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Jade is the most valuable gemstone in Asian culture. It is 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 so valuable and popular.
Jade’s valuable factors are color, transparency, and texture. Additionally, clarity, artistry, and craftsmanship are important value factors, especially in the middle to high-end markets. Vivid green Imperial color, uniform texture, and semitransparent jadeite jade is the most valuable.
Jade creates its own 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 make a significant influence on the jade market and jade as a gemstone perception. Let us open the vail to the jade world for you today. You will be surprised to know that jade can be represented by absolutely different minerals. You will know the most valuable varieties of jade based on color and place of origin. And many, many more. The green dragon is waiting for you!
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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 of 2014, setting a new auction record.
It’s crucial to mention at the beginning 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, which is the commoner and less valuable kind of jade. It varies in color from white to dark green or black.
How Can You Tell if Jade is Valuable?
The value of jade is defined by the next qualities: color, transparency, texture, and additionally by clarity, artistry, and craftsmanship. The more intense the green color is – the more valuable is jade. The best quality jadeite has an apple-green color: it is semitransparent and with the finest texture.
There are six main factors of jade value:
Color is jadeite’s most important value factor. Because consumers traditionally associate jadeite with the color green, it surprises some people to learn that it comes in other colors as well—lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black, and gray. All of these colors can be attractive. But jadeite’s most desirable color is, in fact, a very specific shade of green. In general, if the hues are the same, darker tones are more valuable than lighter tones.
The finest-quality jadeite—almost transparent with vibrant emerald-green color—is known as “Imperial jade.”
Lavender is the next most valuable color. Intense colors command a substantial premium over lighter and weaker colors. Black jade is also popular, along with orange to reddish jade, especially when these colors 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. Jadeite’s texture can be fine, medium, or coarse, depending on variations in crystal size and hardness. These texture categories are sometimes called, respectively, old mine, relatively old mine, and new mine.
Additionally, jade can be valued for clarity and artistry, and craftsmanship.
A clarity evaluation is based on the presence of colored 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 particularly important in an evaluation of jade carvings.
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- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
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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 its 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 color and transparency are similar, however, in the case of jade, texture, artistry, and craftsmanship play a significant role.
Jade is evaluated for its color, 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 the most important characteristic is color. So during the evaluation process, most part of the attention is paid to the color. The intense green color is the most valuable.
Experts carefully compare the color of stone to the color charts. Saturation and tone relations are extremely important and influence the overall look of the stone. Hues of blue, yellow, or brownish colors decrease the price of material dramatically.
Transparency is checked by placing a stone on a black line drawn on the paper or just on the 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 jewelry 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 is carefully studied in the material which is going to be used in carvings.
TIP: Because of Jade’s popularity, there is a list of other minerals and materials like glass and plastic 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 on Jade Auctions is $25,000 – 5,000,000 per kilo for rough.
Here is the table of jade prices in different units for your convenience.
|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 Colors
Jade occurs in a rainbow of colors. It can be from white, through orange and red to green and brown and black. The price for green, lavender, and white jade heats the top. The price for high-quality green jade is $1500 per carat, for lavender $1400 per carat, and for white 300 per carat.
|Color of jade||Price|
|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|
(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|
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 from $1000 per carat, up to $3 million per carat occasionally. Rough material 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 origin||Price|
|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
|Alaskan||rough $50 – $500 a kilo.|
|Persian||$5 – 400 per gram|
|Canadian||rough $200 – $2,000 a kilo.|
|Chinese||$25 – 5,000 per gram$30,000 per kilo|
|New Zealand||$10 – 2,500 per gram|
|Mexican||rough $100 – $1,000 a kilo.|
|Russian (Siberian)||rough $1,000 – 50,000 a kilo|
Bonus tip: Trade names. This is not jade!
Sometimes traders call other green materials jade just 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 a completely different mineral.
|Trade name (NOT A JADE)||Jade substituent|
|Malaysia jade or Korean jade||Dyed quartzite|
|Australian jade or Queensland jade||Green chalcedony|
|Transvaal jade and African jade||Hydrogrossular|
|California jade||Translucent greenish-yellow idocrase|
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 on lade only are Myanmar Jade Auctions and China Jade Auctions. If you want to find a 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
Still did not find the answer to your answers 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, for sculptures and ornaments, and surprisingly for 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 color of jade is vivid, semi-transparent intense-green, sometimes known as Imperial. For jadeite jade vivid green is the most valuable color, however for nephrite jade, which rarely reaches Imperial green color, white color 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 has evenly distributed, semi-transparent, vivid green coloration. 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 in case it is nephrite jade. However, white nephrite jade is still less valuable than Imperial jadeite and lavender jadeite jade.
FAQ: Is Dark or Light Jade More Valuable?
Generally, if the colors of jades are the same, dark jade is more valuable and more preferable than light-colored jade because dark jade still shows green hues when viewed in transmitted light. However, today colorless 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 with a very fine texture 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 jade. So 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 colors. 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 is a sacral gem for Eastern culture for more than 5,000 years. Nowadays, jade starts to rival Western auctions, setting new records in the price history.
The are three main value factors of jade:
The most valuable jade is a gemstone with an evenly distributed, semi-transparent vivid green color. The best color 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 name can be applied to two different 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 easily. 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) $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 with 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