Myanmar Ruby Stone Mines

Raw Natural Rubies in Myanmar.

To mine raw natural rubies in Myanmar all methods are used such as: Alluvial ruby deposits and open trench mining method mean at the hillside plus extraction of the gem-bearing materials found inside the hills where rubies have been grown on white marble.

This is an amazing picture imagine perfect white marble of a similar type as in Carrara and the blood red gemstones on top of it.

Beside of the well known Burmese Ruby mines, there are some mines along the Thai/Cambodian border, however, the color of Thai rubies usually cannot compare with the best from Myanmar. The reason is fluorescence; the stones from Thailand contain traces of iron which quench this red fluorescence. Although heat treatment, which nowadays is performed on all Thai rubies, does improve their appearance considerably, but it does not make up for their lack of fluorescence. 

In this red gems, only those facets where light is totally internally reflected will be a rich red; the others appear blackish, as with red garnets. In terms of body color, the Thai stones have actually a purer red than most from Myanmar. However the latter red appears all over not only in the areas where total internal reflection occurs because of the red fluorescence, the other facets are also red. This glowing makes the Burmese material so special.

Only a few sources from Sri Lanka and Burma are clean enough for excellent faceting actually the former Ceylon produces some of the finest rubies, although most tend to be too light in color. As these stones are often with a pink color the term 'pink sapphire' is usually applied. 
  • Ruby Mines in Mogok and Mong Hsu.
In Mogok ruby mines are many on the surface and underground where the red and blue stones have been growing on marble over thousand of years. 


Check here for the context of rubies and sapphires which are corundum minerals.

Other red gemstones are found in a river by sifting through the gravel via the usual alluvial method.  That's naturally the easy way but is sometimes very effective and made many people very rich overnight in places which are know of their alluvial deposits such as in Mogok which is about 120 km north of Mandalay.

Mogok Precious stone district

  • In the Mogok Stone District.


In the Mogok Stone District most miners  dig a cylindrical hole into the earth with a diameter of less than a meter  to make sure it won’t collapse when it becomes deeper. 

Two of them dig and one is at the top of the hole to collect the earth lifted up in a small basket. This works down to about ten meters if it needs further down they sink another shaft for ventilation and communication. When a promising layer of earth is reached horizontal passages are driven into the hill. Most mines are smaller ones worked by 3 men.

Actually, all this are a very inefficient method and so has been replaced at the larger mines by mechanization. Mechanized mining allows the processing, of much greater quantities of earth in a more systematic manner and has, by and large, replaced the simpler pit mining by bulldozers, backhoes and other heavy equipment to move large quantities of earth. 

The jungle around has been stripped of huge tracts of land in an effort to get at the gems below, creating an ecological disaster. Problems with deforestation can't even get under control by the government to ban the use of all bulldozers and heavy equipment did nothing to stop the destruction.

It needs some operation volume because only bigger mine owners have the money to work on the hills. This is then scraped into a big hill, where water cannons gradually force it into a pump. The pump carries the soil to a jig m. As the mud passes over the jig, the heavier minerals are trapped while the lighter material is carried away. 

At the end of the day the pump is turned off and the gems are selected from the gravel trapped by the jig. Small screened troughs are also used for washing the gem gravel, in conjunction with high-pressure water cannons. 

One problem with the jigs is that sometimes the water current is too strong and takes away not only the mud but also the smaller gems. Perhaps a reduction in water pressure or the insertion of two or more jigs in line, one after the other would allow the recovery of more stones, particularly with larger sizes in particular natural loose ruby gemstones.

Even under the best of conditions the recovery of gems was small an until a few decade ago, with a day's work at a typical ruby mine yielding but a tiny handful of gems of mostly inferior qualities and sizes. Witnessing the day's production at one ruby mine give some understanding just how rare a fine ruby really is. But this is changing rapidly similar to Jadeite Jade since new mining machinery 

The gemstones have been "objects of desire" for more than thousand years and they became real valuable after some technological breakthroughs about 200 years ago made it possible to cut, facet and polish them in the right way. 

Although the red stones are well known to have impurities actual that's natural if no impurities they are probably synthetic or underwent heavy heat treatment.

