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6 Factors Why Jade is Valuable (+ Prices for Colors & More)

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Jade is the most valuable gemstone in Asian culture. It has been known for 5,000 years since the Neolithic as a material for tools, carvings, and gems. The combination of jade’s history and magnificent appearance makes the stone valuable and popular. 

Jade’s valuable factors are colour, transparency, and texture. Clarity, artistry, and craftsmanship are important value factors, especially in middle and high-end markets. Vivid green, Imperial colour, uniform texture, and semitransparent jadeite jade are the most valuable.

Jade creates its world separated from other gemstones. Jade is a diamond in Eastern Culture. Other rules applied for jade trade, jade identification, and jade value. Culture and history significantly influence the jade market and jade as a gemstone perception. Let us open the veil to the jade world for you today. You will be surprised to learn that different minerals can represent jade. You will know the most valuable varieties of jade based on colour and place of origin. And many more. The green dragon is waiting for you!

How Can You Tell if Jade is Valuable?
How Can You Tell if Jade is Valuable?

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Does Jade Have Any Value?

Jadeite jade is one of the most desirable stones. It has had a stable price increase for hundreds of years. Jade is the most valuable gemstone in Asia, mainly in China. A Jadeite necklace composed of top-quality beads was sold for $27 million in April 2014, setting a new auction record. 

At the beginning, it’s crucial to mention that jade is a term for two similar-looking minerals: jadeite and nephrite. Both of them are highly praised, but because of the better qualities of the jadeite mineral- jadeite jade is more valuable than nephrite jade.

Jadeite is a pyroxene group mineral that creates aggregate or rock composed of interlocking mineral grains or crystals. Its texture depends on the size of its interlocking grains.

The smaller the grain size, the finer the texture. Fine-grained jadeite usually takes a better polish and has better luster. That is why jadeite jade is more valuable than nephrite jade.

Nephrite is a compact tremolite or actinolite mineral of the amphibole mineral group, the commoner and less valuable jade. It varies in colour from white to dark green or black.

How Can You Tell if Jade is Valuable?

The value of jade is defined by the following qualities: colour, transparency, texture, clarity, artistry, and craftsmanship. The more intense the green colour is, the more valuable the jade is. The best quality jadeite has an apple-green colour; it is semitransparent and has the finest texture. 

There are six main factors of jade value:

  1. Colour
  2. Transparency
  3. Texture
  4. Clarity
  5. Artistry
  6. Craftsmanship


Colour is jadeite’s most important value factor. Because consumers traditionally associate jadeite with the colour green, it surprises some people to learn that it also comes in other colours—lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black, and grey. All of these colours can be attractive. But jadeite’s most desirable colour is, in fact, a very specific shade of green. If the hues are the same, darker tones are more valuable than lighter tones.

The finest-quality jadeite—almost transparent with a vibrant emerald-green colour—is known as “Imperial jade.” 

Lavender is the next most valuable colour. Intense colours command a substantial premium over lighter and weaker colours. Black and orange to reddish jade are also popular, especially when these colours are not brownish.


Jadeite’s transparency ranges from completely opaque to semitransparent. The best jadeite is semitransparent, meaning the text you can read through it would be slightly blurred. Because light penetrates below the surface, semitransparent jadeite has an alluring brilliance.


Jadeite has a smooth, even texture that makes people want to touch and hold it. Depending on crystal size and hardness variations, Jadeite’s texture can be fine, medium, or coarse. These texture categories are sometimes called, respectively, old mine, relatively old mine, and new mine.

Additionally, jade can be valued for clarity, artistry, and craftsmanship.


A clarity evaluation is based on the presence of coloured veins and fractures that might negatively affect the appearance or durability of a finished jadeite piece.

Artistry and craftsmanship

Artistry refers to the design quality of the finished product and whether the rough material is efficiently and effectively used. Craftsmanship focuses on the quality of the carving and polishing. Artistry and craftsmanship are essential in the evaluation of jade carvings.

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Why is Jade Worth So Much?

Today, jade rivals its high place in Western countries. However, it is hard for some people to understand why the semi-transparent stone cut un cabochon or carved and not faceted is worth so much. The answer is because of cultural context.

Jadeite and nephrite jade are worth so much because of the combination of their extravagant look, caused by the intimate intergrowth of tiny minerals due to extreme rock formation conditions, and their integral presence in Asian culture and tradition for thousands of years.

How to Evaluate Jade Value?

