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Precious Gemstone: Jade Formation and the Finest Jadeite Jade in Burma

Precious Gemstone: Jade Formation and the Finest Jadeite Jade in Burma

When you look at the unusual green color of jade, you might wonder if it came from space. Regrettably, this is not the case and jade is formed within many places on the Earth.

What causes jade's green color? We'll look at where it's most commonly found, the science behind it, and how it forms geographically. Consider us your jade experts, here to teach you the fundamentals of jade. Dahlia has over 15 years of experience in selling jade so it is correct to trust us. 

Where is Jade Mostly Found?

Jade is the most valuable gemstone in Asian culture. It has been known for 5,000 years since the Neolithic Age as a material for tools, carvings, and gems, now known for jade carvings and jewelry. The combination of jade’s history and magnificent appearance makes the stone so valuable and popular.

When we think of jade, the image that pops into our head is an already cut and crafted stone that is carved or made into jewelry. Most people immediately associate jade and jade objects with China. China has long been a significant jade producer, as well as a leading jade cutting center, jade consumer, and jade market. The only time this dominance shifted outside of China was between World War II and the early 1980s where the Chinese government suppressed jade commerce at the time, and Hong Kong briefly became the center of jade commerce. But there are many other places in the world where jade is mined and transported to China for crafting.

How Are They Formed Geographically? 

Jade is a distinct gemstone that can be found in places such as Eastern Siberia and the Polar Urals. This raw jade is then transported to China where the best jade craftsmanship is produced and has since become the center of the jade market. Jade is a well-known gemstone, but the way it is constructed makes it extremely valuable. It's incredible how this vibrant green gemstone emerges from the Earth. When another shift or earthquake occurs, the old or new crack opens and water containing dissolved jade flows through the cracks, forming a new layer of jade. This process will continue to be repeated indefinitely. For massive amounts of jade deposits to form, It must take millions of earthquakes to happen.

Jade can only be formed under specific circumstances. Jadeite, in particular, is a mineral that is formed during the metamorphism process and is associated with metamorphic rocks. Natural jadeite deposits are only usually found along the geologic locations where tectonic plates meet. The majority of jadeite is found in rocks with high pressure, which causes jadeite deposits to separate.

The only two recognized types of jade are jadeite jade and nephrite jade. Nephrite jade is more common and widely used, but jadeite is rarer and more valuable. As a result, jadeite is often more expensive than nephrite. That being said, jadeite is the more valuable and sought-after variety of the two. Read more about the differences between the two here.

Finest Jadeite in the World

Jade is mined in Burma and is transported to China where it is made into jade carvings and jewelry such as the large raw jade in the image.

Emerald green "imperial" jade, the most valuable variety, is more valuable than diamonds. It has an almost transparent and vibrant emerald-green color.  The Chinese royal court once had a standing order for all available material of this type, and it is now one of the world's most expensive gems. The specific green jade that can fetch millions of dollars on the market as it has a pure, penetrating, and vibrant hue with no hint of gray that appears intense even from a distance. It ranges from bright green to slightly bluish green or yellowish green.

The finest quality jadeite can only be found in the Burmese state of Kachin. The living conditions in this area of Burma are harsh, transportation is slow and arduous, and active military combat is always a risk. In short, not only is finding jadeite jade a difficult and risky proposition but transporting it to the market poses additional risks. As a result of these factors, high-quality jadeite from Burma is extremely expensive. After jade is mined from Burma, it is transported to China where it is then crafted into jewelry or carved pieces and as a result, many places where authentic jade jewelry is sold is not where it is mined.

Overall, this green alien-like rock is a gemstone that is called jade and is valuable and precious due to its formation. Depending on whether the jade is nephrite or jadeite, one can be more expensive than the other. At the end of the day, whether it's nephrite or jadeite, these two are stunning gemstones. At Dahlia, we source our jadeite jade jewelry from authentic sources and each piece comes with certification from China’s National Gemstone Testing Center (NGTC).

Curious about more information on jade? Interested in purchasing your own jadeite jade jewelry? Visit us at   

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