Everything You Need to Know About Jade Stone
One of the most popular and desirable materials, jade has been prized for centuries. But to the untrained eye, jade can look quite a lot like bright green glass.
How can you tell real jade from fake jade? Why is jade so valuable. And where can you get authentic jade jewelry?
We have everything you need to know about jade stone.
What is jade stone?
Jade is a metamorphic rock that has been prized throughout history. Used for decor, jewelry, and even metaphysical properties, jade is known for being both beautiful and hardy.
Compositionally, jade consists of two minerals, jadeite and nephrite, which are both extremely tough and resistant to weathering. Jadeite is the rarer and more valuable of the two minerals, and thus most jade on the market is actually nephrite.
How can you identify real jade?
The best way to identify real jade is to consult with a professional. However, there are some key things that you can look for when trying to determine if a stone is jade.
First, check the color. Jade can come in many different colors, but the most prized variety is known as "imperial green" jade, which is a deep, emerald green. While it may seem contradictory, the deeper green a piece of jade is, the less likely it is to be real. Unless it's going for a lot of money in a reputable shop, a very deep green piece of jade is probably fake. Other common colors include white, lavender and even orange.
Most "fake jade" is glass. Hold the jade piece up to the light to see if there are any imperfections in coloration. Glass jade will not always have dye throughout. Another easy tell that jade is fake is that the coloration is too perfect. Most jade will have natural imperfections or color variations.
Note that "fake jade" could also be another popular green gemstone.
Are there different types of Jade?
Jade can come in many different colors, but there are only two major varieties of jade out there: jadeite jade and nephrite jade.
Jadeite is rarer and more valuable. Most of what you will see on the market is nephrite. Nephrite jade will often be whiter.
What is the most expensive type of jade?
Jadeite is the most expensive type of jade, as it is rarer. The "imperial green" coloration is also very valuable.
Apart from this, jade will be more expensive if it is a deeper and brighter color.
Why is jade so expensive?
Jade is expensive because it is rare and has a long history of being used for both decorative and spiritual purposes.
In China, jade has extreme cultural importance. Together, that has given jade major social significance, beyond many other types of expensive jewelry.
What are the metaphysical properties of jade?
Some people believe that jade has metaphysical properties that can bring good luck, protection and even wisdom.
It is also thought to be helpful in promoting self-awareness and emotional balance.
What does the jade stone symbolize?
Jade stone has been associated with many different things throughout history. In ancient China, it was thought to be the stone of heaven and was often used in burial rituals.
Jade is also associated with love and fidelity, as well as wisdom and tranquility.
What color of jade is most valuable?
Jade can vary significantly in color, ranging from white to green to black, and is often mottled or flecked with other colors.
The most highly valued jade is deep emerald green, but some people prefer the more subdued hues of white or pale green jade.
Does jade glow in the dark?
Some people believe that they can identify true jade by a glow. But this isn't true. Jade doesn't glow in the dark, but some types of it may be visible under UV light.
This rumor may have started because the bright green jade color was conflated with other types of products, such as uranium glass.
Does jade break easily?
Jade is fairly tough and resistant to breakage. However, it can chip or crack if it's hit hard enough or if it's exposed to extreme temperature changes.
Fake jade is easier to break, which is partly what has caused people to think that jade is brittle and easy to fracture.
How do you care for jade?
Jade is a relatively low-maintenance stone, but it still needs to be cared for properly. Avoid exposing jade to harsh chemicals or cleaners, and don't store it in direct sunlight.
When not in use, store jade in a cool, dry place, such as the padded pocket of a jewelry box. Like many stones, jade should only be cleaned with warm water and should be thoroughly dried.
Where is jade found?
Jade can be found in many different places around the world, but the most valuable jade comes from Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Is jade ethically sourced?
This is a difficult question to answer definitively, as the jade trade is largely unregulated.
However, it is widely believed that much of the jade on the market today is sourced from mines that use child labor and are often located in conflict zones.
Antique jade pieces are often the best bet.
Why is jade so important in China?
Jade has been revered in China for centuries, and it's still an important part of Chinese culture today.
Jade is considered to be a symbol of prosperity. Having jade jewelry also indicates to your friends, family, and neighbors that you're doing well.
It is an important status symbol, so many of the most expensive jade pieces are Chinese.
What are the most expensive pieces of jade?
Quite a few pieces of jade have fetched over $10 million. One of the most expensive jade pieces was a $34 million AUD ($25 million U.S.) jadeite necklace. Composed of 27 graduated, deep emerald-colored beads, this necklace was purchased by the Cartier collection.
Note that even the most expensive pieces of jade have natural occlusions. These aren't considered imperfections. Only fake jade pieces will look "perfect."
What are some of the most popular jade jewelry pieces?
Some of the most popular jade jewelry pieces include bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants and necklaces.
Jade rings are particularly popular in China, where they're often given as engagement or wedding gifts.
Jade bracelets are also common. They're believed to bring good luck.