JADE GENERAL INFORMATION
Do you know out of all green gemstones being sold in today’s market, which can command the highest price per carat?
I personally would think about emerald, Russian Demantoid, and Jade.
JADE is referred to as the precious rock known as the “stone of heaven” that has been cherished for millennia. Over centuries, nephrite was the only jade known to the Orient. Nephrite is still popular today, both as a less-expensive alternative to jadeite and as a beautiful ornamental stone. And, unlike other jadeite alternatives, nephrite’s mineralogical properties are quite similar to jadeites.
From crystal clear to vivid green, from calibrated cabochons to exquisitely matched beads, jadeite rules the Asian market and has inspired gem buyers and consumers the world over. Jadeite and nephrite share a rich history. Despite the challenges of rough buying and the prevalence of hard-to-detect treatments, the jade market is booming. Your understanding of jade’s ancient heritage, valuable characteristics, and versatile looks will help make you an expert in the buying and selling of this culturally significant gem.
Today’s modern gemologists use the word “JADE” as a generic term only for two distinct mineral aggregates species—nephrite and jadeite. Generally speaking, Jadeite is more commercially valuable than nephrite. Gem-quality jadeite is rarer and usually command price per carat much higher than nephrite of equivalent size and quality.
JADE QUALITY AND VALUE
Jadeite deposits are fairly plentiful worldwide including Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), Guatemala, Turkey, and China. However, top-quality jadeite is rare. Vivid, sleek, and translucent, magnificent jadeite commands some of the highest prices among gems in the international market today.
Color is jadeite’s most important value factor.
Finest green Jade usually possesses pure and penetrating, a vivid green color with no hint of gray that looks intense even from a distance. With hue ranging from pure green to a slightly bluish green or a slightly yellowish green—slightly more yellow in hue and slightly less saturated than emerald. Medium in tone, not too light or too dark.
Imperial green jadeite is the rarest. Other shades of green jadeite are more common. In order of market value, these include:
In general, being the same degree of color saturation, darker tones are more valuable than lighter tones.
In 1784, China took over Burma (now Myanmar), an area rich in jadeite deposits. China’s emperor, Qianlong, was impressed with this so-called “new jade” from the remote mines. Today, top-quality green jadeite is often known as Imperial in honor of Emperor Qianlong’s enthusiasm for the gem. He ordered that all jadeite rough from the conquered area be brought to Beijing for fashioning into exquisite jewelry and carvings.
The Chinese court was astonished by Burmese jadeite’s gorgeous color. The intense green of top-quality jadeite made even the best green of nephrite look rather muted.
In addition to green, jadeite can be lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black, or gray. Lavender jade is less valuable than top-color green jadeite, but it’s worth much more than the lower-quality green hues. And lavender jadeite attracts buyers uniquely interested in its unusual color. Black is more common in nephrite, but also occurs in jadeite. Black jadeite is usually carved. But around 2000, black jade from Guatemala began to develop a following among jewelry designers and buyers.