Tell Bulgari: Stop Selling Burmese Genocide Gems

Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari Group

Call on Bulgari (Bvlgari) to stop buying genocide gems from Burma (Myanmar).

Myanmar’s military forces have carried out a textbook example of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people. Standing together, we have the power to cut off the military’s financing: we can demand that Bulgari stop using Burmese gems that help fund the military’s ongoing genocide of the Rohingya.

The military's brutal campaign against the Rohingya forced more that 700,000 people from their homes, creating the world’s largest refugee camp in neighboring Bangladesh. In order to achieve this, the military systematically burned down villages, gang-raping women and girls, and killing those who resist.

We can cut off the funding for these crimes against humanity at their source: the high-end jewelry retailers profiting off of these atrocities.

Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. The military dominates the gemstone industry in Myanmar. Its extensive commercial interests in gemstone extraction and trade mean that the military stands to profit when high-end jewelry retailers – like Bulgari – use Burmese gems in their collections.

Call on Bulgari to stop purchasing gems that fund the Burmese military’s atrocities.

More Information:

"Will Myanmar’s ‘Genocide Gems’ Become the New Blood Diamonds?," BusinessWeek,  October 17, 2018

"No Genocide Gems! Burmese Military Takes a Hit From Citizens Sanctions," International Campaign for the Rohingya blog

"Multifacted: Governance and Conflict Risks in Myanmar's Ruby Industry," Natural Resource Governance Institute, March 2018

"Natural Resource Federalism: Considerations for Myanmar," Natural Resource Governance Institute, January 2018

Taint of Burma's Genocide Gems, The Sunday Times (UK), December 10, 2017

Jade and the Generals, Global Witness, May 17, 2017

Some Bulgari items featuring Burmese gems:

Divas’ Dream Eleganza ring, Bulgari

Il Magnifico necklace, Bulgari

Reign of Terroir, Town and Country, October 2017

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To: Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari Group
From: [Your Name]

We are writing to express our concern with Bulgari’s use of Burmese gems in its collections, in light of the recent attacks on Rohingya communities by the Burmese army, which is deeply involved in the extraction and trade of gems in Myanmar.

Myanmar’s military forces are carrying out a textbook example of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people. The military’s brutal campaign against the Rohingya has forced more than 626,000 people from their homes, creating the world’s largest refugee camp in neighboring Bangladesh. In order to achieve this, the military has been systematically burning down villages, gang-raping women and girls, and killing those who resist.

This army crackdown and refugee crisis poses a significant risk to the reputation of companies that do business in Myanmar. In the article “Rohingya crisis dents Myanmar hopes of Western investment boom,” Reuters reports that companies are receiving increasing public pressure to end their investment in Myanmar. In recognition of this risk to the company’s brand image, both Tiffany & Co. and Cartier have adopted policies of not purchasing or using Burmese gems.

Myanmar produces more than 90% of the world’s rubies and jade, and these stones command the highest prices on the international market. The military dominates the gemstone industry in Myanmar. Its extensive commercial interests in gemstone extraction and trade mean that the military stands to profit when high-end jewelry retailers use Burmese gems in their collections.

We commend Bulgari’s commitment to responsible business practices and the ethical sourcing of gems. However, we believe that effectuating this commitment requires avoiding the purchase of any gems mined in Myanmar that provide profits to the Burmese military.

Your responses to the following questions are appreciated.
1. Do you have any knowledge as to where Bulgari’s Burmese rubies, jade, and sapphire were mined?
2. Would Bulgari adopt a policy of not purchasing gems mined in Myanmar?
3. How would your company best communicate and implement this policy with your suppliers?

We look forward to learning how Bulgari will ensure that, in the future, its pieces are completely free of gems whose trade benefits the Burmese army.