Diamonds, sapphires and rubies are commonly thought to be the world's most valuable gemstones but there is another that is even more precious. It is Imperial Green Jade, or jadeite. Since its discovery nearly 2,000 years ago, Imperial Green Jade has been worshipped, ingested and traded. Those who returned from Burma in the fifteenth century came with stories of a kingdom built entirely from the green stone - a place they called the 'Lost Valley of Capelan'. Today foreigners are barred from the place in northern Burma known as 'Jadeland', where thousands of soldiers guard the dictatorship's treasures. In order to be the first Europeans ever to get there, Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark had to persuade Rangoon's generals to escort them. This book reveals how they did so and in its final chapters takes the reader on a terrifying journey to the 'Lost Valley of Capelan'. What they discovered was jadeite's biggest secret: a human disaster of biblical proportions.
Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
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