VOL. 15, #3, Fall, 1997

An Interview With the Burma Connection, PC Gemologist: A New Software Program,International Market Updates: Diamonds, Colored Gemstones, Colombia, Thailand, Vietnam, Tanzania, Collectors Corner, Gem Tidbits, Gem Publications, Auctions, A Book Review: The Sovereign Individual

  Sep 29, 1997   admin



By Robert Genis

3.05burmaruby.gif The following interview is with a Burmese gem dealer. Due to the fact he fears the Burmese government (SLORC), the interview was performed under strict conditions. First, since this publication is posted on the internet, the interview would have to be anonymous. Second, any questions regarding the political situation in Burma or any questions which the Burmese Government could utilize to discover his identity were strictly off limits. Remember, it is illegal to own a computer or fax in Burma. Although SLORC has internet access and a web page, the citizens of Burma do not enjoy such privileges.

Gemstone Forecaster: Why did you decide to specialize in the US market?

Burma Connection: When I was in the university, before I came to the US, I read the Lapidary Journal and articles from the quarterly issue of Gems and Gemology by the GIA. I saw gem and jewelry advertisements from the United States. So I concluded the colored gem market would be in the United States. The other thing is the US is a consumer market for any merchandise; you know, cars, TVs. Somebody, they manufacture something, they like to import to the US. That's why I decided to go to the US and find a market.

GF: So you didn't even consider Europe or Japan?

BC: No. You think my decision is correct?

GF: I do, I think the markets are smaller in Europe and Japan has been in big trouble for years, so I think your decision was correct.

GF: Tell our subscribers what it is like trying to buy gems in Burma.

BC: In Yangoon most of the stones are cut stones and in Mogok most of them are rough. But either in Mogok or in Yangoon we seal them when we deal with the stones. Suppose I want to sell to you, I ship to you and sometimes you ship to your customer. We never do business like this. Either the owner or a broker will show me the stone. If I am interested, I make an offer. If he wants to think about it or the broker wants to talk to the owner, what we have to do is seal it. We close it.

GF: Do you seal the gem papers with wax or with tape?

BC: I seal the gem in the paper with tape, sometimes I sign it, sometimes no, but I write down how much I offer. That means if they decide to sell, suppose I bid $10,000 and they think about it and they want to sell for $10,000, I have to buy it. I have an obligation to buy it. When I seal the stone, they are not supposed to show it to anybody else. They say it is...something...not rude, but it is not done, everybody understands that. That means it is his stone, but he is not supposed to show to anybody else, because we are dealing business. And if they want to sell, I have to buy at this price, if I bid $10,000, I cannot say, "No, $8,000." I cannot take off. After buying the stone, there is no refund, no exchange, no down payment. When I buy the stone, they understand I am to pay in a few days. We don't use checks, they only take money.

GF: Do the brokers come back every time and say the owner has said no?

BC: Yes. I spend a long time looking at the stone, and if I like, I decide the price, I bid a price.

GF: Do you have to spend a long time negotiating when you find a gem you want to buy?

BC: I don't want to spend a long time negotiating. If the bid is sealed, there is a twenty four hour limit.

GF: Who are your competitors?

BC: My competitors are mostly from Thailand and Europe, no Japanese.

GF: Are the Thais buying for the Japanese and the Americans and the Europeans?

BC: Yes, Thais buy and cook the stones and they sell all over the world.

GF: How many gems do you usually look at before you buy one?

BC: I buy whatever stone is good for the United States market. If quality is good, I buy it if the price is reasonable. So people show me a lot of stones, some of them I don't like. Some stones I like so I make offer. If they can sell, I buy, otherwise, I don't buy. I cannot buy. So I see hundred stones to buy 10 stones, so one in ten. The thing is I can see as many as I want, I can see thousands of stones, but the dealers, the brokers know what I like, so they only show me stones they think I will like.

GF: Are you the only dealer looking for Mogok Burma, no-heat?

