Locations: Western Shan State - Mogok

Legend says that three Shan hunters in the year 1217 stumbled across a land high and cool – and rich in rubies. The hunters told the tale of this magical place to the Shan Prince of Moe Meik – and so the town of Mine Kart (Cold Town) was founded. This is today’s town of Mogok lying just 200km north of Mandalay nestled amongst steep forested valleys. It is of course famous for its glittering rubies, and surrounding natural beauty. Alluvial limestone gravels are the chief source of the deep red gemstones and deposits are exploited by means of pit-digging and panning. Deposits also occur in bed limestone and tunnels are driven deep into the mountain sides along narrow seams. Alluvial gold is also panned along rocky gorges, and diamonds have recently be found nearby. The people of Mogok are drawn from every culture to have inhabited the country of Myanmar – every local ethnic minority and visitors from India, Nepal and China. Every persons’ life is dependent on the vital gemstone trade and glittering stones are sold in thriving auctions – displayed almost like beans in a market.


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