Bubble trouble hits Hong Kong jade sales
HONG KONG (AFP) - Prized as a magical imperial stone, jade is a status symbol of the super rich in Asia, but rocketing prices in the top-end of the market have left traders in Hong Kong struggling to find buyers.
With the cost of high-quality raw jade and jade products surging repeatedly in the past eight years, prices tags are now becoming prohibitive and experts predict the bubble must soon burst as buyers are stepping back.
Driven up by the appetite of wealthy Chinese, the rising cost of jade is also being fuelled by fears of a shortage in supply from Myanmar, the key source.
"Consumers cannot accept the current high prices, therefore, no deal is reached," Hong Kong jade dealer Li Kwong-kei told AFP at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair on Friday.