BC: No, not only me, other people also. But in America, I am the only Burmese who specializes in unheated Mogok Burma stones. I don't do any diamonds, emeralds, or Mong Hsu ruby. In Burma, a lot of people, the purpose to come to Burma is they want to buy natural stones. If they want to buy heated stones, they buy in Bangkok.

GF: Is there a cooking or burning industry in Burma?

BC: A few people do this but they are not successful. They cook but the result is not good. They go to Mong Hsu, but the quality is not as good as Thai people do.

GF: So all the material you look at in Burma is not heated?

BC: No heat.

GF: Burma gems usually get cooked when they arrive in Bangkok?

BC: Yes.

GF: When does it rain in Mogok? Do these monsoons stop the mining of ruby and sapphire? Do they mine in Mogok twelve months a year?

BC: It depends on the mine and the mining method. Most of the mines are stopped by the monsoon rains. But some mines, when it is raining they are happy because they need water. They need water to wash the gem gravel, they need water to pump up the gravel. With water they can easily dig the gravel. A few mines, they need water, so they work in monsoons only. But most of the mines, they have to stop mining. The monsoons start in June and go through September.

GF: Do you want to explain what a natural is and why all Burma rubies and sapphires seem to have them?

BC: When corundum was formed eons ago, rubies and sapphires were intruded by foreign particles, foreign materials, and foreign minerals. Corundum is intruded. During the alluvial process the foreign materials are softer than ruby and sapphire so they wash away. When the rough crystals are found, there are small holes or indentations in the crystal structure. These are the naturals you see after the stone is faceted.

Other stones such as Thailand stones have no naturals because they clean all of them. The Burmese don't want to clean all of it because it is Burma stone. You have to remember that unheated Burmese ruby and sapphire are rare and expensive. They are not like Thai ruby. Just as long as you don't see too many naturals on the top it is okay.

GF: So the owners of the rough material instruct the cutters to save weight and hide the naturals on the back of the gem?

BC: Long time ago, we sell the stones with naturals on the back; they don't mind, the buyers don't mind. Some people like Burmese naturals because it is used as an identifier of natural unheated Burma Mogok material.

GF: What can you tell us about Burma spinel in Mogok?

BC: I see Burmese spinel in Burma- red, pink, purple, green and blue spinel. Some blue spinels are very beautiful, the blue is different from sapphire, it is greenish blue, sometimes I cannot tell if it is green or blue.

GF: Do you ever see any green spinel that looks like emerald?

BC: No, not that green, dark green. It doesn't look good.

GF: Are gem quality star rubies and sapphires rare?

BC: Yes, especially star rubies. Thai people buy and cook and they remove the silk and they cut into a faceted stone. So it is hard to buy.

GF: Does the Burmese government make it difficult for you to be a gem trader?

BC: Since 1990s it is easier to do business in gem trade. The government lets the people do business freely. Before, 1962 to 1990, it was an illegal business.

GF: And now its legal and they want you to buy and sell?

BC: In Burma, you can freely buy and sell among the Burmese people. And for foreign markets, you can buy in US dollars.

GF: Do you have to pay taxes and fees to the government?

BC: I buy in US dollars and the owner has to pay a 10% tax to the government. I buy only from the license holders, I cannot buy from any dealer. The license holders have the right to sell in US dollars and the right to legally carry. I cannot buy from Mr. B or Mr. A, I can buy only from a licensed holder. He pays tax to Burma government, but I have to buy in only foreign currency, not Burmese currency. If I buy with Burmese currency, I can not export. Only if I buy in foreign currency from this license holder, I can export.

GF: What is the Burmese currency?

BC: The Burmese currency is kyat. With this Burmese currency, I cannot export.

GF: So the Burmese government wants foreign currency and they want the taxes from it?

BC: Yes, the owner has to pay taxes, I don't have to pay taxes. But the owner, he charges me more of course, the ten percent.

