In Asian culture, Jade is the most valuable of all gemstones, it was known for around 5,000 years since the Neolithic as being a material for gems, carvings, and for tools.
The combination of the history of jade and its glamorous appearance has made this stone incredibly popular and valuable.
Its valuable defining factors include texture, color, and transparency. As well as this the clarity, craftsmanship, and artistry all matter as well, especially in the higher-end markets.
Vivid green imperial with a uniformed texture and semi-transparency will make jade its most valuable.
Jade has its own world separate from other gemstones. It is the diamond of the Eastern cultures.
There are separate rules for jade identification, trade, and valuation. The history and culture of jade make a big impact on the market and how the gem is perceived.
Interested in the world of jade? You will actually be surprised to know that jade can be represented by different minerals, and the most valuable varieties will be based on origin and color, as much more.
Let’s dive in!
Does Jade Have Value?
Jadeite jade is considered to be one of the most desired stones, with a stable price increase that has risen over hundreds of years. In Asia, Jade is the most valuable gemstone of all, especially in China.
To have a jade necklace which is made of high-quality beads actually sold for $27 million in 2014.
We should note that jade is composed of two very similar minerals in appearance, nephrite, and jadeite, both of which are of high praise, however, jadeite has better mineral qualities than nephrite jade and thus is more valuable.
Jadeite is a mineral from the pyroxene group which creates an aggregate or rock which is made up of interlocking mineral crystals or grains, and the texture depends on these grains.
If the grain size is smaller than the texture will be finer. Fine-grained Jade will usually have a better luster and take a better polish. This is why jadeite jade is of higher esteem.
Nephrite is a tremolite or actinolite, this is more common and less valuable, and can be white, green, or black in color.
How To Tell If Jade Is Valuable?
Jade’s value can be defined by a variety of qualities. Color is the most important as the more intense the green is, the more valuable the Jade is, the best quality will be apple-green in appearance and will be semitransparent with a very fine texture.
The color is the most important factor, consumers will usually associate jade with green, and thus it can be a surprise to many that jade can come in other colors as well such as yellow, black, white, red, lavender, orange, gray, and brown!
All of these can look great in their own way but the most desired color is a very specific shade of green. If the hues are the same, then darker tones will be of more value than the lighter tones.
Lavender is the second most valuable from color, as the intense colors will have much more value than the weaker, lighter colors.
Black jade is also very popular, as well as red and orange jade. Brown is probably the least admired.
The transparency of the jade also matters, and its transparency can be totally opaque to semi transparent. The best is semi transparent, so you could try to read text through it, but it would be slightly blurry.
As the light penetrated below the surface, semi transparent jade also had a very alluring glamor to it.
Jadeite should have an even and smooth texture that people enjoy and want to touch. Its texture can be medium, coarse, or fine depending on the variation in crystal hardness and size.
These categories are often called new mine and old mine, or even relatively old mine.
Jade can be valued for artistry, craftsmanship, and clarity as well, which we shall look into now.
Using clarity for valuation will be based upon how prescient the colored veins or fractures are in the Jade and their negative impact on the appearance of the gem or the durability of the jade piece.
The artistry and craftsmanship also matter, they refer to the quality and design of the finished Jade piece, and if the rough material is effectively used and if efficient.
Craftsmanship will focus on the quality of the polishing and carving.
Artistry and craftsmanship are also very important in the overall value of a jade carving.
Why Is It Worth So Much?
In modern times Jade rivals a high position in the West, although it can be hard for people to understand why this stone cut en cabochon, or carved is worth such a high price.
However, the main answer for this is down to cultural contexts.
These jades are worth a great deal thanks to their glamorous appearance which is caused by the very intimate growth of the tiny minerals that make it up due to the intense rock formation, as well as their very important place in Asian cultures and Asian traditions over thousands of years.
Why is jade worth so much? Cultural importance and brilliance is the key to its high price and place in the gem markets.
How much is it worth? It depends on what jade you have, its color, texture, and craftsmanship.
If the Jade that you have is black it may be worth quite a bit, however, if the jade is brown, it is unlikely you will get much for it.
Apple green with semi-transparency and no fractures will be valued highly as the best quality and most sought after.
Jade is a very popular gemstone, and while it is best known and loved in the East, Western cultures have been showing adoration and interest in Jade as well. It’s worth never dropped (see also, ‘How Much is Amethyst Worth?‘).