Richard W. Hughes
Articles and Videos by Richard W. Hughes:
Foreign affairs – A well-known European dealer sells a 2.5-carat Möng Hsu ruby to a major jeweler in Europe. This jeweler then sells the stone to a Japanese client through their Japanese subsidiary. The client now takes the stone to a gemological lab, which issues a report stating that the gem’s fractures are filled with a foreign substance. Now the fun really starts.
This article discusses the decline of Thailands ruby mining industry. The author warns that Thailand faces future problems is the countrys leaders do not pay greater attention to environmental protection.
The history of Burmas jade mines in the West is a brief one. While hundreds of different reports, articles and even books exist on the famous ruby deposits of Mogok, only a handful of westerners have ever made the journey to northern Burmas remote jade mines and wrote down their findings.Occidental accounts of the mines make their first appearance in 1837.
One of the important reasons for the dominance of diamond in the gem market is the existence of a comprehensive and internationally-accepted system of quality analysis. This allows us common folk to buy with confidence, for with a diamond grading report we have an independent expert opinion of the stones quality. But how expert are them experts anyway. Is this opinion, itself, always infallible? Do the different quality steps really indicate genuine differences in quality?.
Vietnam produces rubies as good as anything from Burma. But the machinations and intrigue surrounding the gem business in that country have left this potential largely unexploited.
Afghanistan’s ruby/spinel mines are one of the great mysteries of gemology. Historically, rubies and red spinels have been produced from four areas: Burma, Sri Lanka, the Thai/Cambodian border (ruby only; no red spinel) and Afghanistan. While extensive accounts exist regarding the other deposits, in the twentieth century, little has been written about the rubies/spinels of Afghanistan. Indeed, many are totally unaware of the Afghan occurrences.
Author Richard W. Hughes discusses Gem and drug smuggling in Burma, along with the CIA and British involvement in the Burmese drug trade. The Author follows the smugglers routes and politics involved from the 17th century opium trade until present days.
Although it is rubies for which Burma (Myanmar) is famous, some of the world’s finest blue sapphires are also mined in the Mogok area. Today the world gem trade recognizes the quality of Burmese sapphires, but this was not always the case. Edwin Streeter (1892) described Burmese sapphires as being overly dark. Unfortunately this error was later repeated by Max Bauer and others. G Herbert Smith wrote…