GF: You have been doing this for three years. Do you think the prices are lower or higher in Mogok?

BC: The price is definitely higher, because more foreigners come now and buy . The production is lower, so the price is higher. Production is low compared to three years ago and really low compared to ten years ago. When I started, a long time ago, the mine owners told me the stones are getting rare. Before this a lot of stones came out, now they are rare. They told me that fifteen years ago. And now, when I compare the situation today, fine gems are very rare still. Fifteen years ago I could find a lot of nice stones. Two carats were very easy to find at that time. One carat were very, very easy. You could find three carat also. But now, two carats are very hard to get.

GF: Three carat unheated Burma ruby is really hard to find now?

BC: Two carats are very hard to get. Three carats are practically impossible.

GF: Many of my subscribers are collecting Mogok Burma ruby and sapphire. What do you think they should be collecting?

BC: If you want to collect, I recommend collecting unheated gems. It is not available easily.

GF: One carat and larger?

BC: Yes, one carat and up.

GF: Do you know what percentage prices are up in the last three years?

BC: Twenty to twenty-five percent.

GF: Thank you.


An interesting new gemstone program has been created by Peter J. Wennerholm of Sweden. PC Gemologist was designed for Windows 95 and for Windows NT. The current version number is 1.15. It requires 4 MB of hard disk space, and works best on a system with at least 8 MB memory and a 486-66.

Gemstone Identification
The main program of P C Gemologist is the Gem Identifier. This internal database contains some 440 varieties of gemstones, ornamental stones, and fakes. If you have a stone that you cannot identify, you can describe as many as fifteen test variables. The Gem Identifier will give you possible answers.

Comparison Tables
Select a range of gems that interest you and let the Library tool provide you with a customized property list. You can search for hardness, density, chatoyancy and other attributes.

Name Searches
You can also search any gem that interests you. Find out all the vital scientific aspects of the gem. The Name Search Screen has a database of 2400 trade names, variety names, alternative names, and misnomers.

Gem Data Card
No matter what search function or selection tool you use, you have the option to display the gems as Gem Data Cards. Each card tells you about the gemstone's optical and physical properties and its variety names, and informs you about how well it will take ultrasonic cleaning or steam cleaning.

Cutting Information
Almost all gemstones can be cut, and more than half of them can also be faceted. PC Gemologist provides the gemcutter with vital information about 280 gem varieties, everything from recommended angles and polishing compounds to the degree of heat sensitivity and cleavage - plus expert tips and warnings.

Unit Conversions
The Unit Converter gives instant translation between some 40 units of weight, temperature, and length.

Gem Scales
The Gem Scale unit helps you guesstimate the weight of cut and mounted gemstones. Nine common shapes including round brilliant cut, heart cut, cabochon, and emerald cut; provisions for unusual girdles or pavilion bulges.

Re-cut Estimations
A good way to avoid costly results is to know the results of a re-cutting operation before it is done. The Diamond Re-Cut Calculator lets you do exactly that. A damaged girdle, a broken culet, or just an old-fashioned mine cut in need of a touch-up - how will the resulting gem look?

Pearl Calculator
The Pearl Calculator will help you calculate weights of single pearls and necklaces.

Diamond Grading
The Diamond Grading unit allows you to easily compare GIA's rules for diamond grading with those of major European grading systems.

If you like the program, do not forget to send Peter the US$50.00!


1996 Diamond Sales
What happened in the diamond business in the US last year? Diamond jewelry sales rose 7% in 1996 to $18 billion. Most buyers (35%) bought non-engagement diamonds. The most diamonds (38%) were bought from independent jewelry stores. Americans bought diamonds for Christmas (19%) and for no special reason (19%). Married women bought the most stones (47%). The amount of people spending over $3,000 was small (3%).