It should be kept in mind that the red stones are only a bit less hard than diamonds so it was just not possible to handle them in the past because there was no technology available to do that.

Ruby are among the rarest of all precious gemstones and only a few sources can produce qualities material in quantities. The Mogok Stone Tract about 120 km north of Mandalay has traditionally been associated with the finest rubies, but good bigger stones are extremely rare.

The Myanmar use the term “Pigeon's blood” to describe the best color finest Burmese stones. But better is to compare it to the red signal of a traffic light. It is a glowing red shine which is diffused throughout the stone as a result of the unique property of fine rubies, a rich red fluorescence to daylight. These gemstones possess not just the red color they also have a fluorescence property. It is the body hue and the red fluorescence which gives their incomparable appearance. 

Not only is this type found in Myanmar but also star rubies where when a point light source is pointed at a star lights up. Such stones are rare and valuable. Good transparency, or a 'glass body', as it is known, is very important creating a great star rubies, because of the political problems in the past not many excellent stones came to the market. Although this is changing now as seen at the gem emporium in Naypyidaw this produced a turnover of 3 billion dollars in 2014 and one billion in 2015 really amazing figures. These state announcements are not verified.

Rubies are synthetically produced since 1904.

Highest valued are the genuine rubies from Burma (Myanmar) because of their rarity quality clarity and color and they don't drop in value in fact they are always rising.

These little red things are part of the corundum family the other are sapphires, the only difference is the color. The funny thing is that there are also red, green and other stones but currently (2015) the most popular are pink sapphire which looks almost identical to "pink diamonds".

Where are ruby crystals used? In communication devices plus as bearings for high-end watches. Sometimes the color for jewelry look a bit dull since there is no sparkling, it’s totally missing.
To compensate it is common to pair a ruby with a diamond for the best engagement rings, necklaces, earrings and other. 

A gold ring with an attractive combination of these two gems is the perfect way to express great feelings to another person and it creates a marvelous piece of jewelry.  The presence of red color and sparkling diamonds would give a ring an astonishing aura. Any cut fit together it creates a really charming piece of ruby jewelry.

The crystals often grow on marble and produce attractive images together with the white stone. Combined with diamonds it is a great gift for women, something special and real eye candy, a beautiful.


Mogok Ruby & Sapphire


  • Myanmar Sapphire.
That is the "brother of ruby" since they come from the same family which is corundum and includes all other colors including white blue pink and more. 

Corundum is the name of the family of both the and the blue stones and the best of them are found and mined in Asia.

Emerald today is a mainly south American stone from Columbia and Brazil. and valuable body decoration.

Tags: Natural ruby stones gemstones Chanthaburi  heat treatment  Myanmar Ruby gem loose rubies

This area roughly 120 km north of Mandalay has traditionally been associated with the finest rubies, but even good stones are extremely rare from this fabled area. 

Only a very few sources of natural rubies can produce facet qualities in any quantity.

`Pigeon's blood' was the term used to describe the finest Burmese stones.
Actually, this phrase has little meaning today, for so few people have seen the blood from this bird. Better, perhaps, is to compare the hue of the finest rubies with the red signal of a traffic light. It is a glowing red hue which is diffused throughout the stone as a result of the unique property of fine rubies — a rich red fluorescence to daylight. 

Raw cabochon rubies are not looking very interesting but after they get cut and polished the become real beauties. Cabochons are used for many purposes, among them as collector's items and ring tops .


Raw ruby and sapphire in Mogok

  • The Mogok Stone Tract in Upper Burma.

This area roughly 120 km north of Mandalay has traditionally been associated with the finest rubies, but even good stones are extremely rare from this fabled area. 

`Pigeon's blood' was the term used to describe the finest Burmese stones. Actually this phrase has little meaning today because only few people have seen the blood from this bird. Better perhaps is to compare the hue of the finest rubies with the red signal of a traffic light. It is a glowing red hue which is diffused throughout the stone as a result of the unique property of fine rubies which is a rich red fluorescence to daylight. 

Raw cabochon rubies are not looking very interesting but after they get cut and polished the become real beauties. Cabochons are used for many purposes among them as collector's items and ring tops. Other famous cabochons gemstones are made from Jade.


Raw ruby gemstone selection in Mogok

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