Jade enjoys great popularity in jewelry next to diamonds and other precious and semi-precious stones. That doesn’t surprise us because Jade has been known for its beauty, allure, and cultural impact since ancient China and other ancient civilizations that existed on Earth. There are many variations of jade, and each one of them has its unique worth and meaning.
An ancient, yet very valuable Chinese proverb that translates as “Gold has a value, but jade is invaluable” means that there are different variations of jade that are so expensive they can be considered priceless. The value of gold changes regularly and daily and it’s relatively easy to put a value on it, which may not be so easy with jade, which is invaluable.
Jade has been used for jewelry, decorations, and ornaments for thousands of years. What’s more, it has been mined since the stone age. That being said, those who wear it are said to be noble and rich, especially in Eastern Asian culture, where jade has been in use for thousands of years.
Over the last couple of years, the value of jade has fluctuated a lot, compared to decades of steady value. During the last two to three years, the value of jade has increased so much that it has doubled in price.
Whether you uncovered old jewelry, ornaments, or some other collectible made out of jade, you must be wondering whether it has any worth and whether it’s a good idea to sell it. Trust us, jade has vast value, even in its raw state.
Continue reading further to learn about different variations of jade, and its value and we’ll also give you a little guide on how to evaluate jade on your own.
Quick Summary: The worth and allure of jade are so great that some of its colors and variations are often sought after more so than diamonds. Then again, some variations may not have such great value and can be found for as little as $2-$6. Then again a pound of some Jade variations can be worth more than $100 per carat.
About Jade & Its Variations
Although you may think that jade only represents one semi-precious stone, it’s worth noting that this stone refers to two different types of silicate minerals – jadeite and nephrite. They look so similar to one another that a person inexperienced with gemology may think they are the same.
After all, they are quite similar in appearance, as their color and texture are practically the same. However, they have different physical and chemical properties. Nephrite has variations that are light green and white. Nephrite is also softer and more abundant in nature.
On the other hand, Jadeite is rich with different color variations, which are usually darker, it’s firmer and harder, with a more crystalline nature. Its crystalline properties allow it to be more translucent. Additionally, it’s harder to find in nature because it’s rare with not more than 12 locations where it can be mined from. This also contributes to its higher value.
The most common colors of jade which can be found include
The above-mentioned jade variations are made both of nephrite and jadeite jade. However, they are quite common and collectors aren’t too impressed with them. You must be feeling confused because you’re likely introduced to the emerald green type of jade that is extremely rare and most sought after the collectors.
That variation of jade is called the Imperial jade, and it can only be found in jadeite. It’s also the most expensive and valuable variation of jade. Collectors quite literally fight to make it part of their gem collection.
The value of all jade variations is raising rapidly, especially when it comes to imperial jade. That’s why it’s best to hurry up and make it a part of the collection. Below is everything you need to know about its values.
Is Jade Any Worth?
Whether you’re trying to buy or sell an item made of jade, keep in mind that the main value factors are origin, size, and color. If you have an item that is made out of jadeite and considered imperial jade your jewelry or ornament will be even more valuable.
Whether you have an item that is made out of jade, keep in mind that both nephrite and jadeite are often treated before they make it to the final product. The amount of those treatments also contribute to the final value. There are different grades known as A, B, and C or the grade type B+C which usually decreases the overall value of jade.
Here’s the breakdown of the jade treatments.
- Type A: This type of jade is untreated and most similar to its original found in nature. Keep in mind that it may be covered with a wax coating which helps preserve it. This is a natural occurrence and doesn’t impact its value.
- Type B: This type of jade has gone through some chemical treatments like polymer treatment and bleaching to give a clear coloring of the jade.
- Type C: Type C of jade has been dyed to look more authentic to the original jade.
- Type B+C: This type of jade is not much sought after by collectors because it has been both dyed and processed with bleaching and other treatments.
Editor’s notes: If you want to buy or sell jade, keep in mind that those graded with A are of the best quality and they are more likely to be an attractive pick among collectors. Jade that has been treated chemically likely has lower value and will be cheaper, but will lack certain distinguishments that make it look authentic.
Keep in mind that you can get a lot for a carat of jadeite jade, particularly the imperial jade. The prices vary and change constantly, but jade is quite valuable and respected especially in Eastern Asian cultures.
How Much is Jade Worth?
