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The Jade Market in Mandalay in Burma-Myanmar

vendeus de jade jadéite en Birmaniegreen jadeite cabochonsAfter my trip to Mogok, I'm back to Mandalay for a visit to the "Jade market".

The so called “jade market” in Mandalay, in Upper Burma, is a fascinating place. All these craftsmen working the jade (jadeite variety) are gathered together in a closed market, a sort of large squared place with a grid pattern, containing hundreds of crowded workshops next to overheated small shops and even game rooms!

testing the green colour of a block of jadethe jade is first cut and then carvedThis is where the so called “bangles” of jade are made, which are very popular among Chinese and Asian customers. But what is the rarest is the emerald-green jadeite cabochon in its very finest translucent quality: this is called the "Imperial" jade and is traded more expensive than true emeralds. It is true that Burmese jadeite is the most beautiful in the world. Jadeite yields many variations in colour; however after the emerald-green jade, the natural lavender jade is highly in demand and also fetches high prices.

games in the jade market block of jade jadeiteVery few tourists visit the jade market because it is very difficult to talk with all these gem cutters, polishers and dealers who often speak only Burmese! I was able to meet many Chinese buyers come to source carved jade and sometimes raw jade. The interest of the Chinese for the jade is not new.
The Chinese emperors were so very keen in jade, they had even the intention of conquering the mining region ... a goal they were never able to achieve.

jade cutter at work jade polishingEarly in the morning, the trading activity comes alive in the streets around the jade market: Burmese from the Northern Regions (Kachin State) come to sell their pieces of jade. The craftsmen buy the commodity with the greatest attention. As soon as an emerald-green or a lavender hue appears in a block of jade, prices soar, reaching several hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

The Jade Market in Burma is growing significantly every year. The official sales organized by the state of Myanmar keep breaking records in terms of volume and turnover. The jade market in Mandalay is also prosperous and it is expected that a new market closer to Mandalay airport will be soon created to promote and develop even further the trade of jade.