USA lift ban on Burma rubies

As AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) announced in a newsletter, President Obama on Oct. 7th, 2016, signed an Executive Order officially lifting the ban on rubies and jade from Myanmar.

Reasons to end the controversial ban were "Myanmar’s substantial advances to promote democracy; …and the formation of a democratically elected, civilian-led government; the release of many political prisoners; and greater enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms…”


Withe the implementation of Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 direct imports of rubies and jade from Myanmar were banned. However, as most Burma rubies were cut and traded in Thailand, the law turned out to be rather ineffective.

So on July 29th, 2008 the so-called Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008 came into effect, banning the import of of Burma rubies and jade, regardless of where they were cut and traded.

The Future

Surely sales of Burma ruby in the US will increase significantly.

However, a powerful new player has joined the game. Gemfield´s Montepuez Ruby Mine in Cabo Delgado Province, Moçambique, allegedly holds up to 40% of the world´s ruby reserve.

So, whether Burma can regain it´s former position as the world´s no. 1 ruby supplier remains to be seen.