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Myanmar Jadeite Jade with great colors

This is the real precious mineral, nephrite is the other but with rather dull colors. All sold today is actually from Myanmar, The material from China is produced there since several thousand years today it mainly comes from Canada. The valuable parameter is translucency and "imperial" or emerald green, the more of this the higher the price. Since this south east Asian country is the number one in this business no wonder that there are plenty of shops and a so called emporiums where the minerals is on auction twice per year. The permanent shopping areas are at the Yangon Bogyoke Market and the Gem Museum.

Mining is done in the north at the Mogaung area

which is further up of another famous gem area in the country, that is “Rubyland” at Mogok near the Irrawaddy river between Mandalay and Kachin State.

Those places have been under Chinese rule several hundred years ago. There was a continuous back and forward between the different ethnic groups, actually all of the people came from Yunnan long time ago.

They are currently conquering Myanmar not with the gun but with the dollar. Buy large chunks of land and more than half of Mandalay, the second biggest city in the country is already under their control.

Raw minerals are not far away from there. In the first half of 2011 the Myanmar government and some Chinese buyers made a huge deal for more than 100 millions of dollars, which led to the high rise of the local currency and posed real problem since it made all export items too expensive.

Mogaung is famous for its beautiful minerals, this place was discovery by one business men from Yunnan. In the Centuries after this area was the destination for traders who came over, braving the difficult terrain and hostile tribes to buy rough boulders, most was exported to the north either legally or illegally.

Myanmar jade mining at Phakant Area
Rough Jadeite
Jade mining at Phakant Kachin State
Jade mining at Phakant Kachin State

There are several centers for cutting but the mineral also were sent to Canton, Shanghai, and elsewhere to manufacture products and other objects out of it.

The value depended, just as today, upon color, translucency, and texture. The best is a uniform glassy emerald green color also named "imperial jade".

Less valuable are other shades, all are manufactured into hi priced jewellery such as rings, necklaces, pendants and more.

Jadeite with less value is used for buttons, figurines, and drinking cups. Other are even used for plates, spoons, flowerpots, and cups, white material is often used for a Buddha Statue.

Until recently mining was under control of Chinese and Shan people, the material is mainly cut in Mandalay but the biggest market is in Yangon, that is Bogyoke Aung San Market.

Mining in Kachin State

is not so easy because there is still some fighting between the military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Although Kachin State has the biggest deposits of quality Jadeite they still keep on fighting since decades instead of sitting together make peace and give everyone the possibility to benefit from the rich underground.

The type of "rough jade" found in the region consist of alluvium, Uru boulder conglomerates, cenozoic sandstones, surpentinized peridotite and schists.

Dykes are found in the surpentinized peridotite while boulders occur in Uru boulder conglomerates that has been deposited in the "Uru river" valley.

Myanmar jade mining
Mining at Mogaung
rough jade
Imperial Jade
Imperial Jade and what to do with it

Miners search for dykes. Others search for places where bits and pieces of the mineral have been washed away by torrents and settled in the bed, this is known as "river jade" in China.

Jade Stones
"Raw jade stones" with excellent emerald green color


There are "raw jade" stones from a few kilograms to large boulders of a ton and more. In the past boulders have been moved with the help of elephants, today its heavy equipment.

Before the discovery of a 3000 ton dyke from Nant Hmaw mining area in early 2001, three dykes weighing 96 and 80 tons were found at Lonekhin region in 1986.

Nowadays private companies are using plenty of manpower and machinery to dig deep into the veins. Over 500 workers are engaged in deep mining at Phakant Gyi . Two mine shafts over 100m deep are reached through elevators.

Sideway tunnels are dug under the ground in search of the mineral bearing veins. The Uru river flows above the ground. Some enterprises divert the water from a creek located on the upper

Jade Boulder
Jadeite Boulder around one meter height

reaches of Phakant Gyi and siphoned off the pool using mechanical pumps. Then the sediments are dug up for one and a half months before the search begins.

Large numbers of mines are located in areas where good materials was found in the past, at the river banks and up the hillsides. Gold panning is also done in addition to digging activities.

The Yangon Emporium is the biggest event worldwide

to sell the material and all kind of of other precious stones. People come from all over the world to buy. At some years the date is shifting when there is fighting in the Phakant area.

Jade Market
Jade Market in Yangon

jade jewelry
Jade bangles jewelry from Bogyoke Market

The country had continuous foreign trade with those minerals since hundred of years. This gems are traded biannually at Yangon’s gem fair first held in 1964, currently commercial quantities of high quality jadeite are only coming only from Myanmar.

Myanmar Jade stones and jewelry

is often smuggled into Thailand, other items includes teak goods, antique furniture, antique Buddha Statues and almost everything which is not so big and has a value. This Burmese mineral  is a very valuable gemstone product.

Green Jade Buddha Jade Buddha White with Gold White Jade Buddha Laughing Jade Buddha Chinese Jade Buddha Lavender & White Jade Buddha Jade Buddha

"Jade gold" is is a combination which often give gorgeous jewelry.

Mae Sot in Thailand is one of the major border crossing where all kind of goods come in. The shallow river which forms the border of the two countries is not holding anyone back. The number of gem dealers hawking jadeite and gemstones during the daily street market is constantly increasing.

Now Prasatwithi Road is often crowded between 11 am and 2 pm and you're as

Mae Sot Jade Shop
Mae Sot Jade Shop




Chinese Green Jade Products
Chinese green jade

likely to hear Burmese spoken as Thai. Some of them are moved to Chanthaburi, then back to Mae Sot. Cutting and polishing is much better there. "Chanthaburi Gem Market" is well known in Asia for precious and semi stones.

Very special are the green Chinese products

Most of it is smuggled into China as rough stones or rocks and afterwards its processed in various workshops in into bangles and other items. Some material is Chinese origin but that is nephrite. The stones are cut, drilled / carved and polished to reach the final form.

Actually all the so called carving is done by drilling.

Since this is a very hard material its not so easy to handle it. One of the problems shops and buyers have with dealing is there are no standard and binding parameter to evaluate the mineral by a transparent and objective method.

Most Chinese believe that this

is a “living stone”; since color changes over time, usually it deepens.

Singapore Jade Shop
Singapore Jade Shop at Sands Casino shopping mall

Some old legends support all kind of fairy tales around the green stone. It’s been told that kings were cured of illness by wearing the material and other tell of protective and curative powers.

Burmese Jade 


Natural Jade


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