Where is the world's largest jadeite deposit located?
Jade refers to an ornamental mineral, mostly known for its green varieties. It can refer to either of two different minerals: nephrite, a silicate of calcium and magnesium, or jadeite, a silicate of sodium and aluminium.
The jade trade in Myanmar consists of the mining, distribution, and manufacture of the variety of jade, called jadeite, which is produced in the nation of Myanmar (Burma).
Most of the jadeite mined in Myanmar is not cut for use in the country, instead being transported to other nations, primarily in Asia, for use in jewelry and other products.
The jadeite deposits found in Myanmar's northern regions is the highest quality jadeite in the world, considered precious by sources in China going as far back as the 10th century.
Today, it is estimated that Myanmar is the origin of upwards of 70 percent of the world's supply of high-quality jadeite.
At the Maw Ze Sa mine large boulders are extracted by heavy earth-moving machines and then moved by truck to the nearby river for washing and processing.
Jade holds a significant place in the Chinese culture as it is believed to be a bridge between heaven and hell. This belief stems from the antiquity associated with the gem as well as the virtues of righteousness and knowledge it symbolizes.
Jade's virtues, such as fine texture, immense toughness and high hardness, contribute to the high luster and transparency, as well as the durability to withstand a high polish.