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 Post subject: Greetings from Myanmar (Burma)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:37 am
Posts: 5
Location: Naypyidaw, Myanmar
Greetings from Myanmar (Burma)

Hi to everyone on this forum. I'm a British man, living and working in the 'Golden Land' of Myanmar since 2012. I work as a teacher for an international school. I previously lived/worked in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia since 2002, and my Thai family is based on the tourist island of Phuket, where we have some small hotels.

In all the years that I've been living in Myanmar, I have never got involved in the gemstone business. But it seems such a good opportunity to miss, since I live only about 200 kilometres away from the main mining area of Mogok and a similar distance from Ti Lin, where amber deposits have recently been found.

Since Myanmar is such a cheap place to live, I save about 90% of my salary each month. There is not much to spend it on, so how about investing in some local gems (the stones, not the women...).

I have a lot to learn of course, and I'm very much aware that many 'amateurs' lose a lot of money because they buy low quality or even synthetic gems.

My interest would probably be to buy rough, since I envisage the biggest return on my investment by getting the rough cut/faceted.

I'm going to try to locate some of the smaller, family-run mines, as opposed to visiting the large and popular mines. I plan to ride my motorbike over to Mogok (and other mining areas) each weekend.

I look forward to learning about the pitfalls of investing/speculating in Myanmar gems from the experienced members on this forum.

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 Post subject: Re: Greetings from Myanmar (Burma)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1263
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
It sounds like an interesting life and opportunity.

There are a lot of potential pit falls.

I would start looking at the area to the left of this forum, and learn enough to ask questions.

I would also recommend that you buy Dr Hanneman's book. An extracgt is on the left. It will give you a lot of information on how to identify different stones.

I would start with a decent 10x hand loop. You can do a search and find threads on which one.

With just a good loop, and Dr Hannemans book you should be able to avoid serious pitfalls.

I would also recommend that you get one or two pieces of known rough, as well as some synthetic so you can test your knowledge on some known good stuff as well as some known fakes

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 Post subject: Re: Greetings from Myanmar (Burma)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:03 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:29 am
Posts: 142

Welcome aboard!
It sounds like you truly have a wonderful opportunity to get into gems!
I'm still learning my way around the gemstone business as well, but have run other businesses, or sold items at a profit for quite some time.
You definitely have the profit potential!
You will need to figure out how to maximize your profit. Others with more experience will be able to tell you where that is, in selling rough, or buying it and having it cut then selling it, or perhaps elsewhere.
A few things I do know: Relationships with people (suppliers, customers) are all important!
One of the sayings I hear a lot, and that has much truth, is that people may forget your name, but when they see you or run across you, they will always remember how you treated them.
Always treat people well: Treat suppliers badly, and you'll get crap, or nothing at all. Treat customers badly, and you're out of business real quick.
You don't make money selling an item to someone once: You make it by having a relationship with the customer, by having them come back again and again, and recommending you to others.
If you can cut out as many middle men as possible, you can make more money, and perhaps sell a little bit cheaper than others, while still making a much larger profit margin.
I could easily see myself in your shoes, buying from individual miners, having the gems cut and cut well, then having a website or other venue to offer the finished goods to the public.
If you go that route, people love a story: Show how you get the stones direct from the miners. Let people know that the material is absolutely, positively genuine, and that you stand behind it 100%.
Get as much education, learn as much about the gems, rough, and the markets as you can.
And finally, don't sink any more money into this that you can afford to lose, so if it doesn't pan out (pun intended), you haven't put yourself into a big financial bind.
Best of Luck to you, I'm envious for the position that you are in!


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 Post subject: Re: Greetings from Myanmar (Burma)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:22 pm
Posts: 19800
Location: San Francisco
Welcome Simon.
I am enjoying reading your posts. :D

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