The Hope Diamond
On September 20, 1997, the Smithsonian opened its new gem and mineral display. The main display will be the infamous blue Hope Diamond. For years it was displayed in a wall safe with one side open. The Hope will now be displayed in a glass cylinder. The 45.52 diamond is mounted with 16 white diamonds and is suspended from a platinum chain with 46 additional diamonds. It rotates beneath special lights that allow viewers to look deep into the stone. Diebold, the safe manufacturer, donated the 3-inch glass mechanism. At any sight of a threat, the stone will drop out of sight. The room where it is displayed is the Harry Winston Gallery. The $13 million renovation was financed by private donations. Janet Annenberg Hooker donated $5 million and the Harry Winston Research Foundation $1 million.

Despite the revolution in Zaire, now called the Congo, DeBeers has opened two buying offices near the diamond-producing areas.

Two Israeli women were recently arrested in South Africa. They were attempting to smuggle $700,000 worth of diamonds out of the country. The diamonds were wrapped in condoms and hidden in their "private parts".

Meanwhile, a Swissair employee in Zurich found a crate he thought was empty. It was filled with $11 million worth of uncut diamonds. The diamonds had come from Zaire but had been lost due to the civil war.

Finally, diamond miners were using carrier pigeons to smuggle diamonds out of the Alexor mine in Namibia. Authorities located more than $200,000 in diamonds and arrested 40 people.

Antwerp Bust and Fraud
Antwerp's Diamond Office, which controls the imports and exports of diamonds, was raided on June 19, 1997. Walter Baert, High Diamond Council spokesman told Reuters that the raid involved one company.

The raid started at the Brussels airport. A diamond dealer declared a package to be worth between $6-7 million. When the airport officials found it did not contain that amount, custom officials raided the Diamond Office.

Earlier this year, three diamond workers were charged with fraud and tax evasion in Antwerp. Police said the three were laundering money through the banks. The arrests stem from an investigation after the bankruptcy of the Max Fisher Bank.

US Imports Of Colored Gemstones

Value (Millions of Dollars) Volume (Millions Of Carats)
Stone 1995 1996 %Change Stone 1995 1996 % Change
Emerald 237.2 203.4 -14.3% Emerald 7.3 9.9 +35.6%
Ruby 84.8 85.9 +1.3% Ruby 4.2 5.9 +40.4%
Sapphire 84.6 95.8 +13.2% Sapphire 6.8 8.5 +25.0%
Total 406.6 385.1 -5.3% Total 18.3 24.3 +32.8%

Source: U.S. Census

If you study the above charts, the 1996 imports of emerald rose yet the prices declined. Imports of ruby rose dramatically and prices barely inched upwards. Sapphire imports increased and prices escalated. What does this mean? It is hard to decipher these numbers without understanding the dichotomy between the high end stones and commercial quality goods. Today there is a growing gap between mass market merchandisers and high end dealers. Middle level consumers and dealers are nowhere to be found. This is the new economic trend in the US. The high end market is under tremendous price pressure while the low end goods are declining. However, since the mass marketing of gemstones via cable TV is a larger market than high quality gemstones, these statistics show declining prices.

Emerald Congress
The emerald Congress that was to occur in July in Brazil will now take place in Bogota on February 23-25.

The 70 Colombian soldiers held for months by Colombian guerrillas were freed this summer. President Samper agreed to demilitarize a 5000 square-mile jungle area. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had captured 60 of the soldiers when the guerrillas overran an outpost. Approximately 27 government forces died in the attack. The other 10 soldiers were captured in an ambush. A ceremony was held in Cartagena and was attended by European ambassadors and a South America delegation. FARC leader Joaquin Gomez said, "armed struggle will always be relevant in a country like Colombia as long as hunger, unemployment, and government abuses persist." The returned soldiers were clean shaven and in good health. They were permitted to listen to the radio and watch TV.

The two main guerrilla groups, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) are now targeting the Colombian oil industry.

Oil is now Colombia's number one legal export. Workers are refusing to return to work at British Petroleum (BP) because of ELN threats. The ELN has burned buses and killed a BP contractor. Occidental Petroleum said 28 people have been killed since 1996 in their production zone. This includes Colombian soldiers, security guards and six Occidental contractors.

