Shinjyu Jewelry Company - Arden Arcade, Sacramento 95825

Where Ruby Crystals are Mined or Found

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The finest shades of rubies are found in the Mogok District of Burma (Myna mar). Such gems are still known as Burmese Rubies in the jewelry business. Mogok, so I understand, is a name names to a town as well as a region and a valley. The town has a population of about 20,000. Almost all of the inhabitants are involved in either gem mining, gemstone cutting, or some form of gemstone trade.
Rubies have been mined in Mogok for centuries. In 1245, an agreement between the King of Ava and the local ruler of Mogok formalized the recovery of rubies. The British took over mining in 1888 or 1889 and continued recovering gems until the time of the Great Depression at which time mining operations closed.

Today, it is impossible to make a reliable accounting of the region's ruby production. Too many people are involved. One gemstone supplier has estimated that there are about 12000 small family operated mines in Mogok District. 

With a typical family mining operation, a well of twenty to thirty feet might be dug by hand. When the well is completed, a miner is lower by ropes and pulleys into the well. The miner scapes material from the sides and bottoms of the well and is then pulled back to the surface where the material is sorted for gem rough.

For another method, ruby is panned for in streams where the gemstone might have been carried far from its geographical source.

I might note that rubies from Burma have been banned for export into the United States because of human right violations. However, you can still buy rubies from Burma that were imported before the ban was put into effect

Fortunately, fine rubies may be found in other parts of the world.

In SRI LANKA, companies or families mine for rubies around the city of Ratnapure (Singhalese for "city of gems.") There are also rich alluvial deposits in the Saffragarn distriict.

Other major sources include THAILAND, INDIA, KENYA, TANZANIA, and MADAGASCAR.

Another source is a ruby mine in Macon County, North Carolina, where visitors are encouraged to mine for rubies themselves, keeping what they find. Visit their web site by clicking on following link:

Click here to go to the Sheffield Mine web site.

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