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Element is the only jewelry shop in Beijing which sells rare mineral crystals and meteorites, as well as jewelry made of these precious ores. The shop is located on Tobacco Pipe Lane, in the Shi Cha Hai area.

Lots of mineral species, such as fluorite, cinnabar and pyrite, can be found here. You can find regarding each piece. Some are even said to have the mysterious power to be able to bring people good luck.

The owner showed me one particularly special mineral crystal. It came from a mine in the Sichuan Province, where the earthquake hit this year. He said the mine was destroyed during the quake, so this crystal has become incredibly rare.

Prices of mineral crystals are from RMB 1000 to RMB 3000. One fluorite I particularly liked, which resembles rock candy, costs RMB 2000.

Among the collection of meteorites, most are imported from other countries, and came to Earth this year. How would you like to wear a ring made of meteorite? You may choose any meteorite in the shop, and have them create a ring for you.

The shop also sells jewelry made of diamond, jade, emerald, and other precious stones.

Prices are negotiable.

The shop owner speaks excellent English. Feel free to ask him anything you need.

What I appreciate:
Beautiful ores, warm-hearted shop owner

What customers appreciate:
Rare mineral crystals to collect


Just as its name implies, Yu Hai Cui Yuan, is indeed a "sea of jade". Located on Fatou Xili Street, it is very close to the Temple of Heaven.

Upon entering the shop, I was first attracted by a huge jade carving of a cabbage displayed in a glass container. It looked fantastic, both in terms of size and craftsmanship. According to the shop assistant, it took totally three years to carve this giant piece of work.

Needless to say, the price tag was also quite amazing, at RMB 1,000,000.

Another characteristic jade carving is a basket containing peonies, peaches, and guavas with butterflies flying, and a cat standing aside. This is a good birthday present to the elderly. Peonies and butterflies symbolize wealth, while peaches and cats mean longevity.

Besides these exquisite jade carvings, this shop also holds a range of jade jewelry. The jade is imported from Burma, which are the best in the world. The raw jade are then carved into their present form by Yu Hai Cui Yuan's own group of artists. Prices vary from RMB 300 to RMB 58,000.

What I appreciate:
Amazing jade carvings

What customers appreciate:
Beautiful collection of jade items, fine craft


Cat greets you with a floor-to-ceiling bookcase crowded with vintage-looking publications. Don't be fooled, they are not for sale; but the books lend such warmth to the place that it is like walking into the living room of a traveler with eclectic tastes.

This is actually a knick-knacks store, stuffed with a collection of oddities from exotic places. It's as though your sister returned from her backpacking trip and decided to sell all her souvenirs. Thai silver jewelery, textiles, bags and Balinese cat figurines (RMB 15) seem to be the main focus. A miniature bi-plane (RMB 498) graces the shelves beside wooden CD holders (RMB 168), and I noticed Thai cow-bone rice spoons (RMB 85) and coffee mugs (RMB 35). A good selection of Helen Legend clothing tops off this potpourri.

It is worth paying the shop a visit just to find that sweet nothing of a gift you've been meaning to give. The shop assistants speak basic English, so simple conversation is not a problem.

What I appreciate

The wooden CD holders

What customers appreciate

The full range of exotic knick-knacks

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Beijing Shopping: Element is the only jewelry shop in Beijing which sells rare mineral crystals and meteorites, as well as jewelry made of these precious ores. The shop is located on Tobacco Pipe Lane, in the Shi Cha H...