|The jadeite mines of Upper Burma (now Myanmar) occupy a privileged place in the world of gems, as they are the principal source of the finest grade material in the world. The jadeite mines of Hpakan, Upper Burma is located about 420 km north of Mandalay, amidst some of the most inaccessible jungle on the planet.|
For the Chinese, there is a terrestrial bridge between heaven and hell – jade. The history of jade in Chinese culture stretches back thousands of years.
To the Chinese, jade was traditionally defined by its “virtues,” namely a compact, fine texture, toughness and high hardness, smooth and glossy luster, along with high translucency and the ability to take a high polish.
|Villagers, now jade poachers, come from near and far, some women and children to risk their lives for a chance to find the precious stones. The work is dangerous, especially when it rains. Landslides happen often.|