Rubiner fra Burma selges med den største selvfølgelighet i London. I USA har det vært bannlyst i flere år, og selv amerikanske filialer i London har ikke solgt dem siden 2003. Det stemmer liksom ikke helt med bildet av hvem som er den høyverdig moralske aktør i verden…..
Some of Britain’s leading jewellers have been accused of propping up the military dictatorship in Burma by trading in «blood» rubies sourced from the country.
Asprey, Cartier, Leviev and Harrods are selling the gems in their central London stores, with some items costing as much as £500,000.
Rubies from Burma are among the most sought after in the world and experts claim the military junta makes tens of millions of pounds each year from the lucrative trade.
While America has banned all imports from Burma, the gems continue to be sold in Britain despite government claims that it «discourages» trade between the countries.
Last night Foreign Office sources indicated that Gordon Brown was pressing the European Union to introduce tougher sanctions against Burma which would prohibit sales of its gems in Britain.
«A gift of a ruby is meant to symbolise love, but if it comes from Burma the true price is paid in blood and oppression,» said Mark Farmaner, acting director of the Burma Campaign UK pressure group. «Any rubies on sale in the UK will have been purchased at some point from the military and so will be helping to fund that regime.»
The decision by some jewellers to sell Burmese rubies contrasts with that of Tiffany & Co, an American company with stores in the UK, which has refused to stock such gems on ethical grounds since 2003.
Last week an undercover reporter from The Sunday Times requested items of jewellery containing Burmese rubies at stores in London.
At the Leviev store in Old Bond Street, she was shown a £500,000 ring boasting a five-carat ruby set in diamonds. «Many collectors want Burmese [rubies],» said the sales assistant. «No one talks about diamonds any more, it’s all Burmese or coloured diamonds.»