Exotic Asian investments

17th Feb 2019


In one of the auction in Hong Kong in 2015, one 136.7 grammes of QiNan agarwood bracelets sold at $21,800,000.


  •    The best agarwood is called QiNan agarwood, it is a non-renewable resource. Therefore some people consider it as a good investment as it can only be diminished but cannot reproduce.
  •    Regarding Chinese medicine, agarwood has a wide range of benefits. For example, it is good for weak spleen, weak kidney (in Chinese medicine, the term spleen and kidney is different from western medicine), heart and nerves. It can help people to sleep better and relieve asthma.
  •    Some of the crafted agarwood can be used as artefacts and place at home for decoration


  •    It is difficult to grow healthy agarwood and it takes at least 5 to 10 years for agarwood to grow.
  •    Some sellers use oil to make counterfeit agarwood, and laymen are difficult to distinguish
  •    For those people with too much ‘Yin’ and ‘Fire’, weak ‘Chi should take extra caution when eating agarwood.
  •    Need a large area of land to grow agarwood and it can only grow in an area which has a temperature less than 10 days lower than -2 degrees.

Yuhua Stone

Over the past 10 years, the value of Yuhua stone has increased 10 times, from about CNY 100 to CNY 1,000.


  • Yuhua stone has a wide range of usage. It can act as decoration on different items or use as flooring.


  • The main component of Yuhua stone is SiO2, therefore it should avoid contact from acid and alkali.


Chenpi is the outer skin of Tangerine. A few years ago, 37.5 grams of 80 years old Chenpi is worth CNY 60,000 in an auction.


  1.    There is a Chinese saying ‘37.5 grams of Chenpi is worth 37.5 grams of goal’
  2.    Chinese believe that the older the Chenpi, the better its medical value. It can preserve for about 80 years, sometimes more than that.
  3.    Chenpi can be used as Chinese medicine. It is good for ‘Chi’ and spleen.  It can also reduce phlegm. Therefore, some people will use Chenpi to make tea.
  4.    Everyone can make Chenpi. You go to the market and peel the skin of Tangerine and put under sunlight. After that you put it in a can.


  •    Some sellers use other types of Tangerine to pretend the best Chenpi produced in Xinhui. It is difficult for laymen to distinguish a good Chenpi.
  •    Need to have a large storage space to take care of a large quantity of Chenpi. It is good to have storage in high altitude.
  •    Special maintenance is needed for taking care of Chenpi, otherwise, they may create insects and mould and reduce its value.
  •    A person with hyperacidity or pregnant woman cannot eat or drink Chenpi. Also, you need to consult a doctor whether you can eat Chenpi when you are taking medicine

Swim bladder

Spider swim bladder, created from extinct fish called Huchotaimen, is worth HKD 60,000 to 70,000 for each 0.5kg. For normal swim bladder, it is worth about HKD 1,000 per 0.5kg.


  •    Due to water pollution, the production of swim bladder is reduced. Therefore, its price keeps rising in recent years.
  •    Swim bladder contains a lot of collagen, which is good for the skin. Many women love eating swim bladder as they believe this can make their skin better.
  •    For the man, swim bladder can increase their energy. It is suitable for people with a huge amount of pressure or workload to eat.
  •    For the elderly, swim bladder can relieve mental deterioration and forgetfulness. It can also help to prevent indigestion and relieve fatigue.


  •    There is a lot of counterfeit swim bladder on the market. If people eat that swim bladder, it may create an adverse effect on their health.
  •    The Guardian once reported that ‘scientific research has yet to find any health benefits from consuming the gas-filled bladder’.
  •    Certain kinds of fish used to create swim bladders, such as totoaba and vaquita, has become endangered spices. It is illegal to practice to trade fish like totoaba in some countries.
  •    The swim bladder is fragile when improperly handled. Its value will decrease by 20% generally if there are some cracks found on swim bladder.


Hong Kong Mooncake is selling at a high price in the mainland. According to Coconuts HongKing, every year the turnover of Maxim’s mooncake in Taobao is CNY 10,000,000.


