Jade or JADE? Debating International Sanctions on Burma's Gem Industry


Renaud Egreteau

Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 132


Washington, D.C.: East-West Center

Publication Date: October 13, 2011
Binding: electronic
Pages: 2
Free Download: PDF


For centuries Burma has been prized for its high-quality gemstones, and today the Burmese gem industry continues to thrive at a furious pace despite international sanctions. Conventional estimates are that up to 90 percent of the world’s supply in rubies and 70 percent of premium jadeite is of Burmese-origin. Renaud Egreteau, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong, discusses how Western-led international sanctions have failed to stem the trade in Burmese gemstones.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the East-West Center or any organization with which the author is affiliated.