There are many factors to consider when trying to determine the value of jade.
Most people know that Diamond is often graded by its carat / weight, and ‘the cut’ is very important, but did you know that valuing jade is actually much more complex?
The market for jade is complex and ever-changing, making it difficult to assign a definitive value to any one piece of jade. The value of jade can vary greatly depending on who is appraising it and for what purpose.
There are also many different factors that can affect the value of jade, however, there are also some objective factors that can influence a piece of jade’s market value, such as color, clarity, transparency and texture, artistry and craftsmanship.
This is often called 3C2T: Color, Clarity, Craftsmanship, Translucency and Texture. These are widely acknowledged as the key factors of valuing jade jewelry.
Branding is also important. It might not necessarily directly affect the market value of the jade gemstone itself, but it could still influences the final price. The key is to make sure you are buying from someone who isreliable and reputable.
When it comes to green jade, Jadeite is generally considered to be more valuable than Nephrite, as it is rarer and more difficult to find, the Imperial Jade for example. However, if you find "Mutton Fat Jade", it will still beat the Imperial Jade on the final price. Check out our article "Jadeite, Nephrite, Jade, What Is It All About?" to learn more about this topic.
Color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of jade. The most valuable colors are those that are rare, such as "Imperial Green" or "Mutton Fat White." Other colors, such as "apple green" or "honey yellow," are also considered valuable, but not to the same extent as the rarer colors. Apart from the visible color, the following elements of a color also play an important role:
Intensity - the color intensity, usually in 5 levels: very intense, intense, more intense, lighter, light
Saturation - the brightness level, usually in 4 levels, very bright, bright, darker, dark
Hue - if the color is mixed with a different hue, usually 3 types: green, yellow green, blue green
Evenness - if the color is evenly spread on the gemstone, usually 6 levels: very even (95-100%), even (85-95%), slightly even (70-85%), not even (60-70%), very uneven (30-50%), extremely uneven (below 20%)
Clarity is one of the most important factors in determining the value of jade. It refers to cracks and inclusions. The less, the better. Small tiny cracks usually can be seen with a microscope. Visible cracks usually are not seen on high end jade jewelry.
Artistry and craftsmanship and are also important factors in determining the value of jade. The most valuable jade is expertly crafted, with intricate design and a high level of artistry. The less expertly crafted and/or less artfully designed the jade is, the less valuable it will be.
As you already can guess, the cut is very important, too as it affects transparency and clarity, not just artistry.
Texture is another important factor to consider when determining the value of jade. The most valuable jade is smooth and even, without any bumps or irregularities. The smoother and more even, the better. The most valuable jade is completely transparent and has no flaws or blemishes. Transparency generally refers to how well light shines through the jade, giving it the ‘luminous’ quality it is known for. The less transparent and/or more cloudy the jade is, the less valuable it will be.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the value of a brand in the jade world, including the quality of its products, the reputation of the brand, and the level of customer service.
Branding and marketing can have a certain impact on the price of Jade. If a brand is associated with quality and prestige, it’s quite common for customers to be willing to pay a bit more for its jade products, for a peace of mind, especially when they are not sure how to tell the value of it.
In other words, branding is a double edged sword for the consumer, since it can be used to push the price higher but is also often a signal for quality. It’s important to make sure you do your research on Jade to make sure you are getting a good deal.
Make sure you choose a reputable Jade dealer - someone with a good reputation, a wide range of choice and fair pricing. Finding the right piece of Jade for you is very personal, so it makes sense to ensure you are getting the security you deserve when choosing your jade. You can get some quick tips in our article here "How Do I Know My Jade Is Real?".
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