Where does jade come from?

where does jade come from

Jadeite and Nephrite Sources


Jadeite deposits have been located in various locations in the world. Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been the main source of jadeite since the late 18th century. Some jadeite is also mined in Russia (Siberia), Guatemala, Japan, Kazakhstan, California and Mexico.
Guatemala and Burma are the primary sources for modern jadeite. But Myanmar is credited with having the finest quality jade. The most important source of jadeite is the large deposit near Taw Maw, Myanmar (Burma). The high-quality Burmese jadeite can exist in many different colors and is by far much more vibrant compared to other jadeite stones of a different origin.


Notable nephrite jade deposits have been located in China (Sinkiang), Canada, Australia, New Zealand, British, Germany, India, Brazil, Russia, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Italy, Turkestan and the Western United States. Xinjiang Province in China is the oldest known source of nephrite. Currently, the principal source of green nephrite is the Columbia province in Canada with vast amounts of identified depository sites.
And in contrast, amongst the nephrite category, the white nephrite (also called white jade) found in the Xinjiang province of China is the highest in value. It has a unique density. It has been said that after palming it on your hand you will notice oil surfacing on the top as though it is drawing oil out from the human body. Hence the white nephrite from Xinjiang has been given the name “white mutton”. The next subsequent grade of white nephrite is those that originate from the Qinghai province and in Russia.

Characteristic of Jade from Different Sources

jade sources

Burmese jade

Burmese jade generally refers to jade. Because of its high hardness, Burmese jade is bright and clean. A good jade has a bright and peaceful color, and has a high preservation and collection value, so it is called the "king of jade". 

The emerald mine in Myanmar is located in the Pakant mining area north of Myitkyina in northern Myanmar. It has a mining history of more than 100 years. Because of the largest reserves of jadeite deposits there, people have been mining gem-grade jadeite there for a long time. There are secondary mines and primary mines in the Pakant mining area. The quality and color of the jadeite produced by him is the best, which can reach the gem level. High-end jadeites are all produced in Myanmar. The color of jadeite is solemn and elegant, moist and delicate, and it is loved by the Chinese.

Guatemala Jade

Many people don't know that Guatemala, located in Central America, is also the origin of jade. The history of Guatemala jadeite can be traced back to the Maya civilization. Before Spanish rule, the Aztecs in Mexico regarded it as a sacred object more expensive than gold. But the history of Guatemalan jade also disappeared in the long river of history along with the Maya civilization.

It was not until 1975 that an American couple Jay and Mary Lou discovered the original emerald ore body in the depths of the Motogua River Valley, allowing this treasure to be seen again. Now the Guatemalan jade on the market is mainly controlled by the company of the American couple. In particular, they only sell jade finished products and never sell jade raw materials.

Emerald of Russia

Russia is a country rich in resources. Gold and diamonds occupy an important position in the world's supply chain.

The jade deposit in the Western Sayan Mountains of Russia was discovered in 1959 in the valley of the Jegil River (a tributary of the Yenisei River) in the southern part of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. Around the middle and late 1990s, a small amount of jade raw materials began It is sold in the Hong Kong jade market through an agent.

Compared with the jade of Burma, the jade of the Western Sayan Mountains in Russia is less bright in appearance, coarser in grain size, and lower in transparency. In terms of mineral assemblage, the jade of the West Sayan Mountains contains more diopside, a small amount of sulfide and mica. Especially bauxite can be regarded as a very characteristic mineral inclusion. There are also certain differences in the chemical composition of jadeite, the main mineral that composes jadeite. The content of Ca and Fe in jadeite in Western Sayan Range jadeite is relatively high.
It is understood that there are many varieties of jadeite raw materials in Russia, and there is no shortage of high-quality jadeite raw materials. Russian materials have also continuously entered the jade raw material market in mainland China. Some varieties are similar to Myanmar raw materials and are not easy to distinguish.