jade sources - Jadeite cabochon, Myanmar
Jadeite cabochon, 3.79 ct, 11.35 mm, Myanmar. © Rob Lavinsky, mineralauctions.com. Used with permission.

Principal Jadeite Jade Sources

The principal producers of gem-quality jadeite are Myanmar and Guatemala.

Myanmar

The primary source of the highest quality jadeite, Myanmar (formerly Burma) supplies more than 95% of the jadeite on the market. Material from Myanmar can easily command prices ten times higher than jadeite from other sources.

A region in the northern part of Myanmar known as the “Jade Tract” contains a cluster of jadeite mines. The town of Hpakan is the center of the jadeite mining district. Miners can find jadeite as large pod-like bodies in massive serpentinite deposits within the Jade Tract. In the alluvial and eluvial deposits that flow from those primary deposits, they can find jadeite in sizes ranging from pebbles to boulders.

jade sources - jadeite, Myanmar
Jadeite slab, ~1 meter across, from Hpakan, Myanmar, on display at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Photo by Kelly Nash. Licensed under CC By 3.0.

Guatemala

Guatemala produces green jadeite. However, it typically has a darker tone and grayer saturation than material from Myanmar. Guatemala also produces rare blue jadeite.

Recently, Guatemala’s Motagua Valley has