The value of jade varies on many factors, some of which we already mentioned earlier throughout the articles. The quality of this semi-precious gemstone also plays a great role in its price. Some poor-quality variations can be worth only $2 per carat. However, the value rises with the variation, place of origin, texture, and much more, so you may be able to pay as much as $3 million per carat.
If you want to buy or sell jade per gram, keep in mind that the price goes from $25 to $5,000. If you’re a visitor of auctions where jade is being sold the price is being created per kilo measurement. Below is a table that will help you familiarize yourself with the value of jade in different measurement units.
|Per carat||$5-1500 ($3 million for pristine quality imperial jade)|
But, just like we mentioned earlier, jade is abundant in a variety of colors, and each one of them has a different value and price. Below we’re going to present you with all common colors considered for purchase when it comes to jade, per gram unit.
Editor’s notes: Sometimes, the color may not be enough to determine the true value of jade. Sometimes a place of extraction and mining also plays a role in the value. Jadeite has only 12 known mining locations, so when considering that information, it’d be best to hire an appraiser to help you.
The values for jade change on daily basis, which is why it’s best to use sites like gemsociety.com to check on updated prices for different variations of jade. Keep in mind that you’ll need a premium account to keep a watch on that.
How to Evaluate Jade?
Once you found antique jewelry, ornament, or another object made of a valuable variation of jade the first thing to think about is selling it. Still, if you’re not familiar with the evaluation of jade, it’d be best to read this guide. Additionally, you can find an appraiser to help you evaluate this piece of jade, or consult different forums, with Reddit being one of the most active ones when it comes to different gem subreddits.
Nevertheless, continue reading to see what can help you evaluate jade better.
A little earlier in the article, we talked about the types of jade according to the treatment. We mentioned before that the best type of jade is that which wasn’t treated chemically. If the jade continues having its luster, feels translucent, and has distinguished texture, then it likely wasn’t treated. Bleached and treated jade has a lower value on the market.
The color of jade also helps collectors recognize whether it’s a nephrite or jadeite type of jade. Still, they will most likely offer the most money for imperial jadeite jade. You can still consult the above values of different colors of jade and decide which variation of jade works the best for you.
Texture & Transparency
The texture is also quite important when it comes to determining the value of jade. If the jade feels fine to touch, it means that it’s smooth and finely textured. There are also medium fine and rough textures where rougher corners and surfaces can be felt with your finger, but also seen.
If the jade has a rougher surface and texture, it means that it has been less refined, but it’s also harder to work with so its value is lower. If the structure is fine and smooth the jade will be more worth it. Additionally, it’ll lead to better transparency.
When it comes to transparency, you can find opaque and semi-transparent jade. If jade is opaque it won’t hold the light in so it won’t have an alluring texture that jewelers and collectors often after.
Jewelers and those who work on refining jade will cut it into cabochons which helps shape them for different pieces of jewelry like rings, earrings, necklaces, and further on. When analyzing cabochons collectors will focus on symmetry and thickness, but what they will consider the most are the smooth and even surfaces which are easier to work with and also increase their value.
Editor’s notes: These are factors that affect its value the most. However, it’s always good to consider a professional if you are struggling with identifying and valuing your jade, especially if you’re the buyer and not a seller. You don’t want to be scammed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Shopping and selling jade alike are not easy tasks. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions online to help you determine the final value.
How Much Is Jade Worth Per Carat?
It generally depends on the type of jade you’re trying to sell. For example, a nephrite-based jade can be worth from $3 to $6 per carat. However, a carat of jadeite jade is worth from $100 onwards.
Where Can You Buy Jade?
The Jade Store will allow you to find beautiful-looking ornaments, decorations, animal figures, and jewelry made of jadeite jade. However, it’s important to note that it’s not the only place where you can buy Jade. Three major marketplaces are often having good ornaments made out of jade, as well as raw unprocessed jade as well. Check Amazon, eBay, and Etsy out, although Etsy is more likely to have handmade pieces of jewelry containing Jade.
What is Jade Used for?
Jade has been considered a sacred semi-precious stone for thousands of years, going from one civilization to another and taking place in many sacred objects made through centuries. That being said, Jade can be found on architectural decorations, figures, ornaments, weapons, tools, jewelry, and much more. Many people believed it also had spiritual meanings.