The world’s largest jade market: A photo tour

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Mandalay’s jade market, the largest in the world. © Arno Maierbrugger

Mandalay in north-central Myanmar is the gateway to the country’s most precious (legal) commodity: Jade. And no wonder, Mandalay also hosts the world’s largest jade market which is a remarkably lively place where enormous amounts of money change hand every day.

The market, whose official name is Mahar Aung Myay Market, has vendors displaying everything from huge chunks of the green rock to tiny fragments of jade in the morning when people gather to cut, polish and trade the precious stones.

It is best visited at around 8am to 9am, when trading activity is highest, while in the afternoon other gems also make their appearance,  and is accessible best from the corner of 38th and 86th street, some three kilometers from town center (railway station).

Most of the clients are Chinese, while traders are happy to sell to anyone. In that case, knowledge of how to check the quality of jade is essential to determine a fair value. There used to be international sanctions against Myanmar jade which could be re-imposed as a result of the Rohingya crisis, making it impossible to commercially or privately import jade to the European Union or the US.

All photos © Arno Maierbrugger

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Mandalay’s jade market, the largest in the world. © Arno Maierbrugger

Mandalay in north-central Myanmar is the gateway to the country’s most precious (legal) commodity: Jade. And no wonder, Mandalay also hosts the world’s largest jade market which is a remarkably lively place where enormous amounts of money change hand every day.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Mandalay’s jade market, the largest in the world. © Arno Maierbrugger

Mandalay in north-central Myanmar is the gateway to the country’s most precious (legal) commodity: Jade. And no wonder, Mandalay also hosts the world’s largest jade market which is a remarkably lively place where enormous amounts of money change hand every day.

The market, whose official name is Mahar Aung Myay Market, has vendors displaying everything from huge chunks of the green rock to tiny fragments of jade in the morning when people gather to cut, polish and trade the precious stones.

It is best visited at around 8am to 9am, when trading activity is highest, while in the afternoon other gems also make their appearance,  and is accessible best from the corner of 38th and 86th street, some three kilometers from town center (railway station).

Most of the clients are Chinese, while traders are happy to sell to anyone. In that case, knowledge of how to check the quality of jade is essential to determine a fair value. There used to be international sanctions against Myanmar jade which could be re-imposed as a result of the Rohingya crisis, making it impossible to commercially or privately import jade to the European Union or the US.

All photos © Arno Maierbrugger

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