Burmese (Burma) Jadeite

This is a semi precious stone to make jewelry and sculptures with a mystic touch.

There are two variants. jadeite & the other is nephrite from China and mines worldwide. The first one is mostly smuggled or officially imported from Burma and just called Chinese once it's in the country but finally nobody cares anyway where the mineral is coming from, the people want beautiful items, this is usually jewelry, or maybe a

Buddha statue and other sculptures >.

Green jade from Myanmar is the worldwide number one in deposits and production. The other is nephrite which is plentiful in China, there are also mines in Australia, China, North and South America and other places, among them Taiwan.

The mineral has a high price tag especially when a few parameters come together, that means emerald like green color, luster and smooth texture, translucency and no cracks. 

Because of the awakening of the giant across the border in the last few years demand is rising sharply since this is what ladies like and they have access to more and more money.

jadeite miners on the way to work deep in the earth
Jade stone in the mine


Jade quality guessing game of raw jadeite

Raw Burmese Jadeite > Extracted fresh from the mine is not easy to understand since nobody know whats inside. Some seller cut the boulder to give the buyers an idea.

Buddha statues are a typical final product

"Mutton Fat" transpareny
"Mutton Fat" transparency
Green Myanmar jade pendants with carvings















The best quality comes from the mines at Lonkhin - Pharkant Area near Myitkyina in Kachin State and a bit lesser quality from Khamti in Sagaing division, this is north of Mandalay.

The jadeite mine >

Chinese jade is nephrite with less bright colors

Chinese Jade > There are some difference in particular in terms of color and texture.

carved nephrite sculptures

Most old and new gems from China are nephrite.


There have been large deposits, today it is different since most is imported from Canada. Jadeite came to the middle kingdom in the 18th century via border trade
carved nephrite sculptures

during British colonial times today it's smuggledThe northern part of Myanmar was part of China for a limited period more than thousand years ago it was probably traded long before but there are no written records. When the stone is over the border it becomes a Yunnan gem.

great jade art decoration
Beautiful artistic decoration >

Shops selling creative jadeite jewelry.


Probably the most sophisticated creations come from China. They work with the material since several thousand years with means they know it. 

pendant made from the mineral mined in Kachin StateSometimes statues and sculptures, figurines etc. look rather like "Kitsch" much of fairy tale inspired. 


But they are made for people with different tastes, values and ideas. Just imagine what a old lady with some superstition values has and on the other hand a young women who want to buy a beautiful fashionable bracelet or pendant.

artistically carved pendant
The common base is the material they both like.




great jadeite jewelryJadeite ring jewelry  
jadeite Buddha shop at Yangon Bogyoke Market

Jadeite Buddha sculpture shop >

Now focusing on the items, it is always amazing to see how people are after a pendant, preferable with a Buddha carving. A ring is also not so bad, often visible on the fingers of the guys, they interpret some curative and protective mystic power into it.
Pretty beaded jade chains with silver elements

The gemstones are used for all kind of body decoration,

sometimes it gets real expensive. A excellent bangle with a light and dark green texture and a high amount of translucency goes easily for around 2-3 thousand dollars at the Bogyoke Aung San Market in Yangon.


bangles for sale at Bogyoke Market


The variants and volume of different jewelry items is overwhelming and the demand is ever growing in particular since people get more money into the pocket and they are also willing to spend it, one item they spend on is jewelry.

necklace jewelry

Jadeite can be very valuable.


sometimes even higher than other precious stones such as rubies or even diamonds because high grade is even more rare, especially in imperial green or maybe in black as this pendant at right side. Almost everyone can afford to buy it since the price range is very wide there are genuine bangles for around $ 10,- and at another store for $ 5000,- its amazing. That's similar with Buddha statues.

One of the problems is there are no exact parameter as with diamonds e.g. everyone is "cooking his own soup". This automatically leads to cheating especially if someone is not an expert. Mention this material and ideas of a mystic, almost sacred stones and jade pop in our mind. 

