Your Essential Guide to Buying Jade
The term jade includes both nephrite and jadeite and when we talk about Jade in fine jewellery, we are referring to Jadeite, which is mainly found in Burma. Natural Jade is found in a variety of colours from shades of orange to red, black, white, lilac as well as the most precious and traditionally known colour green.
Why would I want to buy Jade?
Jade has historically played an important role in Chinese culture. Regarded as more precious than gold and silver, jade is a symbol of goodness and beauty. To the Chinese, jade is the embodiment of the Confucian virtues of courage, wisdom, modesty, justice and compassion. The polish and brilliance of jade stone is representative of purity while its compactness and hardness reflect intelligence. Justice is represented by its angles and the sound produced by it when it is struck is a symbol of music. The color of jade stone depicts loyalty while its flaws reflect sincerity. The Chinese also value jade stone because of its brightness; representing heaven, while its substance is representative of the earth.
Jade is also prized for what is referred to as its ‘water content’ in Chinese. The fine crystalline structure enables rays of light to penetrate the stone more easily to create translucency. This creates a reflection and refraction, causing the viewer to see something like water inside the stone itself, which is what makes jade so beautiful and desirable.
How do I select a good quality piece of Jade?
Quality is based on purity of colour, translucency and texture. Slight variances can substantially affect the value. A beautiful pure green highly translucent piece of jade that has fine texture is simply much more rare which results in a higher price.
How is Jade valued?
Rarity and value are directly correlated. Simply put, the more rare the piece the more valuable it is. Rarity is based on size, thickness, colour, translucency and texture. For example, a natural jade bangle of an even apple green colour, translucent and with fine texture can easily cost upwards of SGD50,000. In comparison, a natural jade bangle of similar size, which is mainly off white with a patch of light green, more opaque and with larger pores, can be attained for under SGD2,000. Evaluating natural jade is a complex issue with many factors that need to be taken into consideration. It is not easy to compare pieces unless you can place them side by side to see the differences.
How do I tell if it’s real or fake?
Because natural jade is so valuable, there are plenty of fakes available and unfortunately it is not easy to tell real jade from fake. There are different levels of treatment. “A” jade refers to natural jadeite. “B” jade means that it is a natural jadeite stone, but has undergone some treatment to enhance the appearance of the jade. “C” Jade refers to natural jadeite that has undergone treatment with the addition of colour enhancement. And then there are pieces that are passed off as natural jade that are completely something else. Anything other that natural “A” jade is substantially less valuable.
So, if you are looking to make a purchase, buy from a reputable source.
How important is Jade certification?
Because it is not so easy to identify if a piece of jade is completely natural or enhanced, for peace of mind, you may want to have the piece certified. Any piece of jade can be sent for certification if it doesn’t already have one. There are a number of reputable laboratories in Hong Kong and Singapore that are recognised. If you are buying a piece of natural jade based on a certificate, it is advisable to check and ensure that the laboratory that issued the certificate is recognised with a good reputation. If you have not heard of the laboratory or if the certificate has been issued by an individual, you may want to consider having a second opinion.
A beautiful vivid green Jadeite bracelet handcrafted in 18K White Gold and Diamonds.
Intricately handcarved Jadeite drop earrings set with white keshi South Sea Pearls and Diamonds. Teh unique crystalline structure of jade makes it tougher, and less brittle than diamonds and sapphires. This allows jade to be extremely versatile in handling complex designs, which would not be possible on other gemstones.
Icy White Jadeite ear drops of exceptional watery translucency are set with Emerald handcarved ‘leaves’.
An exceptional set of five translucent orange Jadeite cabochons set as ‘Cactus’ brooch. Although Jadeite is traditionally associated with the colour green, it comes in a myriad of colours, which are also beautiful.