Jade is a gemstone that has long been valued for its beauty. Jade is actually two different types of stones known as jadeite and nephrite. Each stone has characteristics that are similar. Each has nearly the same amount of hardness, carving ability and range of color. The most expensive of the two stones is jadeite as it is the rarest.
Quality of Jade is determined by tone, translucency and texture. This is known as the “Three Ts.” Tone is the color grade quality of the stone. Finer colors of stones give a vivid look from afar. Colors are pure and distributed evenly without any tones of gray or brown. Translucency of a jade stone may range from almost transparent to an opaque look. Higher quality stones have an appearance in body resembling honey. Texture of jade varies from stones that are fine to those that are coarse. High quality and expensive jade stone are clear and have no irregularities.
The most valuable of all jade stone is the imperial jade. This refers to the jade found in Burma known as the Imperial Green jadeite. Imperial green jade has elements of chromium. These jade stones have a rich green color. When stones are paler in color, there is some iron present. These stones are not as valuable; however, these are no inexpensive.
Jade Around the World
The type of jade known as jadeite has been a symbol of good health and good luck for many years. It is also thought to have a power in resisting the presence of evil spirits. For one reason or another, this precious gem has long been treasured around the world. In China, jade is the royal gemstone and has remained so for over five thousand years. In the Chinese language, the jade character used looks much like the English alphabets capital letter I. It has a line that runs through the middle. The top of the character is representative of the heavens and the bottom of earth. The line through the center of the character is to represent mankind. Jade was once believed to have helped in preserving the dead. Many tombs holding emperors have been found to have jade within. Many of these are thousands of years old. One such tomb held a complete jade suit. This was thought to guarantee the owner to have immortality physically. Jade was also known as a love and virtue symbol and one that marked status.
Jadeite jade is considered real jade today. This type of jade demands the highest prices. It is available in more vivid colors of green and has a fine translucency. Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, produces jadeite. Annually in Myanmar, there is the Myanmar Gems, Jade and Pearl Emporium. Boulders are offered for purchase to jade dealers. These dealers travel from around the globe in order to take advantage of the opportunity. A small window is cut into the side of each boulder that is sold. Buyers must gamble on whether what they are looking at is the basis for paying lots of money for the boulder. Jadeite may lie within the boulder or there may some other useless material within.
Jewelry Made of Jade
Most jadeite is cut into dome shapes that are smooth known as cabochons. Jade is smooth and very easily carved into different sizes, shapes and designs. This makes it easy for craftsmen to create beautiful works. There are gorgeous jadeite pieces such as bracelets, beads, earrings, rings and more available from dealers throughout the jewelry industry. By learning some basic facts about jade and the different types and characteristics, you can easily choose a fine piece to complete your collection.