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Burma ruby worth more?

Updated: May 16, 2021

The geographic origin of your ruby will also affect its price. Rubies that hail from Burma are typically the most valuable. Oftentimes, the origin of your ruby can be determined by analyzing your stone’s inclusions; types of inclusions are generally region-specific.



Stones from Myanmar generally command the highest prices. They have the coveted, near perfect coloring known as “pigeon blood red,” which is a very slightly purplish red with vivid saturation and dark tone. They also have extreme red fluorescence. A mining tract in the Mogok region is the primary source of gem quality rubies. This fabled deposit has been known for over 1,000 years. It’s home to some of the finest rubies ever found. The color of Mogok rubies often occurs in rich patches and swirls. (Color zoning can occur occasionally). Mogok rubies hold color in virtually any lighting condition, which contributes to the demand for these gem-quality stones. The shape of Mogok ruby rough generally yields well-proportioned stones. In addition to faceted stones, Mogok also produces the world’’s finest star rubies.


The color of fine Burmese rubies comes a result of two factors.

According to “Ruby & Sapphire: A Gemologist’s Guide” by Richard Hughes, the first factor is a combination of the slightly bluish-red body color of the gemstone and the “purer” red fluorescent emission, which work together to give the gemstone its high-intensity color.

The second is the presence of “silk”--tiny inclusions scatter light onto “facets that would otherwise be extinct,” giving the color a softness and greater dispersion across the gem’s face.

And while rubies from other sources also can possess the strong red fluorescence and “silk” comparable to those sourced in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), it’s the particular combination of “fine color … and facetable material (i.e., internally clean)” that puts Burmese rubies at the top.


Natural occurrence

The Mogok Valley in Upper Myanmar (Burma) was for centuries the world's main source for rubies. That region has produced some exceptional rubies, however in recent years few good rubies have been found. In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies during the 1990s and rapidly became the world's main ruby mining area. The most recently found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya (Namyazeik) located in the northern state of Kachin.

Factors affecting value

Rubies, as with other gemstones, are graded using criteria known as the four Cs, namely color, cut, clarity and carat weight. Rubies are also evaluated on the basis of their geographic origin.


Burma Ruby is the rarest and most valuable member of the corundum family. Colors range from pink red ruby to a vivid pigeon blood red that is regarded as the finest color for ruby.

Prized for their beauty, durability, and rarity, it is the quality of the color which most determines the value of rubies. The pigeon blood red color is that of a red traffic light, a fluorescent red of high intensity. Demand for gem quality Burma Ruby has always been strong with mining records from Burma dating back almost 500 years. Officially, ruby, jade, and other gems are Burma’s (Myanmar's) fifth-largest export, but government statistics are notoriously unreliable. Official ruby gem and jade sales are sold at Myanmar’s gem auctions, but hundreds of millions of dollars worth of gems leak across borders to China, Thailand, and India every year, selling at open market prices.

Ruby CrystalBurmese Rubies are considered the best, for one simple reason - their color. The most famous localities for Burma Rubies are in the districts around Mogok in northern Burma and at Mong Hsu about 250km east of Mandalay. Rubies tend to have significant inclusions, so eye clean specimens are rare.

The prices and value of Burma Ruby can vary tremendously, depending on the size and quality of the gemstone.


Burmese ruby value can vary based on the quality of the individual stone in question. When ruby prices are considered carefully alongside quality, stones from this particular region tend to live up to their cost. The most precious of these stones are characterized by a robust, rich red color that has just a slight hint of blue to add depth to its beauty. The finest stones in the world are mined in Myanmar, which is why the term “Burmese ruby” and high quality go hand-in-hand.


Rubies have been coveted and prized for millennia but of all the ruby varieties, Burmese rubies stand supreme. These rubies, found in Burma (present day Myanmar) provide the cream of the crop of rubies, noted primarily for their color. They are the benchmark against which other rubies are evaluated. With ever increasing prices and rarity, getting your hands on Burmese rubies these days can increasingly difficult.


Why have Burmese Ruby Prices Skyrocketed???


Generally fine quality rubies that have documentation of Burmese origin from an independent laboratory command a premium in the market.

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