Mogok SpinelSpinel Mogok
This shiny fluorescent spinel crystal is from Man Sin, Mogok. This is a package of spinel crystal from Namya, similar to the ones the writer saw in Yangon in 2001. Since Namya is a subsidiary reservoir, most of its gemstones are more drummed than those from Mogok. So I asked them if they were from Mogok, and the response was just as surprising:
No, they came from Namya, a jewel and spinel mine in Hpakant, Myanmar, Kachin state, just south of the Java mine, where a gemstone quarry had taken place in December 2000. At that time I could hardly have imagined that a few month later I would be following Hemi on my first outing to Namya.
Lleft: U Kyaw Thaung, the writer, and Hemi Englisher in Yangon in February 2001, the date Hemi presented his first Namya spinel to the film. Photograph by Zin Mee Mee Mee Lwin. In 2001, the writer enjoyed his very first ever agricultural excursion on his way to the Namya Ruby and Spinel area.
Since the camp was in a jungle-covered marsh, the heads of the exploration, Hemi Englisher and Ted Themelis, travelled with the bull while the writer and local guide went for a walk in the marsh. Photograph by an unknown Myanmar military, with kind permission of the writer. A Bangkok jewel dealer and spinel expert, Henry Ho, enlisted me with a single mission: to find a 10-carat Namya spinel.
In my experience, the sinking of an otherwise delicate spinel was typically a deep clay or "dark side" within the gemstone. "Power is powerful in the spinel, but be careful of the shadows. "This is how we called these brightly coloured rosy gemstones "Jedi" spirals, as they remained unaffected by the "dark side" (Figure 4).
Spinell from secondaries like Namya. Photograph by Vincent Pardieu/AIGS Like many others I thought for years that such "Jedi" spinels could only be found in Namya. However, I was fascinated when some of my Myanmar boyfriends from 2001 to 2005 repeatedly informed me that such copies were found from case to case near Mogok.
As a rule, these bricks were used as Namya spinel to achieve better price. Namya spinel were unbelievably seldom and in great popularity. In spite of my best endeavours I could not find any proof that Mogok had made such a light spinel as the one from Namya (Fig. 5 and 6).
Although the rumours were real, the name " Namya " spinel could turn out to be disputed (just think of the long-standing quarrel in the gemstone business over the original concept "Paraíba", which comes not only from Brazil but also from Mozambique and Nigeria). Jedi " Spinel was great-sounding.
The packages are made of brilliant neo yarn from Man Sin (left) and classical ruddy Mogok yarn (right). Classical raw and facetted raspberries from Mogok. This facetted gemstone, a delicate reddish spinel with a weight of more than 5 ct, was bought by Dr. Edward Gübelin in the 1940s. Crystal in the backgrounds are from the author's own collections.
Photograph by Vincent Pardieu, with kind permission of Gübelin Gem Lab. From a historical point of view, most of the spinels come from four isolated places (Pardieu, 2008). Since about the tenth centuary it has been a well for spinel. There are several reservoirs on both sides of the frontier, but the best known is near the Tajik side villages of Kul-i-Lal (Bowersox and Chamberlin, 1995; Bowersox, 2005; Hughes, 2006; Pardieu, 2006).
Spinell was found in both the Mogok Valley and Namya (Iyer, 1953; Gübelin, 1965; Keller, 1983; Kane and Kammerling, 1992; Themelis, 2000; Schlüssel, 2002; Themelis, 2008). Crimson and cyan spinel, along with ruby, was found in 1988 in Luc Yen County, North Vietnam (Long, 2013).
Spinell was found near Mahenge and in the Uluguru Mountains of Morogoro County in the late 1980' and around Tunduru after 1994. The Star of David spinel is a flaw, allegedly from the Pein Pyit/Pyant Gyi area just south of Mogok, which was known for the production of such beads between 2000 and 2005.
