Although Jade has been found in Myanmar (Burma) for hundreds of years it is treasured in China as the royal gemstone. It has appreciated at many levels thru time: first as an object of daily life, then as an object of ritual and later as an item for barter and wealth. Today it is used as personal adornment.
Jade is usually cut into smooth dome shapes called cabochons. Jade can be used in almost all forms of jewelry. Bangles are extremely popular in Asian countries. Beads are usually made into necklaces and some of the finest green colored necklaces can fetch very high prices. Jade can appear in six basic colors with many variations. These are green, lavender, red, yellow, white and black. Green is the most important and varies from apply green to gray-green to black green. Lavender jade can vary from dark – almost plum-purple to even having a blue cast.
The most important factors in determining the value of Jade is the color and transparency. Rich greens and deep colored lavender command the highest prices. The finest color of green jade can be close in color to a fine Colombian emerald, but of a darker hue. It is sometimes referred to as Imperial Jade.
Whereas most gemstones are sold by carat weight, jade is sold by the piece. The finest qualities of green can make it the most expensive stones in the world. A piece approximately ¾ of an inch round can bring upwards of $250, 000.00 or more. The more light that shines through the stone, the better is the quality.
Because of the rarity of fine material, most jade in the marketplace is referred to as dyed jade or ‘B’ jade. Producing ‘B’ jade involves acid-bleaching and then impregnating it with a form of plastic. This produces the different colors- green (light or dark), lavender, red, yellow, white or black.
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