Jade Museum Kuala Lumpur is more of a shop than a museum but it does display some exquisite jade pieces from the owner’s collection built up over 40 years in the jade import and export business.
Jade Museum is located in a bungalow in what was once a quiet residential area of KL but is fast being redeveloped into a high rise commercial district.
The owner of the business, Datuk Catherine Chan, was in the museum when I visited and she kindly allowed me to look around and take a few photos. She told me she used to incentivise taxi and bus drivers to bring tourists to her shop but with tourist numbers down she now prefers to supply quality pieces to discerning private clients.
Jade is not mined in Malaysia so everything here is imported from jade producing countries such as Myanmar and China.
There are a number of museum quality pieces on display including a pair of green jade chairs, or Twin Dragon Thrones, of the sort reserved for the Emperor and Empress. There are some fine jade Buddha and Guan Yin statues, some beautiful vases, a jade cabbage, a star fruit bonsai tree made from jade and many other attractive artworks.
There is not a lot of information on display but there is a poster explaining about the grading scale for jade, which is the collective term for two different minerals, jadeite and nephrite. Just as diamonds are graded by the 4 Cs (colour, clarity, carat and cut), jade is classified by the 3 Ts: Tone (i.e. colour), Translucency (ranging from semi-transparent to opaque), and Texture (fine, medium or coarse). In addition the size and weight and the quality of the workmanship will affect the price of the finished jade product.
Jade comes in many colours. ‘Imperial’ green is seen as the most desirable among connoisseurs but black, white, lavender, red, yellow, orange, grey and brown are also found as well as mixtures of two or more colours.
We tend to associate jade with Asian culture, particularly Chinese, but the gemstone has been valued in ancient Egypt, in Central American cultures and by the Maoris in New Zealand among others.
Jade is believed by some to have mystical powers, giving luck and protection to the wearer or owner and to have healing abilities. It is tough and hard wearing and maintains its colour. It looks nice too with excellent long lasting lustre.
Most of the space in the Jade Museum is given over to items for sale. Display cases contain a wide range of ornaments, Chinese zodiac symbols, teapots, bangles and bracelets, earrings, brooches, necklaces, pendants and rings.
No doubt you can negotiate for discounts and the fact that Jade Museum and its owner have been the recipient of Asia Honesty Awards in the past can give you some comfort that what you are buying is what they what say it is. I sensibly left my wife at home so did not buy anything!
Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
Admission is FREE.
I have marked the exact location of Jade Museum Kuala Lumpur on this map:
Jade Museum Kuala Lumpur
26 Jalan Delima
Off Jalan Imbi
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.