Mogok

According to legend there is a fable valley in the north where beautiful rubies and sapphires lay scattered. Treacherous swamps and poisonous snakes protected this uninhabited valley. One day a huge eagle spotted an enormous morsel of bloody-red meat, and decided swooped down on his prey. Time and again being unable to make even a dint, it eventually realized that this was not the meat that he thought but a precious stone. This was said to be the first ruby in the world. Mogok today is where of the world's most fabulous rubies and sapphires come from.

mogok01In 1838, the first European to visit Mogok briefly witnessed and accounted for mining technique that are still in used today with other modern heavy machinery. Situated 128 miles northeast of Mandalay, Mogok has a gem-bearing area of 1916 square miles. Residents are mostly Lisu, Shan and Grokha who make a living predominately by mining, cutting, polishing and trading gemstones. There are now over a thousand mines that cover an approximate area of 4,864 sq km. There are two main types of mines: -tunnel and open-cut mines, there are also small-scale traditional mines, such as lay-bin-gyin (four-sided pits) which can be found in some places.

mogok02  Mogok also produces numerous gems of lesser quality such as alexandrite, amethyst, appetite, aquamarine, black tourmaline, black John, Danburite, fluorite, garnet, green tourmaline, lapis lazuli, moonstone, peridot, quartz, rose quartz, spinal, topaz, white sapphire, and zircon. Mogok is a city of gems located right in the heart of the gem-zone. The town has a number of 'rags to riches' success stories, and these people today have become immensely wealthy from the gem trade. These success stories also provide a source of inspiration, an incentive for many thousand other miners who are hoping to make it big one day. The gem stone trade occurs every day in a huge public park call Htar Pwe where people inspect gems and trade accordingly. Visitor will notice prospective buyers and sellers sitting around on the park benches or standing in small groups to conduct their business.