What is Jade?
Known as "The Stone of Heaven" in Chinese culture this green stone has developed a following in both East and West. In China, jade carving evolved into an artistic tradition that has flourished for more than 3000 years.
To the Chinese, jade symbolizes many virtues, notably wisdom, purity, long life, and good health. The first jadeite in China came from Burma in the late 17th century. Jade occurs in several different color varieties, but Chinese dealers, collectors, and connoisseurs prefer green jade.
The name jade actually describes two related stones: jadeite and nephrite. Both are considered to be jade, but nephrite is more commonly available.
The word jade derives from the Spanish piedra de ijada, meaning "stone of the pain in the side" and was said to treat ailments of the kidneys.
Early humans were even using jade in prehistory as both tools and weapons due to its durability and toughness.
Determining Jade Value
Is jade valuable? The value of colored stones is typically determined by a combination of its color, cut, clarity and carat weight. These guidelines will help you choose jade for your collection.
- Jade Color
The value of jade largely depends on its color. Primarily transparent, jade comes in several colors, including green, purple, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black, and gray. The color and hue of the stone are affected by iron and manganese deposits.
The most desirable color of jade is a specific forest green hue. The most exquisite quality jade is nearly transparent with vibrant green color and is known as imperial jade. It commands very high value in the market and is in high demand all over the world.
Besides green jade, purple and black jade are also substantially valuable. The exciting range of colors makes it easy to expand your collection of jade.
- Jade Clarity
Jade is opaque to translucent with a glassy to greasy luster. The best quality material is semitransparent with an alluring brilliance and lush appearance. The gemstone should have a smooth and even texture after polishing. Opaque stones with cloudy patches generally have a lower value.
- Jade Cut
Jade is versatile when it comes to shaping. Workers form good quality jade into cabochons for jewelry. Not just for jewelry, artisans also carve jade into objects, especially those that have meaning and significance in Chinese culture.
- Jade Carat
The value of jade rises with its size and appearance. Jade generally has a higher value than nephrite due to its rarity. Larger pieces of jade may command a premium price if the quality of the material is excellent.
Jade goes through many different treatments like wax coating, bleaching, or dying, depending on its quality. These treatments improve the appearance of the stone and also enhance its durability. These treatments are generally stable with standard gemstone care.
Caring for Jade
Ranking 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, jade is suitably resistant to scratching or abrasion. It has exceptional toughness, which makes it a durable gemstone for daily use. Jade is known to be one of the most robust gems around.
The best way to care for jade jewelry is through standard jewelry care. Scrub your jewelry with a soft-bristled brush and a solution of lukewarm soapy water. After scrubbing, rinse with cold and clean water, and finally dry with a soft cloth.
Avoid ultrasonic and steam cleaners as these devices can damage the surface of the stone. Also avoid heat or harsh chemicals, which can harm the appearance of the gem by altering the color and texture of the jewel.
Store your jade jewelry in a fabric-lined jewelry box to protect it. Containers with compartments and partitions will help protect jewels from accidental damage.
Who Can Wear Jade?
With some of the most beautiful colors available, jade impresses us with its vibrant allure, even texture, and smoothness. The sterling silver jade jewelry with intricate detail is quite popular. Also, bangles or rings carved entirely of jade are among the most popular. Known as hololiths, only robust material like this stone is suitable for this kind of jewelry. Jade bracelets are also desirable as old folklore tells us that wearing jade around the wrist protects from harm.
Gorgeous black, red or green jade works best with white, yellow, blue and green ensembles. Purple, yellow, and orange jade are excellent choices for casual outfits with a floral, stripe, or check prints.
Designs inspired by vintage jewelry are trendy. Necklaces and bracelets made with jade beads are also significant fashion trends.
When set in gold, this gorgeous gemstone gives a touch of class to amplify your appeal in seconds. With beautiful carvings and designs, jade turns out to be the must-have of any collection.
Jade is the traditional gift for the twelfth wedding anniversary.
How Does Jade Compare to Other Stones?
In comparison to other opaque stones, jade displays exceptional smoothness and luster. It has a fantastic quality to be cut in a variety of shapes and carved in beautiful patterns making it a standout gemstone. Not just in jewelry, artisans use jade in making figures and sculptures. Not many gems possess such exceptional flexibility and versatility.
A collector's delight, this fascinating gemstone is available in many colors, which is a rare feature in opaque stones. Generally, opaque stones like malachite, lapis lazuli, carnelian and turquoise come in one or two shades, but a lover of jade can own an entire pallet of eye-soothing colors like pink, black, green, blue, yellow, purple, and red.
Where Does Jade Come From?
Jade deposits occur at various locations across the globe. Jadeite primarily occurs in China, Guatemala, Myanmar, Russia, and the United States. Whereas, deposits of nephrite exist in Australia, Canada, China, Vietnam, and the United States.
What Does Jade Mean?
With significant metaphysical characteristics, jade is a stone that many say balances different spheres of life. Gem therapists tell us that jade is a lucky stone, and helps in boosting confidence, maintaining patience, and stimulating the energies for love, wealth, satisfaction, and health. The gemstone has a reputation for imbuing wisdom, determination, and helping us accomplish goals in both professional and personal scenarios.
Jade provides emotional healing by enhancing bonds of honesty, love, and happiness. In many cultures, jade is a dream stone as it promotes spirituality, knowledge, and creativity. The protective stone is believed to assure long life and a peaceful passage to the afterlife.
Also, each color of jade is known for a unique property. Purple jade is known as the 'Stone of the Angels,' and radiates pure energies, encouraging happiness. Yellow jade is known to be cheerful and energetic, a stone of assimilation. Pink jade fosters love, wealth, and protection with an ability to heal with positivity. Green jade represents growth and life and is known for bringing good luck, friendship, peace, and harmony to the wearer. Blue jade is said to be lucky for career-oriented people, calming the mind and promoting vision and dreams. Red jade is associated with life force energy, passion, and strength.
Highly valued in Chinese culture, they associate jade stones with nobility, wealth, and consider it to be a protector of family over generations. Craved objects and statutes of jade have special significance in Chinese culture. The statue of a jade bat stands for happiness. A fish is the symbol of power and rank while dragons stand for prosperity and rain. The most common object, a circular perforated disc is the symbol of heaven.
For informational purposes only. These remedies, approaches, and techniques are not a substitute for professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat any ailment without prior consultation with a qualified health care professional.
Is Jade a Birthstone?
Jade is not an official birthstone. Its green color makes it an excellent choice if you are looking for a substitute for the May birthstone, emerald.
- Ranks 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- Available in a variety of colors like green, purple, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, and black.
- Jadeite occurs in China, Guatemala, Myanmar, Russia, and the United States.
- Nephrite occurs in Australia, Canada, China, Vietnam, and the United States.
- The gemstone goes through treatments like wax coating, bleaching, and dyeing.