There is a different approach to jade and any other gemstone evaluation. Such qualities as colour and transparency are similar; however, in the case of jade, texture, artistry, and craftsmanship play a significant role.

Jade is evaluated for its colour, transparency, and texture. Additionally, clarity, artistry, and craftsmanship are taken into account. From a mineralogical point of view, jade value also depends on mineral composition, whether jade is represented by nephrite or jadeite minerals. Jadeite jade is more valuable.

Jade’s most important characteristic is colour. So, most attention is paid to the colour during the evaluation process. The intense green colour is the most valuable.

Experts carefully compare the colour of stone to the colour charts. Saturation and tone relations are significant and influence the overall look of the stone. Hues of blue, yellow, or brownish colours dramatically decrease the material price.

Transparency is checked by placing a stone on a black line drawn on the paper or printed text. The line of text should be visible through the highest quality stone.

The texture is a crucial characteristic. For the jade, which goes to jewellery as a solitaire stone in a ring or a pendant, there should not be any veins, and the texture has to be perfectly even. The texture of the material used in carvings is carefully studied.

TIP: Because of jade’s popularity, there is a list of other minerals and materials, such as glass and plastic, that can be used to fake natural jade. Find out the main differences between real and fake jade in the article below:
Real vs. Fake Jade: Fucus on These Crucial 5 Differences

Jade Value (Price) per Different Units

The price for jade strongly depends on the quality of the stone. Beginning from just $5 per carat, it can occasionally reach up to $3 million per carat. The price per gram ranges from $25 to 5,000. The price per kilo is the most common at Jade Auctions, which is $25,000 – 5,000,000 per kilo for rough.

Here is the table of jade prices in different units for your convenience.

UnitsJade price
per carat$5 – 1,500 
*$3 million per carat for exceptional quality
per gram$25 – 5,000
per ounce$700 – 140,000
per pound$11,325 – 2,265,000
per kilo$25,000 – 5,000,000
Jade Value (Price) per Different Units

Jade Value (Price) per Different Colors

How to Evaluate Jade Value?
How to Evaluate Jade Value?

There is a wide range of hues possible for jade. It can be everything from white to orange and red to green, brown, and even black. White, green, and lavender jade have extremely high prices. Green jade of superior grade can be purchased for $1500 per carat, lavender for $1400 per carat, and white jade for $300 per carat.

Color of jadePrice
white$500 – 1,500 per gram
black$5 – 100 per gram
red$10 – 80 per gram
purple $50 – 1,500 per gram
pink $30 – 1,200 per gram
lavender$1,400 per carat
$1,000 – 7,000 per gram
orange$70 – 1,600 per gram
spinach$350 – 2,200 per gram
dark green$30 – 800 per gram
mutton fat
(top-quality white nephrite jade)
$1,500 per gram
grey$7 – 60 per gram
light green$500 – 1,500 per gram 
*up to $1,500 per carat
yellow$70 – 1,600 per gram
blue$50 – 1,500 per gram
brown$5 – 50 per gram
Jade Value (Price) per Different Colors

TIP: Different colors of Jade can have different values. Do you know what determines rock colors? Find out an explanation in the article below:
Rock Colors: What Determines Color & Why Different Colors

Jade Value (Price) per Places of Origin

Jade quality, and therefore the price, depends on the place of origin. The most expensive is Burmese jade, which is priced from $1000 per carat up to $3 million per carat occasionally. Rough materials from Canada cost between $200 and $2,000 a kilo, and Siberian (Russian) jade reached a price of US$50,000 a kilo.

Place of originPrice
Hetian (the best quality nephrite jade)$300 – $39,000 per gram
Burmese $150 – 1,500 per carat
*$3 million per carat for exceptional quality
$750 – 5,000 per gram
Alaskanrough $50 – $500 a kilo.
Persian$5 – 400  per gram
Canadianrough $200 – $2,000 a kilo.
Chinese$25 – 5,000 per gram$30,000 per kilo
New Zealand$10 – 2,500 per gram
Mexicanrough $100 – $1,000 a kilo.
Russian (Siberian)rough $1,000 – 50,000 a kilo
Jade Value (Price) per Places of Origin

Bonus tip:  Trade names. This is not jade!

Sometimes, traders call other green materials jade to highlight similar colors. But for people, it may seem deceptive. The table below has some trade names, which include “jade” in a name, but it is an entirely different mineral.

