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Nov 21, 2006, 7:30 GMT found at

New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Ravishing red Burmese rubies, dazzling diamonds and many other precious and semi-precious gemstones are making the crowds go crazy at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) at Pragati Maidan complex here.

Tens of thousands of treasure hunters and jewellery connoisseurs are heading towards the sprawling Hall Number 12 where exhibitors from Myanmar have displayed an exquisite range of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and other such items.

Ramaura cultured rubiesCrowds going gaga over Burmese rubies at trade fair

'I have come here to buy a necklace for my wedding but the price is too high. So I have bought my engagement ring for Rs.25,000 (around $550) and the best part is I have been able to bargain as well,' said Nidhi Mehra, a bride-to-be.

rough rubiesWhen I visited their stall last year, I decided to buy something from here for my wedding, as they stand out from the typical Indian designs,' Mehra told IANS.

But some exhibitors who have been coming to the trade fair for some years are not too happy with the response this time.

'Business is very slow this year as the price of gold has shot up, which people don't understand,' said U. Kywe Htay of Ar Yon Oo Jewellery of Yangon, adding that he is also not happy with the space allotted to his stall.

'I have been to many such international exhibitions in China, the Philippines and Indonesia. But nowhere have I found out such bureaucracy to get even simple things done.'

But given the fact that this is a fortnight-long fair, which closes Nov 27, and the kind of customers, trade delegates, business officials coming in, these traders are hoping that business might pick up.

Agrees Aung Win Naing of Naing Jewellery of Yangon, who believes people first come to study the market and then buy.

'Indians are very sceptic in what they buy. They rely on guaranty. Maybe, we will see good business in the next few days.'

However, both Naing and Htay did not seem much keen on exporting jewellery even though the demand for Burmese rubies is high.

'We only participate in fairs. We do not really study the market from the export point of view. Moreover, issues like these needs consensus between both the countries,' Naing stated.

These Myanmar traders are also discontented over the fact that the buyers are questioning the quality and genuineness of the stones and most of the buyers are coming for window-shopping.

'People here don't even know ruby's colour. In 80 percent of the cases, they mix it up with emeralds. How can they question the genuineness of something which is world famous?' questioned Htay.

© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service


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