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Cartier, Tiffany & Co., JA, all place bans on Burmese stones
Industry discourages use of Burmese rubies, calls it similar to blood diamonds
By: Diamond World News Service
Oct 20 2007 12:00AM
Reference: 1886  


The controversy surrounding the Burmese gemstones, that they support the Myanmar military government, has caused many trade organisations to rethink and take a stand of support or denial. The overall feeling appears to be that the stones are mined at a huge human cost in Myanmar's ruby mines.

According to Reuters’s reports, the European Union is considering a trade ban of gemstones from Burma. Peggy Jo Donahue, director of Public Affairs for Jewelers of America, stated in a press release that JA has asked the Congress to amend the Burmese Freedom & Democracy Act of 2003, which bans the importation of products from Burma, to now allow gemstones “mined” in Burma. This would effectively close the loophole which allows the purchase and sale of Burmese gems which are cut, polished, and sold once outside of Burma.

Prominent retail houses have also supported the ban on Burmese rubies. Tiffany & Co. boldly declares that "Tiffany’s Ban On Rubies From Burma Continues". It has not purchased Burmese rubies or other gemstones since 2003, and would continue not to until democratic processes are restored in Myanmar. Cartier stated that it has stopped buying gemstones which may have been mined in Burma, irrespective of where they have been cut or polished, until further notice.

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