Trade name (NOT A JADE)Jade substituent
Malaysia jade or Korean jadeDyed quartzite
Australian jade or Queensland jadeGreen chalcedony
Transvaal jade and African jadeHydrogrossular
California jadeTranslucent greenish-yellow idocrase
Afghanistan jadeMarble
Trade names and Jade substituents

TIP: You need to be careful when buying jade rocks online because jade rocks for sale can be dyed. Find out more on how to identify dyed jade rocks in the article below:
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Tell & Identify if Jade is Dyed

Where to Buy Real Jade Stone?

The biggest auctions in the world focused only on jade are the Myanmar Jade Auctions and China Jade Auctions. If you want to find real and high-quality jade, you’d better consult with a jade specialist, as sometimes the prices are extremely high, and experts will find you the best supplier and will avoid fakes.

FAQs about Jade Value

I still have not found the answer to your questions about jade value. Find frequently asked questions in the section below:

FAQ: Why is Jade so Valuable in China?

Jade has accompanied China and Eastern Culture for more than 5,000 years. It was used as a material for durable tools and weapons, sculptures and ornaments, and, surprisingly, musical instruments. Jade is an integral part of Chinese identity. That is why it is so highly valued.

FAQ: What Color of Jade is Most Valuable?

The most valuable colour of jade is vivid, semi-transparent, intense green, sometimes known as Imperial. For jadeite jade, vivid green is the most valuable colour; however, for nephrite jade, which rarely reaches Imperial green, white is more valuable than green.

FAQ: What is the Most Valuable Type of Jade?

The most valuable type of jade is Imperial jadeite jade, which is evenly distributed, semi-transparent, and has vivid green colouration. The price for this type of jade reached up to $27,44 million for a 27-bead necklace at Sotheby’s auction in April 2014, setting a record.

FAQ: Is White Jade More Valuable than Green?

Evenly distributed vivid green semi-transparent Imperial jadeite jade is the most valuable. Lavender jadeite jade is the second most valuable type. White jade is valuable if it’s nephrite jade. However, white nephrite jade is less valuable than Imperial and lavender jadeite jade.

FAQ: Is Dark or Light Jade More Valuable?

Generally, if the colours of jades are the same, dark jade is more valuable and preferable than light-coloured jade because dark jade still shows green hues when viewed in transmitted light. However, colourless transparent jade, called ice jade, has become very popular among younger consumers.

FAQ: Is Old Jade Valuable?

There are two types of jade texture in the trade. Jadeite has a beautiful texture and is called old mine. Jadeite with a coarser texture is sometimes called new mine. Of course, the finer the texture – the better the quality of the jade. So, the old mine jade is the most valuable.

TIP: Have you ever tried to check your rocks under UV light? You can see a lot of cool different colours. Find out the common rocks and minerals that glow under UV light in the article below:
12 Rocks & Minerals That Glow Under UV Light & Black Light


Jade is a highly valuable gemstone. It has been a sacral gem for Eastern culture for over 5,000 years. Jade has started rivalling Western auctions, setting new records in the price history.

There are three main value factors of jade:

  1. Colour
  2. Transparency
  3. Texture
  4. Clarity
  5. Artistry
  6. Craftsmanship

The most valuable jade is a gemstone with an evenly distributed, semi-transparent, vivid green colour. The best colour of jade is sometimes called Imperial jade.

There are two additional factors, especially in the middle to high-end markets. They are artistry and craftsmanship.

Also, it is an important mineralogical note. Jade’s name can be applied to two minerals: jadeite and nephrite. There were no precise technologies in the Neolithic to divide two similarly-looking minerals by chemistry. Now, gemological laboratories can identify them quickly. Jadeite jade is more valuable than nephrite jade. 

Green Imperial jadeite jade is the most valuable jade type. The price for this kind of stone of exceptional quality can reach millions of dollars per carat. Green jade usually costs $25-5,000 per gram.

The second most valuable jade is lavender jadeite jade. Lavender stones cost $1500 per carat ($1,000 – 5,000 per gram, depending on quality).

The third valuable jade is white jade. Sometimes, this jade is represented by a nephrite mineral. Prices for white jade (mutton fat jade) are $300-500 per carat ($1,500 – 2,000 per carat).

As you can see, the price for different qualities of jade varies dramatically. Also, because of the high demand for jade and high prices, there are a lot of enhancements and fakes. So, it’s always good to consult a jade expert to choose the highest quality jade with an appropriate budget.

TIP: Are you interested in identifying your rocks and minerals? Find the best books that help you in the article below:
5 Best Books for Identifying Rocks & Minerals You Must Read