Jade is an ornamental metamorphic rock whose microcrystals are densely packed to form a compact aggregate. The stone's alluring lustre, remarkable durability, and a vast selection of colours have fuelled a cult-like fascination with the mineral for centuries.
The Chinese dynasties are credited as the discoverers of jade, first using it in ornamental plaques. The introduction of iron tools enabled the Chinese artisans to make the luxury and utilitarian jade objects, including hollow vessels, axes, swords, ornaments, and belt hooks.
The material is tough yet has lower grade hardness, thus allowing artisans to carve it into a broad range of fascinating objects and jewellery. Hardness is the ability of a material to resist abrasion while toughness denotes how well the material can resist fracturing when subjected to pressure.
Jade in Singapore is used to fashion a selection of items such as vessels, plaques, jewellery, and sculptures. You will also find these objects in museums and private collections all over the world.
Most lovers of jade jewellery in Singapore do not distinguish between the two forms of the stone, similar to several buyers of jade objects across the world.
Jade is a generic term for two minerals types, namely nephrite (a calcium magnesium silicate) and jadeite (a sodium aluminium silicate). Whereas the two minerals look similar, they have considerable colour and composition differences.
Nephrite, being much popular than jadeite, is usually referred to as the regular jade. The Amerindians recognized this stone as a remedy for kidney ailments, and hence referred to it as "lapis nephriticus." This reveals the origin of the term "nephrite".
The primary colours associated with nephrite range from mild to dark green, although reddish, yellowish, white, and grey-green variations are also common.
Take care not to confuse nephrite with imitations, including hydrogrossular garnet, serpentine, maw sit sit, and chrysoprase, which possess similar translucence, colour, and lustre.
Jadeite was unknown to civilization until 1853 when Russian mineralogist Alexis Damour differentiated the varying mineral compositions of jadeite and nephrite. Nonetheless, master Chinese artisans realised decades earlier that jade sourced from Myanmar was tougher, denser, and had more colour variations.
Jadeite is rarer and hence more precious than nephrite, with Myanmar being the most important supplier of the precious gem. China, boasting a long history with jade and jade carving, is the largest market for jadeite.
Most gem buyers associate jadeite with green colour, but get surprised upon learning that the mineral is also available in black, pink, brown, purple, pink, and white.
With colour being an essential value factor for jadeite, emerald-green jadeite, known as the imperial jade, fetches the most value on the market. Other highly-valued varieties with shades of green include kingfisher jade, apple jade, and moss-in-snow jade. Lavender is the second-most valuable colour on jadeite market.
Jadeite's transparency ranges from semi-transparent to completely opaque. The semi-transparent jadeite varieties appear to glow and fetch better deals than the opaque alternatives. When looking for jadeite in Singapore, buyers usually test for transparency by trying to read a printed page through a thin slice of the precious mineral.
Depending on the variation in hardness and crystal sizes, jadeite's texture can be coarse, medium, or fine.
The price of jadeite objects also depends on the types of treatments they are subjected to during the manufacturing processes. Here are the jadeite object certifications you are likely to encounter in a Singapore jade shop.
This is known as the natural jadeite and is the most accepted form of precious metal. Natural jadeite means that the material has not undergone any kind of chemical treatment. However, coating with colourless wax is the acceptable method of polishing natural jadeite, provided the process does not compromise the crystalline structure of the material.
Type B jadeite is soaked in acid to remove oxidation stains and impurities. Nonetheless, this procedure results in the creation of micro-holes on the material, besides lightening its colour. Next, a polymer resin is infused into the object in a vacuum chamber. Finally, the stone is polished to produce a lustrous colour and smooth finish.
Types C jadeite undergoes all type B enhancements, but the polymer resin is enhanced with dye to add a colouring effect to the material. Note that Type C jadeite tends to discolour with time when exposed to body heat, cleaning detergents, and intense light.
The most notable difference between jadeite and conventional jade is their availability and price points.
Jadeite is much rarer and resultantly much pricier than jade. There are only ten places with jadeite mineral deposits all over the world, including Italy, Canada, California, Myanmar, Columbia, and New Zealand. Myanmar is the only trusted source of fine-quality jadeite. Contrarily, mines for regular jade are widespread.
The rarity and high price of jadeite makes it an ideal symbol for supremacy. It comes as no surprise that jadeite jewellery was much synonymous with Chinese nobles including Madame Chiang Kaishek and Empress Dowager Cixi.
In 2014, a necklace with 27 jadeite beads fetched a whopping $27.44m at auction, thousands of times the average price of a lavender jade necklace in Singapore. Today, the best samples of imperial jade, the most valuable jadeite variety, can fetch several millions of US dollars.
Unlike jade, which comes in shades of green, white, and white, jadeite occurs in vibrant shades of varying clarity, including emerald-green, lavender, red, white, yellow, red, grey, black, and blue. As mentioned earlier, green is the most priced colour of jadeite.
Jade and jadeite may not have an incredible difference as per their positions in the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Still, the little variation could mean a lot for the overall quality and price of a particular material.
