Burmese Jadeite Jade – All About the Inscrutable Gem
Jade is one of the most valuable rocks in the history of gemstones. It is a metamorphic rock used in jewelry and décor, but did you know it has some interesting metaphysical properties? People use Jade to restore balance and attract a more fulfilling lifestyle. Jade is a significant part of many Chinese traditions and cultures.
While it does look stunning, the powerful stone is also very tough and resistant to physical wear and tear. Beautiful and hardy, Jade is either made with Nephrite or Jadeite Jade, which are hard minerals. Nephrite Jade is more easily available on the market, whereas Jadeite Jade is rarer. Due to its rarity, Jadeite Jade is considered more valuable and is therefore costlier than Nephrite Jade.
Continue reading this piece if you’re interested in learning about the rarer variety, Jadeite Jade. This article will discuss its history, meaning, and much more.
Location and Access
Burma is the primary source of Jadeite Jade stone worldwide, offering top-grade material for jewelry and décor. Meanwhile, you can find jadeite deposits in several other places, including Japan, California, Russia, and Guatemala.
Kyauksinmyo also called “The Jade Land” is home to some of the major Jadeite mines in the world. It is located in north-central Myanmar (Burma). Within the Kachin state, you will find some of the largest mines east and west of the Chindwin Rivers and Uru (Uyu). The southwest Burmese Jadeite mines are located near Haung Par, with the northwest mines near Gin Si.
To source Burmese Jadeite, you must take one of the two roads leading to the mining district in Myanmar. The journey begins from Mogaung or Hopin road. The upland area consists of ranges of hills covered with dense forests.
The weather and the poor condition of the roads make traveling extremely hard, especially during monsoon season, between May and October. For that reason, miners avoid extracting Jadeite Jade during these months as reaching the mines is nearly impossible.
While the dry season is much better for mining, it is not free of risks. Thick mud covering the valleys presents many difficulties for miners. Since traveling via motor vehicles is arduous, minors switch to animal or foot travel. Donkeys or elephants help navigate through muddy areas. While it is possible to extract Jadeite Jade from November to April, it isn’t easy. The dense jungles are filled with mosquitoes, presenting a risk of fatal malaria disease.
Jadeite Jade is rare, and sourcing it only adds to Burmese Jade’s worth and market value.
“If jade is discarded and pearls destroyed, petty thieves will disappear, there being no valuables left to steal.”
-Gump, 1962 (a dictionary published during 662-1722 AD)
Jade gained popularity in China, gradually becoming a valuable gem worldwide. But, it wasn’t until the thirteenth century that gemologists found solid information about the stone.
In 1863, they discovered that “Jade” applies to two separate minerals: Jadeite and Nephrite Jade. During this time, Nephrite Jade was the most common and perhaps the only form of Jade in China, popularly used by jewelers and stone carvers.
The Chinese sourced nephrite Jade from South Khotan, Kulun Mountains in Western China. At some time during the thirteenth century, a Yunnan trader brought a Burmese boulder into China. Eventually, upon breaking it, the Chinese discovered Jadeite Jade, an emerald green material hiding under the brown rock.
The Jade varieties mined in China are all Nephrite Jade as there are no Jadeite mines in the country. Jadeite is rarer, with chief deposits in Myanmar.
Jadeite vs. Nephrite
While Jade is a revered gem, a lot of confusion surrounds the stone varieties. Two different kinds of Jade exist, namely Nephrite and Jadeite. Nephrite and Jadeite jades are separate minerals with different crystal structures and chemical compositions. The two Jades also differ in hardness.
White is the most common Nephrite Jade, but it also occurs in other colors like black, reddish brown, and dark green. On the other hand, Jadeite Jade is available in various colors, from green varieties to lavender, white, black, and yellow.
What Makes Burmese Jadeite Jade So Special?
Few gemstones match the mystique value of Jade, but the Jadeite variety is much more special than Nephrite. It has been a prized gem in China for centuries. Even today, Chinese artisans and buyers use Jade sourced from Burma as it is harder and denser than Nephrite.
Burmese Jade produced in Burma’s Hpakan region is some of the finest in the world. It is famous for its fine grain, attractive colors, and translucency. Once polished, Burmese Jadeite stone produces a high luster, bound to steal your heart in the first instance. After all, Jadeite outdoes all the standards used to grade gemstones, particularly the Jade varieties.
Regarding Jadeite products, Jade has three categories based on the manufacturing process and treatment type.
It is the highest grade Jadeite stone and undergoes little treatment using traditional methods. It has a wax coating, but these Jade protectants are mostly natural. Since the colorless wax polish doesn’t affect its value, it is more expensive and valuable.
Luxe Pieces offers a vast collection of Type A Burmese Jadeite Jade. We do not treat the natural Burmese stone so as to not damage the material.
Type B Jadeite is bleached with Sulfuric Acid or Hydrochloric Acid. These acids help improve oxidation stains, reducing brown hues and improving stone color. Similarly, polymer impregnation adds more strength and improves Jadeite transparency and clarity.
Type C Jadeite stones undergo the same treatments as Type C with an additional step. They are exposed to dyes for better color consistency, though the color eventually fades with time.
Jade Stone- Meaning and Properties
Jade protects against negative energies, providing harmony between the spirit, body, and mind. It attracts good fortune, bringing prosperity and abundance.
Jade Stone Meaning
Jadeite is available in several colors, each with distinctive meaning and symbolism. Green Jadeite stones are the most popular, and the color symbolizes tranquility and serenity. The striking shades resonate with the heart chakra, amplifying the expression of love. It is a protective stone that nurtures the wearer and offers emotional and mental stability.
Jade Stone Properties
Jade is also popularly called the stone of eternal youth since it carries fantastic anti-aging properties. Jade stone helps tighten the skin and gives a youthful glow. Rolling Jadeite over the skin helps drain the lymphatic system while increasing blood circulation.
Jade stone has significant cultural value in China. It is famous for its metaphysical properties and has a long history of being used for spiritual purposes in various traditions.
Two types of Jade stones exist, including Nephrite and Jadeite. Nephrite is the most common, whereas Jadeite Jade is rarer, more valuable, and expensive. It occurs in Burma, while you can find a few mines in Russia, Guatemala, California, and Japan.
Wearing Burmese Jadeite Jade can bring good luck, attract positive energies, and provide emotional and physical healing. You can check out our vast collection at Luxe Pieces.