The rough stone is a rock or boulder extracted from up to 50 m down, another mining version is that they take a jade mountain with dynamite and bulldozers apart. it is used to create beautiful items such as a Buddha sculptures, pendants, rings, bangles, necklaces and more.

Extracted from the earth by mining and with very different levels of value, there are also fake items since everywhere where there is quick cash to be made the crooks are not far away.
Interestingly this green stone is not often used together with other materials such as gold or silver. There are item with metal around but relatively rare, attractive by itself
White Buddha statue from jadeite with ruby and gold dust
no need to supportive materials. Sometimes Buddha statues are decorated with ruby and gold dust.

The color spectrum is wide,

most popular are green, white and lavender, the more transparent the higher the value. The stone has a mystic aura built up over three thousand years and maybe more.

Stores selling genuine material are many at the Bogyoke market in Yangon, the premier bazaar in the country and Mandalay the manufacturing center with plenty of workshops.


The market mentioned above is a fabulous oriental shopping mall for all kind of precious stones, handicrafts, artworks, sculptures and items such as "paintings", antiques and plenty other.


This market has probably the highest density of jadeite stores in the world.

Considering some billion people across the border who like the gems.


Prices do not fluctuate much, actually they only move upwards in recent years and this will be continuing.

carved lavender pendent
lavender and green gemstone
As with other gemstones its rarity, texture, color and translucency which counts, the mineral is cut, carved and polished mostly by Chinese experts, just look at this two carved gems here to get an idea.

Before buying it in the higher price range have the pieces of desire checked since there is too much cheating going on. Some put the stones into acid to bleach, treat them with extreme heat and pressure and fill raisins into to cover crack and so on. The treated piece looks great for about 2-3 years and will be junk after, the genuine piece not.

Burmese jade bracelets in green and white
Cheap beaded chain jade jewelry

In the beginning of 2011 a Chinese state enterprise bought a huge load for several hundred millions of dollars, they cut and carve them in China. Since Burma is not used to absorb such a large dollar sum the currency market in Rangoon went crazy and finally the local currency, the Kyat, went up almost 30% to the dollar. The result was their export products became to expensive. Still today (2015) jadeite prices are about 2-3 times higher than 2011.


black jadeite pendant
selling jadeite in Yangon













Jadeite is the most valuable type of the green stone.


If it has the right parameter beside of the color, top prices will always be paid for it, because that's the right value since it directly correlate to money when selling again.


There is emerald hue, olivine and plenty of other mostly all this is jadeite, a lesser quality is nephrite. There is talk about "jade culture" in the Chinese world since the stone has a high value and many things are interpreted into. In a Chinese environment money stands for culture so it is a very important parameter.


green and white jade pendants

Green jade pendants >

A ever increasing combination is with gold and silver, two very valuable materials great to wear, to show and sustained value, in the current quick changing world this are two conservative items for easy investment and the object is known since centuries as

imperial jade >.


imperial jade pendantThe value is almost for sure only moving upwards this has something to do with limited resources and growing demand in particular from China where more and more people are on a trip to 
buy this precious stones, this this is the gem with an superior value.

It was appreciated by Chinese emperors and they even wore it in the grave. It has also a high supernatural value. They interpret all kind of funny attributes into it.


At current times its jadeite which means the good stuff, this is a very fine material and there is nothing better that's the reason why this business in Myanmar is booming and the Chinese people are on a 


shopping trip

laughing green jade Buddha from a KL shop

Laughing Buddha from a shop in Kuala Lumpur's Central Market >

But this is more, green jade is beauty and superstition.


in particular with the right texture varying from glass like, called translucency to fat grease like structure, shape and transparent opaque. 

Imperial jade pendant with diamonds
High A grade is often more valuable than other precious stones, priceless treasures of a material which has a good image, plus prices are constantly rising. 
green jade banglesBut there are still enough boulders buried in Myanmar's Kachin state mines and jewelry sold in shops at Yangon's Bogyoke Market and elsewhere to satisfy the demand for decades. Since that is the only place where high A grade material is found it made many Burmese people rich. 

