Myanmar Special Report: Jade products is a special report focusing on quality jade product suppliers who have not yet exported from the country. Featured enterprises include Apex Jade, Ayeyarwaddy Mann, Eastern Jade, Glory Jewellery & Souvenir Shop, Htike Tan, Mary Doi, Mr Innle, OK Palace, Royal Jewellery & Jade Handicrafts and Taw Win Yadanar.
Industry overviewDespite the economic and democratic developments in Myanmar, domestic jade product suppliers still face a number of challenges that could hamper its progress.
While other sectors are set to benefit from eased restrictions, the industry continues to be under the embargo of the US due to various problematic issues hounding the line. These include claims of forced and child labor, sexual exploitation of workers, land confiscation and environmental damage. The Jade Act imposed by Washington in 2008 bans exports of gems and stones from Myanmar. The restriction also prohibits the importation of jewelry made of jade and ruby. The segment, nonetheless, remains one of the most lucrative industries in the country.
|Myanmar jade product exports||Competitive advantages||Challenges||Industry composition|
A number of enterprises circumvent this problem by purchasing high-grade lumber through illegitimate channels. Some buy from unauthorized traders and others resort to bribery of government officials.
Besides difficulties in raw material sourcing, the industry’s nonprogressive status is directly attributed to economic sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. Foreign investment has been diminished greatly since the 1990s in response to the former junta government’s human rights violations and other nondemocratic policies.
Myanmar, nonetheless, maintains trading partnerships with nearly 50 countries worldwide. The bulk is from Asia, with the most active ones being India, China and Thailand. Despite this, exports have risen minimally while penalties are in place, leaving the economy in general weakened and unable to keep up with those of neighboring nations.
Myanmar jade product exportsAccording to the Ministry of National Planning and Development, jade shipments reached $920 million from April to December last year. The amount is 53 percent higher compared to the same period in 2012. The sector has earned about $1.3 billion over the past three years. Mainland China, Hong Kong and India are the major export markets.
Myanmar supplies the majority of the world’s jade. Most of the reserves can be found in the small mining town of Hpakant, which is located north of Mandalay. Estimates show that annual jade production exceeds 10,000 tons.
Twice a year, the government holds the Myanmar Gems Emporium wherein gem and jewelry merchants across the globe bid for the finest stones mined in the country. A large portion of the attendees are from China, the UK, Thailand and Malaysia. In the July 2014 edition of the event, some 6,000 jade lots were sold during the auctions.
Strong support provided by local trade associations is another edge possessed by the sector. Aside from marketing assistance, the Gems Entrepreneurs Association is working with foreign experts, particularly technicians from China, to increase the quality and value of processed jade and other stones.
The proliferation of fake jade jewelry is one of the major difficulties confronting the sector. Over the past years, syndicates have been actively selling counterfeit products to take advantage of rising demand. Most bogus items, including necklaces, rings, paintings, vases and bowls, incorporate stones dipped in liquid plastic compounds that provide a bright luster similar to that of genuine versions.To help buyers avoid being victimized by this scam, mine officials plan to open a one-stop service center in Sagaing, where manufacturers of various jade products are based.
Another threat is the increase tariff imposed by China on jade commodities. Deliveries to that nation have moderately slowed down since taxes were adjusted from 15 to 33 percent. Compounding this problem is the payment of additional 12 percent duty to the Ministry of Mining for all transactions made in the Myanmar-China border.
Sanctions against jade items from Myanmar also dent profits of domestic companies. Instead of directly sending their products to Western buyers, particularly the US and the EU, enterprises channel their exports to agents in China to complete the deals.
There are no official figures on the number of jade product manufacturers in Myanmar. It is estimated that about 300 enterprises make up the sector.
Most suppliers are based in Sagaing in the northwestern part of the country. It is home to the Hkamti jadeite area, wherein two of the country’s largest mining centers are located. Jade carvers can also be found in Hpakant, Mandalay and Yangon.
Jade is considered as one of the most precious metals available in Myanmar. Most are mined from the northern state of Kachin near the Uyu River.
There are two main types, namely jadeite and nephrite. The former is considered more commercially viable and have various colors in different textures such as white, purple, yellow and green. This component is often used for jewelry. Nephrites, on the other hand, are translucent white, yellow, green, black and the hue is evenly distributed. This input is adopted in artifacts and handicrafts.
|Design & manufacturing||Pricing|
DesignsModels in this line are often influenced by customs and religion. Various Buddhist symbols are utilized to decorate vases and pots, while wall art and sculptures draw inspiration from cultural icons such as pagodas, elephants and peacocks. Flowers and leaves also remain popular motifs.
