Enormous Jade Boulder Extracted in Myanmar

The Second Largest Jadeite Ever Unearthed

Written by: Wai Yan
10 December 2019

The enormous jadeite boulder was discovered in October 2016. The following article is based on 2016 news reports. No updates has been reported since and the current whereabouts or status of the stone are unknown.

Miners in Myanmar have uncovered a colossal jadeite jade boulder, weighing nearly 175 tonnes. Burma, now known as Myanmar, is the world's largest producer of natural jadeite. It is the source of 70% of the world's most exquisite quality jade. This 50 billion dollar a year industry makes half of the country's gross domestic product.

Jade is a durable and an important precious gemstone that was used in many ancient civilisations as tools, weapons, ornaments, and in the more recently centuries, jewellery. It is highly prized in the neighbouring country of China. In the Chinese culture, jadeite is a symbol of wealth, good health and luck. Most of the jadeite mined in Myanmar are exported to China, where it is known as the "Stone of Heaven."

The giant-sized jade stone found in Burma has a height of 4.3m (14ft), a length of 5.8m (19ft), and weights approximately 175 tonnes. According news reports, this rough jadeite boulder could be worth an estimated $170M USD. 

The boulder was discovered at a depth of 60m inside a mountain in Kachin state, which is located in the northern part of the country where all of the jadeite in the country is mined. It's the second-largest Burmese jadeite stone in the world, after the carved jade statue of Buddha in China, which weighs around 260 tonnes.

U Soe Tint, a local politician party member compared the size of jade boulder to the size of two small houses. He said, "I assume that it is a present for the fate of our citizens, the government, and our party as it was discovered in the time of our government. It's a very good sign for us."

Although the discovery was made, the boulder remained the same position as it was found for quite some time. It was so large it couldn't be transported right away as there are no adequate machines to lift it.

About the Author

Wai Yan

Wai was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). Trained by the Gemmological Association of Australia, he is a qualified Gemmologist. Throughout his life, he has been in constant contact with gemstones and jewellery through the family business and has been fascinated by the beauty and rarity of them all. He is now operating a branch of the business in Australia, supplying all kinds of gemstones especially of Burmese origin to international markets. 

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