ELN and FARC have grown to 100 cells and 10,000 members. They attacked the jungle pipeline 45 times last year. The guerrilla groups are also involved in the drug and emerald trade.

Colombia's Economy
After six decades of growth, Colombia's gross domestic economy may fall this year for the first time since the Depression. The reasons are guerrilla violence, government mismanagement, and the standoff between the United States' and Colombia's handling of the Drug War.

The Thailand Stock Exchange is down from 1200 to 500 this year. The baht, Thailand's currency has dropped more than 32% since July. It is estimated that 30% of loans are in default. In August, the International Monetary Fund announced a $17 million rescue package. The Bank of Thailand suspended operations of 58 banks and finance companies. Approximately 15 banks and 33 finance companies remain. The Thai government plans to set up an organization similar to the Resolution Trust Corporation-which bailed out the savings and loan industry in the United States.

The Ho group, the largest gem dealers in Thailand, sold its jewelry factory, closed its two magazines, has the AIGS laboratory and the the radiation lab for Blue Topaz up for sale. The flagship of the Ho Empire, the Jewelry Trade Center, is also in trouble. When the 59 story building opened in 1996, 200 luxury condos had been sold and 75% of of the retail space had been rented. Now the building is deserted. The Bijoux Holding Pcl., the Ho real estate company, lost money in 1996 and its share price has plummeted over 90%. It appears the Ho family has closed its headquarters for regrouping. Due to the losses in the financial and real estate areas, the gem profits could no longer support the other businesses.

How will this affect the gem market? The decreasing Thai baht should mean prices for Thai goods will be lower. However, the Thais are smart so they might simply revalue their gems to reflect new price levels. Some people suspect it might be three to five years before the Thai market comes back again. Others speculate that the Thai gem market's health depends on the rest of the world. The US market remains strong and Europe and Japan are weak. Thai exports have declined about 5% per year for each of the last five years. Thailand is now competing with Burma, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Vietnamese rough ruby is now being exported to Sri Lanka for heat treatment, enhancement, cutting and polishing.

The tanzanite market remains weak. The majority of tanzanite is commercial grade and demand is low. High quality tanzanite demand is better and if the shortage continues, experts believe the prices will escalate later in 1997.


Types of Collectors
Why do you collect fine gems? According to a new study there are four distinct types:

  1. Symbolic: Some collectors collect strictly for status.
  2. Hedonistic: Collectors who simply appreciate fine gems for the pure enjoyment of owning beautiful objects.
  3. Aesthetic: Clients who appreciate the beauty of gemstones.
  4. Realistic: Customers who collect simply for the future resale value of gems.

According to the study, collectors do not have to be only a single type, but may be motivated by a combination of these factors.


There is a rumor of new production of tsavorite from Kenya and Tanzania. It is reported to be electric green. One seller was reported as asking over $2500 per carat for the rough.

The Neu Schwaben mining region is producing blue, green, and pink tourmaline. The gems are larger and have a better color intensity than the Brazilian material. The common material is trading in the $20-$60 range. Fine stones can command $400 per carat.

American Diamonds
America's only working diamond mine is the Kelsey Lake Mine in northern Colorado, 46 miles from Fort Collins. Recently, a 28.2 carat stone and a 16.3 carat diamond were discovered. They are both white color. Last year, the mine produced a yellow 28.3 carater. The yellow was cut into a 5.6 carat stone which was sold for $87,000 or $16,000 per carat by a local Denver jeweler. So far, the mine has produced 20,000 carats of rough.


A gang of former Colombian soldiers and policemen are targeting West Coast jewelry salesmen. They are committing brazen acts with military precision. The criminals are averaging $400,000 per attack. The last two attacks were in Santa Clara and Los Angeles. The biggest theft occurred in Concord, thirty five miles east of San Francisco, when the gang stole $1.5 million worth of goods.

