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Boulder of Jadeite found in Burma

Lyle Sopel -

Dear Collector Friend,


It’s fall here, gorgeous piercing burgandy and rust coloured leaves everywhere. There is also the rain, which is really adventageous when viewing rough jade boulders. While visiting the Jade Ranch just recently, it was a drizzly day and the boulders small chunks some square some rectangle or oblong. If the stone is not wet it can look very decieving as to how its quality is and what the chances are that it will be solid through out. This is a situation of trust and one had better know the person who is selling the rough jade or there could be some real surprises in store. Fortunately, I know most of the miners personally.

Even when I purchase pecious gemstones, I will scout out and I do mean seek to find the most illustrious gems I can find. I can access the jade and the gems in wide open spaces, for the jade its a lovely setting surrounded by deciduous lit up with colour trees and fauna. Other stones offer me a less idylic setting, imagine walking through an area about the size of 3 football fields turning over rocks that look promising. The jade is not quite like that it still requires a keen and alert eye for finding high quality. The purchasing transaction happens through a silent auction system, so not only do you have to be perceptive about the quality but you have to know the market value. A few years ago during our excursions to Arizona to find rough material, I began trying to find some jadeite, jade from Burma very high cost and rare. Through out the years sometimes I would spot a block of white or green jadeite about the size of a loaf of bread. Then eventually jadeite became more and more exclusive to try and acquire.

Now, with this new finding of an impressive boulder.

Burma – A country famous for it’s magnificent gemstones ranging from Ruby to Sapphire to the robust and exquisite Jade. Such stones can yield astronomical, record breaking prices at international auctions. Burma is known as the source of nearly all of the world’s high quality jadeite and Kachin state in the north has been known as a main source of jade for centuries. The $50 billion a year jade industry is said to account for half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The Chinese call it “the stone of heaven” and its traditional European name is “loin stone” because had the reputation of curing ailments below the waist.

Miners in Burma have unearthed what is said to be one the the world’s largest and most valuable pieces of of Jade known to the gemstone world in the remote northern Kachin State. While some experts say it could be worth an astounding $170 million others value it at slightly less – A rock so large you must see it to believe it.

“Myanmar’s jade industry may well be the biggest natural resource heist in modern history. The sums of money involved are almost incomprehensibly high and the level of accountability is at rock bottom,”

Miner Sao Min, told the Daily Mail, “We thought we had won the lottery. But this belongs to the country. It is in honor of our leaders.”

The magnanimous rock, weighs 175 tonnes, measures approximately 9 feet high by 18 feet long and is the second largest next to the carved statue at the ‘Jade Buddha Palace in China.’ This anomaly of nature is sidelined because miners do not have large enough equipment to shift its location and no roads to bring in heavy machinery.

Local politician, U Soe Tint claims the piece of jade was as big as two small houses: “I assume that it is a present for the fate for our citizens, the government and our party as it was discovered in the time of our government. It’s a very good sign for us.”

It is unclear whether a single stone of this proportion has been found before, but, it’s in the same coalition as other geological fascinations, such as the world’s second largest diamond, found last year, and a rare violet diamond, which miners recently unearthed in Australia.

China is one of Burma’s close contender and has been an important exporter of jade; it has long been the leading producer with respect to stone cutting and distribution of jadeite and its products. The Jadeite boulder will most likely be sent to China after a winning bid is placed and there, it will likely be carved up into lavish jewelry and sculpture. According to some gemologists, when cut into many smaller pieces the large stone will harvest greater revenue.

I will continue my hunt for the ideal jadeite, perhaps one day it will find me.

Art, Nature, and Beauty Always,


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