polished-jade-gem

JADE

Jade is actually two separate gems: nephrite and jadeite. In China, a pierced jade disk is a symbol of heaven.\

ABOUT JADE

ade has its cultural roots in the smoke-dimmed caves and huts that sheltered prehistoric humans. Around the world, Stone Age workers shaped this toughest of gems into weapons, tools, ornaments, and ritual objects. Their carvings invoked the powers of heaven and earth and mystic forces of life and death.

CONFUCIUS

The philosopher wrote that jade is like virtue and its brightness represents heaven.

BI

The traditional jade flat disc with a hole in the middle, known as a “bi,” symbolizes heaven.

YU

The character for jade is one of the oldest in written Chinese, dating to 2950 BC.

FACTS

  • Mineral: Jadeite and Nephrite
  • Chemistry: NaAlSi2O6 and Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2
  • Color:  Green, white, orange, yellow, lavender, black
  • Refractive index: 1.666 to 1.680 (+/-0.008) and 1.606 to 1.632 (+0.009, 0.006)
  • Birefringence:  Usually not detectable
  • Specific gravity: 3.34 and 2.95
  • Mohs Hardness: 6.5 to 7 and 6.0 to 6.5

QUALITY FACTORS

For both jadeite and nephrite, green is the most valued color. Semi-transparent clarity and fine texture also increase jade’s value dramatically.

COLOR

quality factors

The finest jadeite—almost transparent with a vibrant emerald-green color—is known as “imperial jade.”

TRANSPARENCY

quality factors

Jadeite’s transparency ranges from completely opaque to semi-transparent. The best jadeite is semi-transparent.

TEXTURE

quality factors

Jadeite has a lovely, smooth, and even texture that makes people want to touch and hold the gem.

CUT

quality factors

While jade is rarely faceted like other gems, plain as well as intricate jade carvings are judged by their artistry.

CARAT WEIGHT

quality factors

Jadeite is generally sold by the piece rather than by weight. For top-quality imperial jadeite, slight size differences can make large value differences.


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