Craftsmanship is evident in souvenir plates and tea sets, which boast handpainted patterns. Rich colors, including red, yellow, orange and green, are incorporated to enhance aesthetic value.
Jewelry comes in stylish shapes, shades and trimmings. They are often embellished with multiple strands of stones and beads. Necklaces usually have pendants that hang from the center of a metal, leather or fabric cord.
Owners normally handle the design process. Some makers employ at least two stylists, however. Samples are often provided within seven days. Models with complex accents usually take over 10 days to complete.
PricingQuotes of jade products vary according to the quality of the stone and design complexity. In assessing items, the color, transparency and cut are the main criteria. The majority of models are low-end. This segment is composed of necklaces, bangles, bracelets and earrings that use dyed jade and have minimal trimming. Basic releases also include figurines and small tea cups that come in various designs and patterns. Prices start at $1 and reach $30.
Midrange versions often employ semi-opaque or transparent jade, which has better quality and luster. Products such as vases and plates are normally finished with lacquer to boost aesthetics. Jewelry accented with onyx beads also belong to this classification. Quotes are between $31 and $100.
High-end models adopt similar materials with midrange releases but feature elaborate adornments. Examples include tea sets with handpainted floral decals and necklaces trimmed with gold or silver. Prices are more than $100.
|Price guide: Jewelry|
|$1 to $10
Bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings; dyed jade; simple design; in various colors
|Click to enlarge picture.|
|$11 to $50
Bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings; semi-opaque jade; dark or light green; onyx bead trimming; better construction
|More than $50
Bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings; semi-opaque or transparent jade; smooth texture; silver or trimming; dark or light green; better construction
Jade product suppliers
Apex Jade was established in 1995. It specializes in jewelry and carvings. The company has participated in trade shows in Japan, China, Thailand and India.
The company was founded in 1994. It manufactures jewelry and carvings with gold and semiprecious stone embellishments, including ruby, sapphire and pearl. The enterprise has participated in trade shows in Singapore, Malaysia, Africa, Japan and Hong Kong.
Easter Jade was established in 1996. It specializes in jewelry and carvings. They have not participated in any trade shows, focusing on building their showrooms domestically.
Glory Jewellery & Souvenir Shop
Glory Jewellery was founded in 2009. It specializes in jewelry with gold embellishments. They have not participated in any trade shows.
Htike Tan was established in 2012. It specializes in jade carvings and jewelry. The bestsellers include bangles and earrings. Prices are $1 to $500, depending on design complexity.
|Htike Tan products|
Mary Doi was established in 1993. It specializes in jewelry. Some of its export markets include the Asia-Pacific region and the EU.
|Mary Doi products|
Mr Innle was founded in 2011. It specializes in jade jewelry and carving. They have not participated in trade shows.
NyiNyiZaw specializes in jade table and dinnerware. Product lines include bowls and utensil sets. All manufacturing processes are performed in the workshop based in the city of Mandalay.
OK Palace was established in 2000. It specializes in jade carvings and jewelry. All manufacturing steps are performed in-house. The supplier releases three new models every year.
|OK Palace products|
Royal Jewellery & Jade Handicrafts
Royal Jewellery & Jade Handicrafts was established in 1995. It specializes in jade carvings and jewelry. The company is a member of Myanmar Gems & Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association and Myanmar Geoscience Society.
|Royal Jewellery and Jade Handicrafts products|
Taw Win Yadanar
Taw Win was established in 1938. It specializes in jade jewelry and carvings. They have not yet joined in any international trade shows.
|Taw Win Yadanar products|
Supplier locations map
Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association
|Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association Contact Details|
On behalf of the Myanmar Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Association or MGJEA, I would like to express my thanks for your interest in sourcing jade products from Myanmar.
Myanmar is famous for its jade, ruby and sapphire gemstones. MGJEA’s objective is to develop quality products from these materials that will boost our handicraft industry not just domestically but internationally.
I would like to thank the Hinrich Foundation and Global Sources for providing a marketing venue where global buyers can connect with our local suppliers.
9F, 29 Min Ye Kyaw Swar Road, UMFCCI, Lanmadaw, Yangon, Myanmar
Myanmar jade products suppliers
To contact these companies, please email our export consultants in Myanmar here with the specific company names and products you are interested in.
|Company||Jewelry||Handicrafts||Table & dinnerware|
|Glory Jewellery & Souvenir Shop||✓|
|Nyi Nyi Zaw||✓|
|Royal Jewellery & Jade Handicrafts||✓||✓|
|Taw Win Yadanar||✓||✓|