Myanmar gems auction earns record $2.8 billion

AP News
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Posted: Mar 26, 2011 2:44 AM
Myanmar gems auction earns record $2.8 billion

Myanmar has earned more than $2.8 billion from the sale of jade, gems and pearls at its annual gems auction, held this month in the capital, Naypyitaw.

The weekly Voice news magazine says 16,939 lots of jade, 206 lots of gems and 255 lots of pearls were sold through competitive bidding to fetch the record-high revenue for the sale.

The auction, organized by the Mines Ministry, is a major foreign exchange earner for the military-dominated government, which faces economic and political sanctions from the West because of its poor human rights record.

Myanmar is one of the world's biggest producers of jade, as well as the source of up to 90 percent of its rubies.