Jadeite Jade Quality Factors
Looking beyond Jade’s beautiful appearance and spiritual significance is vital to understanding its value. The gemstone has fantastic metaphysical properties, and can attract good fortune, restore balance, and provide protection.
It has a long history of being used in Chinese traditions, like Feng Shui, for spiritual purposes. Nephrite is the most common Jade variety, whereas Jadeite is the most valuable. So, what are the factors that define a Jade stone’s quality?
The texture, color, and transparency are the most critical qualities of a Jadeite Jade stone that experts and buyers evaluate. Evaluation starts with judging the color under incandescent and fluorescent light sources. Its color should be even or the gem should have an aesthetic color pattern. The second step involves checking the Jade stone’s transparency level. Not forgetting, clarity makes a significant difference and fractures largely impact the value.
Many people associate Jadeite Jade with the color green, but it occurs in a wide range of colors. The Burmese Jadeite mines produce crystals in hundreds, if not thousands, of shades of red, yellow, green, orange, brown, black, white, lavender, and even blue.
However, a vibrant emerald green shade is the most desirable among all. It is commonly known as the “Imperial Jade.” It has an intense and vivid hue that can be recognized from a distance. Imperial Jade shows no hint of gray when judged under different light sources.
Other highly favored Jadeite Jades have the same qualities and may range from pure through bluish to yellowish green. Kingfisher Jade, Apple Jade, Moss-In-Snow Jade, and Lavender Jade are popular.
Jadeite Jade stone’s transparency ranges from semitransparent to opaque. Semitransparent ones give a slightly burry view as you see through it. These are the most desirable Jades due to their alluring brilliance from light penetration.
Semitransparent Jadeite stones almost appear to glow, whereas opaque varieties look cloudy. That said, you may have to compromise on color if you prefer high transparency.
Unlike many crystals, Jadeite does not have a rough surface. Instead, it is smooth to touch with an even texture. Buyers prefer Jade stones with an undistorted surface for better light reflection. So, fine-polished gems are the most popular and valued.
However, texture can range from fine through medium to coarse based on the Jadeite crystal’s hardness. In business language, experts call these textures old mine, relatively old mine, and new mine.
Jade product manufacturers carve Jadeite into several distinctive forms. The cut used for making pendants, rings, and bangles is called hololith. Jadeite is cut into cabochons for jewelry and décor. Cabochon determines the cut quality and refers to the Jadeite stone’s thickness, proportion, and symmetry.
Size and Weight
Cabochons and hololiths increase in value with size. The price rise also depends on other quality factors, including color, transparency, and texture.
So, a slight difference in Imperial Jade stone’s size can significantly increase its worth. In contrast, Nephrite Jade does not make much difference.
Jade Stone Grades/ Treatments
Gems undergo various artificial treatments during manufacture that can tremendously impact the material’s quality. Learning about these treatments can help determine the longevity and durability of a Jadeite Jade stone product.
|A||No treatment||Natural color||Natural texture||Most valuable||Safe to wear|
Bleach with hydrochloric and sulfuric acid,
|Unnatural but improved color, no stains and brown hues||Damaged and unnatural texture||Decreased value||Residual chemicals may be potentially poisonous|
Bleach, polymer impregnation,
|Unnatural changed color||Damaged and unnatural texture||Least valuable||Residual chemicals may be potentially poisonous|
Untreated, completely natural Jadeite and Nephrite Jade stones fall under the grade A category. Some grade A Jade products may have a wax coating, but this treatment does not damage the crystal.
However, the polishing treatment is only acceptable if the wax is natural and colorless. Chemicals can harm or interfere with Jadeite Jade’s crystalline structure, which may affect the color, transparency, and texture.
After fine polishing of the grade A Jadeite, manufacturers dip it in heated, liquid wax. Once the wax cools down, the product gets buffed for a smooth and lustrous appearance. It is a standard Jade stone treatment that retains the material’s value.
Grade A Jadeite is the only Jade gem whose value increases with time, much like gold metal.
Grade B Jade undergoes some form of treatment that impacts its color and texture. The treatment typically includes bleaching and polymer impregnation.
Jade product manufacturers bleach the stone by soaking it in sulfuric/ hydrochloric acid. The acid cleans the stone, removing impurities. It also helps remove stains from the surface and get rid of brown hues in the crystal. While this treatment leaves a bleaching effect, it also lightens the stone’s natural color and forms holes.
The next step involves putting the bleached Jadeite Jade inside a vacuum chamber to infuse polymer resins for a smooth finish. It can change the appearance and reduce quality, making the stone more vulnerable to deterioration.
Grade C and Grade B+C
Grade C Jade stones contain color dyes. Usually, they are available on the market as grade B+C Jades. This type of Jadeite or Nephrite Jade product undergoes treatments for grade B stone and an additional color dyeing step.
So, grade C or grade B+C Jadeite Jades get soaked in bleach before being placed in a polymer resin with coloring. The treatment robs Jade’s natural color and texture, leaving almost no value. They require more maintenance and have a fake appearance.
Why Are Most Jadeite Jade Products on the Market Treated?
Jadeite Jade is rare, with mine locations in Myanmar (Burma). Unlike other crystals and stones, you can’t find them elsewhere world, though Jadeite deposits occur in Guatemala, Japan, California, and Russia. Finding top-grade Jadeite Jade requires more effort than mining any other crystal.
Disclosure for selling grade B Jade stone is a strict requirement according to the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It applies to Jade stone products that have undergone treatment during manufacture.
The manufacturing company must be transparent about how long the enhancement will last or if the products require special care and maintenance. They should also be clear about the value appreciation and depreciation, including the factors that affect it.
While many sellers still don’t provide full disclosure, Luxe Pieces is different. The Luxe Pieces Fine Jadeite Jade Collection is comprised of only natural type “A” jadeite jade from the Burmese region. On certain pieces, Luxe Pieces will provide certification from GIA or a third party gemologist specializing in jadeite jade. We are transparent about the treatments we use during manufacture and how they impact the Jade’s value.
Jadeite Jade is a highly sought-after gem due to its spiritual symbolism and metaphysical properties. It also holds much cultural significance in China and is starting to take over the rest of the world. But, the increasing popularity also attracts new methods to trick consumers.
Color, transparency, and texture are critical factors that help determine quality. Grade A Jade is the most valuable and desirable type as it is natural and untreated.
You can check out our vast collection of grade A Jadeite Jade jewelry at Luxe Pieces.