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Mogok is famous for its gem mines of rubies and sapphires roughly 200km north of Mandalay. The town is nestled in a valley at over 1000 m around a large lake - the weather is cool. Mogok has been famous since ancient times for its gemstones, especially ruby and sapphire, but semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, garnet, and moonstone are also found. The gems are found in alluvial limestone gravels by means on panning, tunneling and digging pits by hand. Gems are sold in markets in Mogok; however, foreigners require special permits to visit the town, and purchase/export of gems from Myanmar at non-government licensed dealers is illegal.


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