Mogok is a classical sight of the city, overlooked by the Chan Thar Gyi Pagoda (left) and surrounded by the sea, which originated from a precious stone mine from the colonisation by the English. In the last 12 years I have been collecting specimens from all these spinel reservoirs - as well as from others in Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka and Madagascar - but none could reach the satiety and luminosity of the "Jedi" gemstones from Namya until recently.
Lou-Pierre Bryl, a gemstone dealer who visits Myanmar on a regular basis in 2011, reiterated a rumour about a new spinel storage facility in Mogok with such light-colored materials as the one from Namya. Since Mogok was still not open for aliens, we could not go there to verify the rumour. Mogok was open to the public again in June 2013.
So I couldn't go and asked Lou-Pierre, who was going there, to ask for this bail. Lou-Pierre reaffirmed the presence of a new spinel spring in Man Sin in August 2013, after three outings. Located about one kilometre from Pyant Gyi and Pein Pyite (see Fig. 16), two areas known in the early 2000s for the production of fine spinel, among them some breathtaking "Star of David" flake crystal (Fig. 7).
We concerned to go to Mogok in September 2013, with an excursion to Man Sin as our primary destination. We' ve also made agreements with Jordan, who was my chauffeur, assistent and interpreter during my former Myanmar job as spinel-taker. Gemmologists and gemstone experts must experience Mogok (Figure 8) at least once in their lives.
The quarrying of precious stones probably began there more than a thousand years ago, and no other area on earth has created so many extraordinary jewels, saphires, spinel or peridot (Themelis, 2000; Schlüssel, 2002). Shan lady is studying a package of spinel crystal at a gemstone in Mogok. The Mogok is the ultimative Rubinland.
Mogok, Kyatpyin and the neighbouring towns still consist mainly of timber buildings, which gives them a calm, peaceful and romantically aura. Away from the hustle and bustle of today's mobile phone, airplane, car and air-conditioned office environments, the locals of Mogok can be seen every single working days at the colourful gemstone and greengrocery malls.
Not only will the visitor be able to admire the variety of gemstones made around Mogok, but also the variety of the population: The Shan, Myanmar, Nepali and Lissu are the major protagonists of a wealthy and intriguing jewelism ('Figure 9). He used the words ("Cool and tasty") every times he saw a beautiful piece of jewellery or went to a particularly interesting place.
Every and every times I go to a place like Mogok and have the opportunity to live real beauties, these words immediately come to my head to describe this one-of-a-kind emotion and invention. When we exchanged some money in Burma's Kyoto, we drove to Mogok and used the new Mai Mio highway (also known as Pyin Oo Lwin) through the west part of Shan State.
Around midday we arrived in Mogok. Detail of the three marvelous spinel crystal on the gemstone in Mogok. Those nice, neat spinel are made of Mogok. Specimens of light neonspinel crystal from Man Sin (left and middle) and two spinel crystal from Namya (right). Notice that the cristals of these two sources have a similar luminosity; however, the two Namya cristals are round, while those of Man Sin are clear and well-shaped.
Each of the bigger crystal is about 1cc. We had a typical fast Myanmar luncheon before we drove to the Pan Shan gems fair (Figure 10) to see U Ko James, a spinel specialist dealer. Today he is an important man, and in Mogok many call him the "Spinel King". "It was a slow process for Mogok but it was a very fast one, because within a few moments one of Ko James' contact persons came with two small bags of film.
In my hands I had three breathtaking spinel crystal (Figure 11), with rich, clean, highly colored and no shadow. They were real "Jedi" spinells. In contrast to the round spinel that I used to see from Namya, a subsidiary reservoir, these were thin euheddal crystal with high transparency faces. I' m sorry, but they were as good-looking as synthetics.
"Drink some nice soda. "For example, these were excellent samples of "fine water" spinel crystal (Figure 12). Next we went to U Ko James (Figure 13) in his house to discuss Mogok and see some particular gemstones he didn't want to show on the street. Between 2000 and 2005, he pointed out that the most prolific spinel extraction area in Mogok was around Pyan Gyi and Pein Pyit.
