Photo: Jade on display.

Jade market or Mahar Aung Myay

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Mandalay's jade market is probably the market of most interest to the traveller visiting town. Most Burmese towns will feature more interesting and photogenic general markets than the hideous Zay Cho building, but not many possess entire markets dedicated to the precious green stone.

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Jade can be either of two metamorphic rocks: jadeite or nephrite, with the former being much rarer and more valuable. It’s only found in 12 known quarries in the world with Burma, plus logically Guatemala, being the two principal sources.

A simple stall with jade arrayed for sale. Photo taken in or around Jade market or Mahar Aung Myay, Mandalay, Burma_myanmar by Christopher Smith.

A simple stall with jade arrayed for sale. Photo: Christopher Smith

In Burma, the jadeite mines are in Kachin State to the far north, but Mandalay as the main commercial centre and largest city, is the trade’s hub. Though commonly found in semi-translucent green shades, ranging from pale turquoise to emerald green, jade also comes in pink, orange and several other colours. The green is derived from iron content—the higher the content, the darker the shade ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)


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