Hetian Jade

27 images Created 24 Oct 2010

This series of images look at the people and business surrounding Jade in Hotan or Hetian in China's Xinjiang province. The city is world renowned for its precious Jade stone, in particular its rare Neprite Jade. So much so, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games medals were made from the Jade in this city.

The river that runs through the city was the source for much of the best White Jade found but after years and years of excavation for the stone there is little left in the rock bed. However with the now very high market price of top quality Jade , per kilogram it can fetch up to one million RMB or US$150,000. Miners have taken the hunt for further and further upstream and into the surrounding Kunlun Mountains. The images look at such miners and also the Jade markets where locals can display and sell off their finds.

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