Jade: Stone of Heaven

An account of Burma's famous jade mines, based on three visits between 1996–2004.

Jade: Stone of Heaven by Richard Hughes
Known to the Chinese as the “Stone of Heaven,” jade is one of mankind’s most beguiling gemstones. While the term “jade” includes both nephrite and jadeite, only jadeite occurs in the coveted “imperial green” type, and for this the world has but one source, Upper Burma (Myanmar). It is these mines which are the subject of this program.

Burma’s center of jade mining is the small town of Hpakan. Fortune-seekers from all over Asia are drawn to the mines and the heady atmosphere is one of the gold rush days of the old American West. Famous in Burma as “Little Hong Kong,” Hpakan offers Hennessy cognac, Rolex watches, French perfume and much more. This is all the more amazing considering it is located amidst some of the most impenetrable jungle on the planet.

In 1996, Richard Hughes was a member of the first foreign gemological party allowed into these mines in over 30 years and has since visited the mines a further two times. He will regale participants with a multi-media-based first-hand account of the mining and trading of this fascinating gemstone.

Saturday 21 April 2007

5th Annual Sinkankas Symposium
GIA, Carlsbad, CA (USA)