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Myanmar Jade Jadeite of great colors

Myanmar Jade Jadeite is the real good stuff, nephrite is the other, but is rather dull and of low level. All sold today is actually from Myanmar, Chinese jade is nephrite produced since several thousand years. The valuable parameter which is the transparency or translucency the more of this the higher the price. Since this south east Asian country is the number one in the green stone 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 in Yangon.

Jadeite mining is done in the north at the Mogaung area

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

Those places have been under Chinese rule several hundred years ago which is one of the reasons to call jadeite from northern Myanmar still Chinese jade. There was a continuous back and forward between the different ethnic groups, actually all of them have been Chinese anyway in this case from Yunnan.

They are currently active conquering Myanmar not with the gun but with the dollar. They bought and 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 guy 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

In Yunnan 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 colors, 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 Jade Buddha.

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

Jade mining in Kachin State

is not so easy because there is still some fighting between the military the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the military. 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.

Jade dykes are found in the surpentinized peridotite while jade 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 sources of jadeite dykes. Others search for places where bits and pieces of jade have been washed away by river torrents and settled in the river 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 from China.

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 mine 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 jade bearing veins. The Uru river flows above the ground. Some enterprises divert the water from a creek located on the upper reaches

Jade Boulder
Jadeite Boulder around one meter height

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

Large numbers of mines are located in areas where good materials was found in the past specially along the Uru river banks and up the hillsides. Gold panning is also done by the Uru river in addition to jade mining 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 because that's the only place where the mines from Kachin State directly exhibits. 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

country had continuous foreign trade with those minerals. 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

is often smuggled into Thailand from Myanmar, smuggling includes teak goods, antique furniture, antique Buddha Statues and almost everything which is not so big and has a value. Burma jadeite is a very valuable gemstone product, they sometimes  smuggle rough stones and sometimes jewelry such as bangles and other precious

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

stones. Jade gold is is a gold 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 jade 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. The stones are found at different places on earth but best quality come from Myanmar. Some of them move from Myanmar to Chanthaburi, then back to Mae Sot. Cutting and polishing is much better in Chanthaburi. Chanthaburi Gem Market is well known in Asia for precious and semi precious stones.

Very special are Chinese Jade products

Most of this so called Chinese Jade items come from Myanmar, its smuggled into China as rough stones or rocks and afterwards its processed in various workshops in China 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 not carving at all, its done by drilling.

Since this is a very hard material its not so easy to handle it. One of the problems jade shops and buyers have with the material 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 the color deepens.

Singapore Jade Shop
Singapore Jade Shop at Sands Casino shopping mall

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

Burmese Jade 


Natural Jade


Burmese jade shop
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