According to Sgt. Dan Siri, a member of the Los Angeles to Seattle task force, "This is every bit as large as the narcotics and dangerous drugs trafficking the Colombians did back in the '80s, and it is equally sophisticated." The task force believes the gang can be attributed to over a dozen robberies this year.

The gang performs surveillance on salesmen and couriers to confirm the victim can be isolated and is carrying gems. Most of the victims were hit by five or six men as they entered or left their cars. The gems are sold to a middleman for 25 cents to the dollar and then disappear into the international gem trade.

There have been six robberies in the Detroit area this year. None of them have been solved. Tapper's Diamonds and Fine Jewelry was recently robbed twice in three months. Robbers wearing Halloween masks stole $259,000 in jewelry. As the robbers fled, police cordoned off the area and conducted an extensive manhunt. The two suspects hid in the forest and escaped by duping an unsuspecting motorist into driving them away from the scene.

Credit Card Fraud
An Indian doctor, posing as a travel agent, obtained a stack of credit card numbers from several credit agencies. He bought thousands of dollars of gold jewelry from manufacturers in Arizona and California. He then sold the gold to a coin dealer in NY. The man was arrested.

An Honest Man
Todd Kennedy, a 41-year-old sewer employee came across a bank bag while going out to dinner in Virginia. The bag was full of diamonds. He took the bag to the police. The police could not believe their eyes when they opened it. The bag was owned by a local independent jeweler who accidentally let it fall out of his pocket. The diamonds were worth $25,000. The jeweler gave Mr. Kennedy $200 which he donated to his local church.


Here are excerpts from publications regarding gems.

Cigar Aficionado
The Good Life
For Centuries, Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds Have Put a Sparkle in People's Eyes
by Ettagale Blauer
(Ed note: Although the prices are in this article are retail, it still provides some excellent points.)

"But ruby, treasured for its intense and pure red color, is also distinguished by its rarity. You cannot just order up a five-carat, gem-quality Burma or an intense Kashmir sapphire--still considered the absolute best, though mining ended in both regions many years ago." (Ed note: Although Kashmir sapphire mines ran out long ago, this statement is untrue as it relates to Burma sapphire and ruby.) "No matter how much money is offered, even the most knowledgeable colored stone dealer with connections all over the gem world--which is to say, all over the earth--must search and search for such a rare gem. Unlike diamonds, which are available in virtually any size and quality up to 10 carats, these colored gemstones have always been in short supply, particularly in the finest qualities. When such a stone becomes available these days, it is likely to be a stone mined long ago and simply coming back on the market. There, it can command bids from buyers all over the world. A New York dealer who specializes in the big three colored stones, says, "You have to realize that fine stones are rare to begin with. Out of 1,000 Burma rubies that were mined, maybe three stones are fine. It would take perhaps one to two years to find a five-carat gem Burma ruby--and that means the finest color, well cut, with tremendous brilliance, and at least 80 to 90 percent clean. And, an untreated stone, one that has not been heated to enhance the color. You cannot find an absolutely flawless stone. It would take a lot of legwork to find it, and it would cost you about $150,000 a carat." That's $750,000 for a five-carat stone--and you would still have to wait for it to be located.

But for some, there is no color so beautiful as a richly saturated, intensely blue sapphire. If you've only seen commercial qualities you may think that sapphires are inky in color, almost black. But take a look at a Kashmir sapphire--if you can find one. "Most people who are looking for a Kashmir should not even start looking." a gem dealer says. "It's not coming out of the ground at all, and you'd have to wait many years. If you even find one, you'll be paying about $30,000 a carat. The same is true of a Burma sapphire; for a gem five-carat stone, of excellent color, with perfect cutting and 90 percent or better clarity, you'll pay $15,000 a carat."