At that time, most of the light -colored strip on the marked came from Namya, Kachin state. However, he did confirm that Mogok also made such gemstones on a sporadic basis. Out of Man Sin some light-coloured, strongly fluorescing Neonspinels were produced in 2006. Their peak in 2009 was the detection of a large bag.
All in all, the rocks of Man Sin were more reddish than those of Namya, which are rather rose. Subtitle U Ko James said that the biggest thin spinel he had seen from Man Sin was a nice 35 carat coarse rock, but it was not intact. Large precious gemstones were and are extremly seldom.
He has seen less than 10 subtle raw bricks over 20 cts ( "Jedi" style colour and clarity) and less than 100 bricks over 10 cts since 2006. He added that very few very few finely facetted gemstones over 10 cts originate from Man Sin. Luckily we could see two beautiful examples (Figure 14).
Maybe my mind was affected by my joy of Mogok, but when these rocks came before my vision, they were the most wonderful spinel I had ever seen. Whilst the spinel from Namya once achieved top prizes, U Ko James tells us that the gemstones from Man Sin now achieve the highest prizes on the Myanmar home shopping mart.
It is not due to the name Namya's, but to the fact that these finely tuned spinel are red and bigger, with the same luminosity due to a similarly high level of satiety, combined with a minimum beep. By the end of this wonderful instructive mornings we were able to buy some interesting spinel specimens, allegedly from Man Sin and Namya, from U Ko James.
During our visit, three areas of the mine mainly produced ruby. A further site worked by two Nepali siblings, U Si Tu and U Kyaw Thu, produced spinel (Figure 17). Mogok ( "modified by Google Earth") shows the spinel extraction area of Man Sin, encircled by other renowned gems such as Dattaw, Ta Yan Shaw, Pein Pyit and Pyan Gyi.
Spinell degradation at Man Sin. On the right U Si Thu and his family show some of the finest spinel from the mine at Man Sin. Delicate Jedi Spinells from Man Sin. Each of the seven facetted pieces on the lefthand side has a gross mass of 12.9 ct, while the two clear crystal weights 3.
Specimens taken during the voyage to Man Sin showed properties such as this multi-phase containment, which are not normally associated with spinel from other wells. Microphotography by Jonathan Muyal, magnifies 100×. and drivers of Mogok. Since 1998 he has been to Mogok since then. We would like to thank Lou-Pierre Bryl and Jean Baptiste Senoble (Senoble & Bryl, Geneva), Jean-Yves Branchard and his co-workers at Ananda Travels in Yangon, my boyfriend Jordan and the precious stone men of Mogok - especially U Ko James, U Si Thu and U Kyaw Thu - for their help during the outing.
I' d also like to thank Richard W. Hughes, Laurent Massi and Mikola Kukharuk of Nomads, Vitaly Golokoz of Vitalit, Vlad Yavorskyy of Yavorskyy, Joe Belmont of KV Gems and William Larson of Pala Goms for our passionate discussion about Myanmar spinel and for having educated me in a friendly way and for showing me some of their most intriguing pearls.
I' d like to thank U Kyaw Thaung, Hemi Englisher and Henry Ho for having initiated me as a young gemmologist who found his way in Myanmar and aroused my interest in spinel, and Dr. Saw Naung Oo for being the best leader I could hope for in Mogok from 2000 to 2004.
E.J. Gübelin (1965) The ruby mine in Mogok, Burma. Soubiraa G., Rogers M., Chitty W., Chitty M., Brunot P. (2011) Downtown: Soubiraa G., Hughes R.W., Pardieu V., Schorr D. (2006) Lunar over the Pamir: Hunt for Ruby and Spinel in Tajikistan. http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/tajikistan_ruby_and_spinel. htm, Sept. 25. Mogok Stone Tract gemstones and ecology, Burma.
