Burma Sapphires

Sapphires have for millennia been considered one of the most revered gemstones. They represent fidelity, honesty and a noble spirit. They are also thought to have a positive effect on the nervous system and thyroid.

These beautiful gems are mined throughout the world, but few have the allure of sapphires from Myanmar (formerly Burma). Originally thought to only produce very dark stones, Myanmar has come to the fore, mining exquisite stones of exceptional quality. They often have a highly saturated slightly violet hue that combined with even distribution of color yields the "royal blue" color so sought after. 

View of Mogok City, Photo by Channyeinhan-Mandalay

Myanmar is unique in its geological formation and has the perfect combination of rock deposits combined with the correct trace elements that give gems their color. This happy accident gives us the finest rubies in the world, fine jade and beautiful sapphires. 

Mining along the 900 x 25 mile area known as the Mogok Stone Tract has been a primary source of fine sapphires for centuries. Miners utilize large equipment for extraction, however again, in this, Myanmar is unique. They have a long tradition known as Kanase in which women (mainly), sift through the mining waste in search of gem stones. They are allowed to keep the gems they find which creates opportunities for selling, trading and cutting stones thus creating income.

Vendors sell gems at Mogok's Cinema market, Photo via Gem Scene

Sapphires can be found in many places in the world, but very few can rival the beautiful lush blue hue of stones found in Myanmar.