Shwe Bon Thar road is the hub for gems traders in Yangon. Meeting point between international clients and local sellers, this road is where thousands of stones are traded from little prices, up to bigger numbers such as $70-80k. Brokers and intermediate traders operate between the north of the country, mainly from Mogok, the gems’ capital of Myanmar, and Yangon. It’s from the Mogok area, the so called “Valley of Rubies”, that the 80-90% of the highest quality rubies and other precious stones, like sapphires and jade, come from.
The gem trade in Myanmar is divided between the bigger trade, managed by military groups and private companies - mainly chinese - and street resellers, who make a living from it.
The complex relationships of corruption amongst different parties have led to reach in 2014 the 60-80% of the gems leaving the country to be undeclared. In 2015 Aung San Suu Kyi suspended new mining licenses, in order to reform the industry.