In the Mogok Stone Tract, Kane R.E., Chamberling R.C. (1992) Status of ruby and Japanese mines. It' a reviewer of the Mogok Stone Tract. Pardieu V., Giuliani G. (2013) Long P.V., Pardieu G. Updated gem extraction in Luc Yen, Vietnam. Hughes R.W., Boehm E. (2008) Spinel: Key R. (2002) Mogok, Myanmar:
A journey through Burma to the most beautiful rubies and sapphires of the world[Mogok, Myanmar : Mogok: Themelis T. (2000) Mogok: Gems & Mahogok (2008). There is a new escalation and spinel in the confined V-shaped Man Sin area. A similar reservoir I have seen in the spinel mine near Mahenge in Tanzania, which also lies in a close karst area.
Approximately 20 persons are operating an dredger, a few watertrowers and two car washes (see hot runner picture and Fig. 18). Those brethren who tell us that they began producing about 12 years ago must rerenew al their mine licence every three years through Myanmar Gem Enterprises (MGE). Their first bag of Jedi spinel was found in 2009.
Its first significant output was several kilograms of small, brilliant reddish crystal in its device. This was an unbelievable view, because the whole device was supposedly full of "wet" fluorescing glass that glowed like glow in the sundown. Occasionally a whole fortnight goes by without a good harvest, but the next morning they find a kilo or two of precious stones in their device.
Like they say: "You may find a thousand beautiful gemstones or nothing at all. "We also found out that only the north part of this mine, near the Chaung Gyi Valley, is a regular producer of Jedi type spinel; the south part, near the other factories in Man Sin, mainly supplies ruby.
Most of the spinel in the east is of the classical ruddy Mogok color, which has a higher, more darkly colored shade than "Jedi" ?spinels (Figure 19). As we watched the work that work on that date, we saw that the colliers could find some "Jedi" style light spinel crystal connected to some small jewels, some leafy tourmalines and many spinel with a deep violet nucleus and a flat topography.
Since not all of our stockholders were present at our meeting, we were unable to purchase any of the finest spinels removed on that date. It was the last dark hour when we went back to Mogok with the people. It differs greatly from the spinel crystal found in Namya, which is usually very much upset. We' re also informed that no one found Jedi spinel in the array.
In terms of height and qualitiy, the colliers said that the best rocks they ever found were two crystal perfection of about 5 cts each, much smaller than what U Ko James said (Figure 21). Saw Naung Oo, a Myanmar mine worker who assisted me on my various trips to Mogok between 2001 and 2004:
In Mogok, he once said that the colliers have mysteries while the merchants tell them. It is noteworthy that the rocks from these three different springs had some distinctive characteristics that were not often found in spinel from other springs, such as multi-phase organic inclusion (Figure 22) in which dipore, pyrites, sulphur and solomite (as Raman identified) were associated with each other.
This" fingerprint" differed significantly from the specimens obtained on the course of military campaigns to other spinel deposits around the globe. As a result, the chemistry can become a very useful instrument for the determination of the spinel's ancestry. Secondly, the "Jedi" spinels of Man Sin and Namya have a very low ferric value in comparison to spinels from Mogok, Vietnam, Tanzania and Tajikistan and to "non-Jedi" spinels from other areas of Mogok.
Both in the reddish and azure spinels, the high pitch seems to be due to the existence of ferrous material, while the reddish spinel is due to the existence of discolour. Separating the Man Sin spinel from those manufactured in Namya or other locations can be supported by the information we are currently collecting from the analysis of information from rocks from other mines.
It will not be simple to find out what actually comes out of Man Sin in respect of scale and qualitiy, but the specimens that our expeditions group ( "Figure 23") has gathered from the three unrelated wells will help our gemmologists to characterise this reposit. This kind of systemic sampling is necessary so that laboratories can research the spinel's provenance in a reliable manner.