Ruby Mining in Mogok
Welcome to Mogok. This week we explore a city at 1170 meters in elevation, surrounded in a valley by mountains. Mogok and other villages nearby have been famous since ancient times for its gemstones, especially ruby and sapphire, but semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, garnet, moonstone, peridot and chrysoberyl are also found.
The gems are found in alluvial marble gravels by means of panning, tunneling and digging pits by hand. There is little mechanization of the mining. The gravels derive from the metamorphosed limestones (marbles) of the Mogok metamorphic belt.
90% of the world’s rubies come from Myanmar. The red stones from there are prized for their purity and hue. Thailand buys the majority of Myanmar’s gems. The “Valley of Rubies”, the mountainous Mogok area, 200 km (120 mi) north of Mandalay, is noted as the original source of ruby including the world’s finest “pigeon’s blood” rubies as well as the most world’s most beautiful sapphires in “royal” blue.
Watch the next episode of Doh Pyay Doh Myay this Saturday at 16:30 on DVB TV and soon after here online.