The Jade Market in Hong Kong is a retail street in Kowloon that is famous for the large number of stores selling jade stones of various sizes and shapes. The market is divided into two sections, the eastern and western parts. It is in the eastern section that the majority of stores are located.
The Jade Market
Even though the name Jade Market might make you think that it is some kind of an open street market, the fact is that the stores are actually located indoors. In addition to jade, other precious stones are also available. All types of jewelry, whether it be amulets, pendants, bangles, bracelets, good luck charms, and so on, can be bought from the jade market. The place is also known as “Yau Ma Tei Jade Hawker Bazaar.”
“Developed by migrated jade traders from Guangzhou in the early 1950s, the Jade Market of Hong Kong came into being firstly in Guangzhou Street with some stalls just on the ground. Later in 1984, with a view to regular management and the traffic improvement, the government opened up an area in the north of Gansu Street and built the present jade market, which offers over 400 shops or stalls,” according to Visit Our China.
The Jade Market largely caters to people who are looking to buy affordable jade stones or jewelry. So keep in mind that you might not find too many stores selling top-range jade. The expensive ones are usually in the hands of private collectors. Now, just like any other street market, negotiation is the key to getting the best bang for your buck. Sellers will usually inflate the price of jade to create an artificial discount during the negotiation process. Keep this in mind and try to bring down the price as low as you can.
It is possible that some sellers might try to defraud you by offering fake jade. So you need to know how to differentiate between real jade and the fake one. Inspect the jade closely to see if there are any “bubbles” inside it. If so, it would mean that the jade stone has been manipulated with either silicone or plastic. A real jade stone should feel cold and smooth to the touch, taking some time to get warmed up. In case you have a real jade with you, try clinking it with the stone you wish to purchase. If the action produces a sound similar to what is generated when plastic beads tap against each other, the stone is likely fake.
Visiting the Jade Market
Do not plan on visiting the Jade Market at night since the stores are only open between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The owners are keen to do business as soon as they open the store. They also look to close a deal as early as possible since it is believed that any transaction that is done early on, irrespective of how small it may be, will bring good luck for the entire day. So if you visit the stores early in the mornings, there is a good chance that negotiations might swing your way.
As to getting to the Jade Market, take the Hong Kong subway MTR to the Yau Ma Tei Station and take Exit C. Alternatively, you can go to the Jordan MTR station and head to Exit A. Whether you arrive at Yau Ma Tei or Jordan Station, both are only a couple of minutes walking distance away from the Jade Market.