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Myanmar jewels dazzle Delhi

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. But looking at the way the Myanmar stalls drawing crowds, it appears rubies, emeralds, pearls and sapphires are giving diamonds a run for their money.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON NOV 19, 2004 01:46 AM IST

Diamonds are a girl's best friend. But looking at the way the Myanmar stalls drawing crowds, it appears rubies, emeralds, pearls and sapphires are giving diamonds a run for their money.

Four Yangon-based companies have registered themselves for the fair. And keeping in mind Delhi women's craze for jewels, all four companies are selling rare and precious stones -- and cashing in on it. All stalls displaying exotic collections of rubies, emeralds, pearls and sapphires are drawing huge crowds.

Women of all age groups and who can afford to pick and choose from rare collections of blue, pink and yellow sapphires with black and yellow pearls, aren't minding to splurge a "little extra" to own their heart's desire. Never mind if it costs one Rs 5,000 to a "few" lakhs.

But there is some good news for the "not-so-rich" gem freaks as well. Traders don't mind customers who can bargain for rubies and gems. "Considering Indians have mastered the fine art of bargaining, we have no option but to give in to their demands," said Katie, a saleswoman. Thus, a ruby-studded 18-karat gold bangle with a tag of Rs 50,000 or a rare black pearl necklace studded with diamonds with a tag of over a lakh of rupees can be bought at a lower rate depending on the customer's bargaining skills.

"We have come here for making profits and don't mind our customers bargaining provided they are genuine and visit us again with their friends," said another saleswoman.

Interestingly, just to ensure that profits and cash keep flowing in, quite a few traders have even resorted to superstitious rites like hanging lemons and garlic cloves at the stalls. "In our country, we have a tradition of placing a lemon and a garlic clove to ward off evil spirits. Besides, this works as a charm that brings luck and money to the traders," said Momo, a saleswoman.

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