Sunday, December 27, 2015

Updates about Burmese Jadeite, Embargoes and Reasons Why Genuine Jadeite is Scarce and Expensive

I listed a few new grade A genuine old mine "lao pit" jadeite bangle bracelets on the Ying Yu Jade web site today.  I'm getting some criticism from my jade mentor in China about pricing them so low, although people who look at them will probably think they are priced high and wonder why.   Sometimes customers buy a clearance discounted jadeite bangle on the JadeBangleBracelets web site in the "Chinatown Collection" that is genuine jadeite, but probably color treated, and to get them sold I greatly reduced the prices, mostly under $100. Sometimes they complain that it doesn't look like natural color.  And it's not, as stated in the product description.  They claim they can get grade A jadeite for the same price.

Real, genuine jadeite bangle bracelets are not cheap.  The newer jadeite is not as expensive as the old mine lao pit jadeite, but it's not as high quality, either.  It's usually not translucent, and often with clarification lines that can be felt.  When the US and other western countries put an embargo on jadeite around the year 2008, the reasons were because of the military involvement in the jadeite.  Most jade mines are owned by the military.  They often made the miners slaves to mine the jadeite, and many lives were lost because of unsafe conditions.  The military doesn't do as good a job with carving as the traditional old style jade carvers, so jadeite isn't as good.  The nicer jade available often is from pieces scavenged around the mines by locals trying to make a few dollars. If you live in USA and are buying jadeite from China,  you are buying illegally. I read an update about the embargoes in Burma (Myanmar), and although many sanctions have been lifted, the embargo of jadeite and rubies is still in place.  There are options to get around it, like allowing Burma people to take jadeite to USA and sell at trade shows.  But in general,  jadeite, even if it's carved and polished in China or other countries, is still not legal to import to USA. 

Here's an article about a landslide in Burma (Myanmar) that gives some insight into this issue. And ttoday this article appeared in USA Today: Why Myanmar's Massive Jade Industry  is So Deadly

You will see in most of the descriptions the year the jadeite listed on the web sites was purchased, all prior to 2008.  That's when I was going to China at every opportunity I could and taking all my extra cash to buy jadeite.  Not because I knew an embargo was in process, but because I saw prices rising, and quality decreasing.

I truly love the jadeite bangles I listed today. I keep them in boxes in a cool, dark closet and look at them, touch them, often.  The prices are often below what they sell them in China, which is why I am getting flack from my jade mentor.  But, they need a wrist, not a box.

Jadeite Bangle 55mm inside diameter BB606

Jadeite Bangle BB2790 64mm inside diameter

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