridot Total
2003–04 1,959,209 1,938,999 258,932 247,939 58,274,843
2004–05 3,346,987 1,087,979 1,440,351 166,212 47,979,497
2005–06 2,298,413 428,891 1,792,160 125,755 28,458,831
2006–07 1,555,596 715,160 833,218 344,471 20,879,219
2007–08 1,518,854 308,642 925,030 732,442 22,668,368
2008–09 1,821,085 1,234,596 363,260 583,215 18,728,963
2009–10 1,692,587 1,051,773 429,312 211,960 11,315,816
2010–11 1,437,103 1,426,431 760,442 131,994 12,962,842
2011–12 1,068,721 1,452,595 475,413 310,239 13,398,763
2012–13         unknown
2013–14         16,310,000
  • Jade blocks
    • 1988 – 3 (NLM)
    • 2005 – 1,202
    • 2006 – CMA mentions 99 near Lonkin, Kachin state
    • 2006 & 2007 – XNA mentions over 500 gems and jade mining blocks granted, without differentiating how many are jade
    • 2007 – XNA mentions 319 blocks for engagement by “domestic entrepreneurs”; CMA breaks this down as:
      • 139 – Moenyin, Kachin state
      • 180 – Khamhti, Sagaing division
    • 2008 – KNG mentions 400 new blocks in Hpakant, Lonkin (Lawng Hkang), and Taw Maw
    • 2008 & 2009 – XNA mentions 5 gems and jade blocks granted in the following, without differentiating which are jade
      • Shan state’s Mongshu and Namhyar (likely gems)
      • Kachin state’s Moeyin (likely jade)
      • Sagaing division’s Mawhan Mawlu
      • Mandalay division’s Mogok (likely gems)
  • * Jade production (kilograms)
    • 1988 – 130,000 (NLM)
    • FY 1995–96 throgh 2002–03 – 58,881,290 (calcuclated using EMG data)
    • FY 2003–04 – 10,754,813
    • FY 2004–05 – 14,987,842
    • FY 2005–06 – 20,390,270
    • FY 2006–07 – 20,458,279
    • FY 2007–08 – 20,235,030
    • FY 2008–09 – 32,921,542
    • FY 2009–10 – 25,795,415
    • FY 2010–11 – 46,810,120
    • FY 2011–12 – 43,185,339
    • FY 2012–13 – unknown
    • FY 2013–14 – 13,663,109 (XNA)
    • Total Production between FY 1995–96 and 2013–14 – 308,213,049
  • Gem/mining joint-venture/profit-sharing with private companies: 10 (PD)

Pearl Production Figures 1988–2012

Sources: Production figures are updated on a monthly basis at the Central Statistical Organization, Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.
Other Sources: NLM, p. 4 of a PDF, poss. slow download; XNA
; MT

  • Camps
    • 1988 – 2
    • 2005 – 9
  • Production area (sq. km.): 2007 – 25,600
  • Production (pieces)
    • 2002–03: 117,852
    • 2006–07: 400,000+
  • * Production (mommes)
    • 1988 – 8,488
    • FY 2003–04 – 72,575.13
    • FY 2004–05 – 124,207.09
    • FY 2005–06 – 177,692.28
    • FY 2006–07 – 240,595.97
    • FY 2007–08 – 225,611.40
    • FY 2008–09 – 201,081.69
    • FY 2009–10 – 229,951.19
    • FY 2010–11 – 275,688.04
    • FY 2011–12 – 290,984.70
    • FY 2012–13 – unknown
    • FY 2013–14 – 351,641 (XNA)
  • Producers: Dec. 2007 – 3 foreign, 2 local; down from 6 total in Oct. 2007; also 3 farms run by official Myanmar Pearl Enterprise (MT, Mar. 2008)
  • Year production began: 1956
  • Investment of Burma–Japan partnership in production: 2007 – $8.47 million

Mining Statistics

Source: XNA dated 6/17/07

  • Percent of mining sector to national economy (includes gold, copper, etc.) – 0.4 percent

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