We were expecting the jade market in Mandalay to be row after row of shops selling jade trinkets and jewelry. But what we found was a flourishing wholesale jade market, with stones coming in, and people cutting, polishing, examining, counting stacks of money.
There are many stone cutters in the market who cut and polish the stones to reveal the interior. This jade stone had an uninteresting exterior with a few fissures that indicated that there might be some interesting colour patterns in the interior, but until it was cut in half the buyer really didn’t know whether the stone he had just purchased was worth anything or not.
They then have the stone cut into pieces that take best advantage of the interior colouring.
In the final stages the stones are ground down into cabochons. Two cabochons inspected for quality. The final stones for sale…