  •    There is a lucrative market in the mainland for mooncake made by famous brand in Hong Kong.  The official price of Mini Egg Custard Mooncakes from the Peninsula Boutique is HKD 338 in 2016. Apple News reported that, when sold in the mainland, it can worth up to HKD 600. This is around 77.5% profit!
  •    Certain types of mooncake make by walnut, sesamum indicum, red jujube, watermelon seed, hawthorn and apricot kernel are good for the health, some of them can even help to improve the immune system.


  •    There are counterfeit mooncake make in the mainland. They pretend to be mooncake with a famous brand name and sold at a discounted price. Those famous brands include Maxim’s, Wingwah and the Peninsula Boutique.
  •    Mooncake is only valuable before Mid-Autumn Festival every year. After the festival, its price drop hugely and become invaluable.
  •    The best before date of mooncake is 30 days. Sellers only have limited time to sell their products before the festival.
  •    Patience with diabetes and hyperlipidemia should avoid eating mooncake since it is not healthy as it is made from oil and sugar.


The official price of Yeezy Boost350 V2 is HKD 2,200. According to Apple News, it sold at HKD 17,062 on eBay. The profit is about HKD 15,000.


  •    Shoes re-seller can earn a lot in Hong Kong or Taiwan. 20 years old famous shoe speculator Allen Kuo has made six digits of USD in the past few years by selling shoes.
  •    There are Jordan Index, Nike Index and Adidas Index in StockX, the Stock Market for Sneakers, for you to predict shoes selling price before issuance of new shoes. You can have some expectation before paying to buy the new shoes.
  •    There are many online channels for you to re-sell shoes, like Eastbay, FootLocker, Size?, Hanon, Yahoo! Auction and eBay.


  •    Not everyone can place an order on shoes. For some of the limited editions, only members can place the order for allotment. For the most profitable shoes, only a few people are lucky enough to give a chance for purchase.
  •    It is very dangerous to wait outside the shoes to buy shoes. In 2016, when Adidas NMD offer to sale, the stampede occurred when fans rush to buy the shoes.
  •    There is risk of buying shoes online from foreign websites and it ‘s hard to negotiate or return the product once it is shipped to your home country.


In 2014 Christie’s auction, one thang-ka produced in 15 century sold at HKD 348,000,000. It is the highest bid price over history in China.


  •    Thang-ka has both aesthetic value and great historical value and it can serve for various purposes. It can reflect a significant historical event for Lamas, retell myths related to deities or depict the life of Buddha.
  •    Since it is religious art, it is also a meditation tool used to bring one further into the path of enlightenment. The Buddhist Vajrayana practitioner uses a thang-ka image of their yidam as a guide, by visualizing “themselves as being that deity, thereby internalizing the Buddha-qualities”.


  •    In order to protect thang-ka from humidity, specific mounting is needed for thang-ka. There are two types of mounting, one is Tibetan style, and another is Han style. Thang-ka should only mount once if Tibetan style is used.
  •    As thang-ka is made of mineral powder, it needs to be protected from water. When performing routine cleaning for thang-ka, water should not be used as a medium.
  •    Tang-ka can only place in certain areas in the room. We should not put it in the bedroom, kitchen and toilet.



According to the data, one of the jade product made in China obtained the highest bid of EUR 3,009,500 on 9 June 2015.


  •    Some production countries limit the production of jade. The shortage of jade will increase the gap between demand and supply. It is believed that it has the potential to improve in value in the future.
  •    Some people believe that jade will collect micro-elements around and transfer to the body. It can also collect ‘Chi’ from the air and improve health.
  •    Jade represents luck and reflects higher social status to the bearer. It can make people look better by wearing as a decoration.


  •    Jade is fragile, and it should avoid contacting with hard objects to protect the jade. Sometimes, the cracks inside jade’s body cannot observe from outside. But over time, the cracks will appear outside.
  •    Jade should avoid direct contact with sunlight and heat. Heat will make Jade expand.


Not investment advice. Not financial advice. Consult your financial advisor. Not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold. The staff of this site may own these digital asset/s mentioned on this page. Investing is risky and you may lose all your capital. See full disclaimer.

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Author: Jim Reynolds
Jim Reynolds. Is passionate about finance, passive income and cryptocurrencies. He writes about his passions on NodesOfValue.com. He has worked in the tech and financial industry for a few decades. He holds a masters in business admin and a bachelors in IT. All his writings are not investment advice.

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