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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Burma Ruby Embargo - Who Really Suffers?


The subject of Burma Ruby came up in a recent conversation on a social site and during a search for information on the subject I came upon this article:

Burma Embargo and the Gem Trade
on noted Gemologist Richard Hughes' site Ruby-Sapphire

Note: On July 28th 2003, US President George W. Bush signed into law the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (H.R. 2330). This act bans the importation into the United States of any article that isproduced, mined, manufactured, grown or assembled in Burma. The following piece is actually two:

  1. Thoughts on the US Embargo Against Burma by Richard W. Hughes
  2. How Sanctions Can Work by Brian Leber

In these two articles, Richard Hughes and Brian Leber examine the impact of these sanctions on the US gem trade, along with the entire issue of national sanctions, both pro and con.


These pro & con articles were written following the original Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003.


Hughes has updated it following the enactment of the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008...really interesting read!


On July 29th 2008, US President George W. Bush signed into law the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008, which modifies the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 (H.R. 2330). This updated act prohibits "substantial transformation" being used to import Burmese jade or ruby. Despite what has been represented as a "loophole," the concept of substantial transformation is a basic tenet of international law, one that has allowed "Israeli" and "Belgian" diamonds" access to consumer markets, despite the fact that the earth in neither Israel nor Belgium has ever yielded even a single diamond.

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