Commercial Mineral Newsletter
Where have all the huge rubies gone? We all know the saying "good things never last." Well, that statement must have been coined by a gemstone dealer as he/she reflected upon the rubies and in particular, Burma rubies. Mong Hsu Burma ruby is one of the stones we have said from the beginning of the production we should buy up all the nice material and stash away as much as possible. However, the old problem of needing to to sell what we buy kept getting in the way of a brilliant plan. It has become MUCH harder to find nicer 1.00-1.50 ct. Burma rubies at a reasonable price and almost impossible to find and buy nice 1.50-2.00 cts. 3.00+? You can almost forget these as prices are back to the skyrocket "pre-Mong Hsu" prices.

The moral of this story: Buy every nice Burma ruby in the 1.00-2.00 ct. sizes that you can find at a reasonable price because it will definitely cost you more in the future.


The collection of rare Kashmir rubies sold for between $3,000 and $4,000 per carat. An unmounted 8.62 Padparadscha sapphire sold for $17,500.

Christies-Hong Kong
An 11.88 star ruby sold for $345,000.


How to Survive and Thrive During the Collapse of the Welfare State
by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg
Simon and Schuster-$25.00
ISBN 0-684-81007-7
This books attempts to predict the future as we move from an industrial age into the information age. Although this work is very difficult to read unless you are a history buff, here are their interesting conclusions:

  1. Citizenship is obsolete. You need to make yourself a citizen of the new world, preferably in a low tax jurisdiction.
  2. The Unites States places the greatest liabilities and hindrances upon you to becoming a Sovereign Individual. If you are not an American, it is irrational to become one.
  3. Based upon the history of dominant systems collapsing, it is better to get out early than late.
  4. You should keep your money in another country than the country you live in.
  5. You should travel extensively to find locations to move to in case of an emergency.
  6. Violence and organized crime will grow. You must live in a secure location. You must protect yourself with technology and walls.
  7. If financially successful, you should hire your own private guards.
  8. Industrial countries will experience declining living standards and social unrest. Government will become incapable of guaranteeing prosperity and entitlement programs will collapse.
  9. Most of the least 48 developing nations which compromises 550 million people and an annual per capita income of $500 will become more desperate.
  10. The best places to live will be in the Southern Hemisphere, such as New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina.
  11. The fastest growing economy will not be China but the cybereconomy.
  12. Encryption will be a vital feature to commerce on the web.
  13. Websites should be domiciled offshore.
  14. Corporations in the Information Age will be Virtual corporations. They will be without physical assets and locations.
  15. Countries that believe in income equality will become unstable.
  16. An agent who finds work for others will become an important occupation.
  17. Jobs will become tasks or piece work.
  18. Members of regulated professions will be replaced by interactive digital servants.
  19. Control over resources will shift from Government to persons with superior skill and intelligence.
  20. As the nation-state breaks down, bureaucrats will begin working for the rich.
  21. Expect a slow down or decrease in per capita consumption in the United States.
  22. Debt deflation will accompany the new millennium.
  23. Cybermoney will be the new money of the Information Age.
  24. Debt should be avoided.
  25. Taxing capacity of developed countries will decrease by 50-70%. It will be difficult to curtail spending. Deficits will balloon and interest rates will rise.
  26. Ideas and clear thinking will be a form of wealth.
  27. Incomes for the rich will increase dramatically. Growth areas will cater to the needs of the very rich.
  28. Embezzlement and undetectable theft will make morality and honor among associates crucial.

The information provided in this newsletter has been derived from research and sources believed to be reliable. However, no guarantee is expressed or implied as to their validity. Opinions included herein are subject to change without notice. The gem market is speculative and unregulated. Certification does not eliminate all risks associated with the grading of gems. Recommendations are meant for those who are financially suited for the risks involved. Past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Neither NGC nor The Gemstone Forecaster guarantee a profit or that losses may not be incurred as a result of following its recommendations. They may also hold positions in areas they recommend. Subscribers should not view this publication as investment advice, nor is it intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security.