French flag spanish flag

logo visa card logo mastercard

Petit Futé

Where and how to buy stone, antics, ruby and jewellery in Burma (Myanmar)

Mogkok, Joseph Kessel, and Burmese ruby !!!

The most beautiful rubies in the world come from Burma, and most of them, from Mogok Stone Track, including the world famous "pigeon blood".

In Mogok, you can find spinels and some rubies directly on the floor while you are walking in the street. It is true, we found often, it is called "tea ruby".
But do not believe it is like this everywhere in Burma and that you will get a 1 kg crystal clear ruby for nothing.

Auction !

2 times per year is organized by the government in Nay Pyi Taw (the new capital), and under thigh security, an auction sale of most beautiful jade and precious gems
At that time , you should be able to buy exceptional stones (price !!). If you cannot buy such stones, go and visit the gem museum.
You will see some beautiful specimens.

Never, Never buy in the street!!!

There is no (never) street vendor that can sell you a ruby or sapphire big as your thump.
Even if the "ruby" or "sapphire" can scratch glass, it is not a proof.
It is always fake stone! (especially if the stone is perfect and crystal clear, government will have taking tfirst, this is a very serious business in Myanmar).

Are you interested by gems or visiting Mogok.

Our director is FGA Graduated (gemmologist diploma), we know very well Mogok and have been all years, even when it was blocked for tourist.
If you are interested by gems or by visiting Mogok, you should contact us and we can organise a very interesting gem tour in Mogok Area
More information : Here

Where you should buy ?

The purchases must be done in jewellery shop where you can get an official certificate to carry out of Burma with your purchase. Without this certificate, you cannot bring gold or precious stones out of the country (if the customs catch you).

Jewellery shop will give a discount if you do not want the certificate. Take the chance, (tiny), to be catched with your purchase by the customs.

You can find a really pretty ring for 100 or 200 dollars (take cash, credit cards are not allowed in Myanmar). It will not be a Cartier ring, but nevertheless you will have a pretty souvenir from Myanmar.

We can help you to find a laboratory for gem testing (before you purchase anything) or we can give you advice on what you should consider to buy, and what you should absolutely not buy.
Feel free to contact us.

Antics and Buddha statue

The real old Buddha statues were not allowed for exportation, except for religious purpose.

Currently, you can not export old Buddha statue, even for religious purpose. Anyway, there is no more really old statue, all the main one are strictly recorded by the Government and it is better taht they stay in Myanmar, no ?

Please do not buy head of Buddha. People cut the head in the pagoda and they sell them after to the tourist. Many have already disappear, even from Pindaya.

Buy a nice statue to a talented workshop and you will have something really nice, new, and you will help the handicraft shop.


You can buy in Myanmar, especially around Bagan, beautiful Burmese lacque ware.

Some information to make a good buy :

- The final quantity of layer is very important for the final quality of the lacqueware. It takes 2 to 4 weeks to dry one layer, the best lacqueware may have up to 15 layers.

- The material itself where you apply the lacquer is very important, bamboo, wood, papier mâché, carton, teak...

- A real lacqueware is embossed or engraved, not painted. All the colours are natural colours from sand, stone and flowers. It is never painting.

- A good trick is to check if there is small dust clue on the lacqueware (you can see it easily, it looks like small ball). It means the lacqueware was not stored and dried in proper condition (special dust proof chamber).

- The raw material comes from a tree. After you may add ashes or cotton rob to make it stronger. It is not car lacquer.

- Lacquerware pot can stand heat or cold, but if you break it it is not possible to repair it.

Top of the page