Jewelry made from it can easily compliment fashion trends. Vibrant and striking emerald color, it all has organic element either from a spinach color or maybe simply the grass, all this is nature, all this is jadeite.


great carved jade stone

The difference to high price material is, it gets shiny and translucent somehow like water or grease and that’s what Chinese ladies prefer as jewelry. But that’s not the only colors available there are browns, lavender, reds, purple and pure white. This variety fits to any season's trends.

The mineral is popular since thousands of years and the durability is exceptional plus the increasing value of real natural stuff makes sense to buy it. Chinese call it "Eastern Diamond". 

Primarily the hunt is after vivid green also known as imperial, spinach and emerald, but lavender and white also looks good. The color comes from different amount of impurities of iron, manganese, chromium and other trace elements.

Beautiful pieces of imperial jade jewelry are made from.


such as bangles, earrings, pendants, jade rings and necklaces. To make the jewels more attractive carvings are made by using a driller. 

Sometimes some white gold or silver is worked around the actual stone to allow the return of the light back into the mineral that increases reflection and makes it more shiny and transparent.

Jewelry is rather in a female context but not only. There are often gold rings with a prominent valuable green piece. Carved pendants often show a Buddha image, other pendants on the high end side may include a diamond or other precious stones into the composition, actually there are no limits in fantasy, best is Myanmar jade.

Imperial jade rough boulder with deep green
Green jade pendants are also chic with younger people when they come as ethnic jewelry in a combination with other stones or maybe pearls. They enrich the optical impression and indicate some glamour. It also looks good in a combination with other materials, this exotic oriental aura can also enrich various accessories. A quality item with an artistic touch can make a great gift to a lady, its a impressive piece of jewelry. 

Imperial type always has the highest value, already Chinese emperors where buried with the body covered with jade slabs. The "tour de green jade" is always mostly the same, digged out in Kachin State, north Myanmar and smuggled into China by just crossing the border or sometimes legally exported and imported.


Today it is Myanmar (Burmese) jadeite jade.


In the north of the country is Kachin State where they work hard to extract the green stone, there are also many other color such as lavender, black, white, pink, purple and more. They work real hard since across the border is the largest market for the mineral where creative Chinese designers carve them into great jewelry products and sculptures. 

Over there is also a whole "jade cultures" on record over several thousands of years and are great gifts for loved ones. One of the main selling point of green jade items, every sales person tell is prosperity, good luck, healing and long life, which is superstition but that’s whatthe people want to hear.

Pretty Buddha Jade in lavender and green

Buddha jade > is often coming in form of pendants fashionable to wear, plus looking great, natural and stylish.Different cultures have some kind of mythical stones in Chinese culture its nephrite not jadeite which is more precious and some excellent pieces are more valuable than gold and diamonds. The two green varieties are minerals with the name sodium aluminum silicate and nephrite, another mineral named calcium magnesium iron silicate.

The biggest bazaar to buy the stones, jewelry and statues. 


This shopping paradise is in Yangon (Rangoon) and that is the Bogyoke Market which is a treasure trove for every gem lover as you can see at the pictures. 

Small colorful Burmese jade rocks A bit about geology and how the rocks are formed >. They crystallized under high pressure in certain geological conditions millions of years ago. The material itself has no color but when trace elements such as iron, aluminum, manganese, magnesium move in under extreme pressure colors appear. This natural process is copies today to make low quality material look like high quality which finally is a fake, read more.

Burmese jade for sale
Natural jadeite stones


















The business with the green stone is quite a big one and there is still enough for a couple of hundred years since in Kachin state are whole jade mountains to be broken up. 

On the other hand the Chinese across the border are very demanding and they never care about any environmental issue the only want dollars now, without ever thinking about tomorrow.

Burmese lavender jade boulder







1 comment:

  1. Great Burmese jade bought at Bogyoke market in Yangon

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