Posted by : RioZee Saturday, March 19, 2011

I had been wondering of late, about my travel lines in my hand. Have they gone ineffective. Always on the move with some urgent work cropping up here and there. But last two months were complete routine work day and night.

Suddenly the lines came into action with diligent force. Being a graduate gemologist I was called up by a party to inspect and evaluate the price of 5.1 tonnes of Burmese sapphire crystals confiscated by Custom authorities since 1974 till date, at Gauhati in Assam. I had only one hour to packup and reach the venue by next day. I immediately sprung into action. Frequent traveller that I was, reached the venue on time. This was opportunity of a lifetime to see the rare sapphires of Mogok mines of Burma. 100s of trunks were sealed with these stones. Trunk number one was opened and my eyes started feasting on these rare gems. There were ten other parties from various parts of India. All big shots in the arena. I mused at their comments saying they are worthless pieces. Very small sizes. I knew it was just a gimmick to dishearten new prospective buyers. My mind wondered at risk taking appetite of people to dare to have dodged the Burmese govt. authorites first, where if they were caught would rot in their jails for life. Then again coming up in India via Assam border to be caught up by the Indian sleuths. What a innovative packagings were seen. One was in Baba Zarda box. A Lord Budha bust of mogok ruby was a piece to watch. Some pieces were in kilos. Some glass stones also came up. I wondered why would one risk his life to smuggle fake stone amounting to just 100rs. Or even lesser. No one had the answer for it. May be he had been cheated in Burma itself…. God only knows.
I gave my verdict to the party” Don’t miss it. Just grab it at any price you can. The auction completed on the 18th My party missed the bus.  The tycoon from Delhi took it at 8.5 Crores. Very cheap. Throwaway price. This was the man who had kept on saying while we were examining the crystals, all scrap, not worth the buy etc. I really admire his skills now. 

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