With a scale of 6-6.5, conventional jade is still more vulnerable to abrasions when compared to jadeite, whose hardness factor lies between 6.5 and 7.0. You want to be sure about abrasion-resistance of the material when scouring for jewellery or ornaments in a jade shop. Check if scratching the object with your finger leaves any mark.
You can take the scratch test a notch higher by using a sharp object such as a nail or end of a pair of scissors. Scratch a part that's not generally visible with the nail to see if a mark is left on the material. The presence of a scratch mark points to nephrite or fake jade.
When looking for good jade jewellery in Singapore, it's best to arm yourself with tips to differentiate between authentic material and imitations.
Genuine jade is smooth and cool to touch and boasts excellent resistance to scratches. If you can scratch a jade piece with your finger, undoubtedly it's made with fake material. Be wary of a seller who doesn't allow you to run the finger test on their stones or jewellery.
Good jade does not heat up quickly when enclosed in the palm. If you have ever held a real jade, you can promptly tell between a genuine and fake stone by its weight. Real jade feels more substantial than the imitations.
Colour significantly affects jade price in Singapore. Green jade is regarded as a cheaper alternative to the high-value "imperial jade"-emerald green jadeite. So, you can expect to pay more for green varieties of regular jade.
Also, pay attention to the class type of the material. Natural jade guarantees consistency in colour, stability, and toughness.
The most avid jadeite collectors know what to look for in a jadeite piece, but beginners may face a hard time when trying to distinguish high-quality and low-quality jadeite.
Jadeite is available in varying textures, but a good material has a smooth surface without a coarse granular look.
Also, watch out for the material's transparency. The best jadeite is semi-transparent and produces a glow when light is shone onto it. If you are on the lookout for a premium product, you can't go wrong with a green or lavender jadeite piece.
It's important to understand that jadeite occurs in a range of shades and transparency, with some varieties having less desirable shades that fetch low prices on the market. To lure customers into buying such pieces for a high price, artisans subject the items to varying treatments to enhance their look.
Chemical treatments subjected to types B and C jadeites usually compromise the quality and durability of the material.
For high-quality, long-lasting jadeite in Singapore, prioritize on Type A items made of natural Burmese/Myanmar jadeite, and subjected to bee wax treatment only. Whereas many jade sellers swear by natural jadeite, be sure to request the class certificate to ascertain the material's genuineness.
Jade is a colourful and durable material that can be fashioned in unique designs that are quite unachievable with other gemstones. These properties make jade a desirable stone for the creation of a wide variety of jewellery, including necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and pendants. Conventionally, a jade jewel is made from jadeite.
It's a common practice for designers to combine jade with other gems and place them in settings made with precious metals such as gold, silver, and diamond.
Mounting jade on a coloured setting augments its beauty significantly. Note that the setting can substantially influence the overall price of the jewellery, so don't be surprised when you part with a few thousand dollars for a jade ring in Singapore.
Artisans also cut jadeite stone into round beads, which are carefully selected and strung into necklaces.
When matching jadeite beads, manufactures must pay critical attention to the colour, transparency, texture, symmetry of cut, and size. The matching process is strenuous, and this explains why a jade necklace in Singapore can sell for an extremely high price.
You can attach a jade pendant from Singapore to a jade necklace for an overall classy look.
Jade bracelets and bangles are also an essential part of jewellery collection. Jade bangles were first made from nephrite in China thousands of years ago. Since the discovery of a new form of jade stone, jadeite bracelets and bangles are still highly sought after by collectors.
Jade bangle in Singapore price is subject to carving, with some bangles being hololiths. However, fashioning each piece of jewellery from a single rough stone results in the loss of a great deal of weight. Due to this reason, a hololith jade bangle in Singapore tends to be costlier than a bangle that comprises several pieces of jade joined with hinges of precious metal.
Keep in mind that size is a critical factor for jade price in Singapore. The value of a jade jewel, including bracelet, ring, and bead increases proportionally with size, all other quality factors being constant. A slight increase in jadeite size can contribute to a sharp rise in the price; however, the case is different with relatively readily-available nephrite.
When picking jade jewellery in Singapore, make sure to find a material with intense colours. Watch out for flaws and cracks, even if it means using a magnifying glass to take an in-depth look at the piece you're about to buy.
As mentioned earlier, jade is a durable and robust stone. Nonetheless, taking care of your jade jewellery is essential to maintain its glow and lustre for a long time.
Always clean your precious jewellery with a soft brush/cloth and solution of lukewarm water and mild liquid soap. Take care not to wash jade with a jewellery cleaning solution; it contains chemicals that may damage your jade piece.
It's also advisable to keep jade pieces away when engaging in outdoor activities or handling chemicals.
Jade jewellery is an excellent addition to your wardrobe and looks. It comes loaded with value, durability, and beauty that will undoubtedly make you stand out from the crowd.
If you are wondering where to buy jade in Singapore, Li-Hong Jade is your one-stop store for all your jade and jadeite needs. You can bet on the genuineness of our jade jewellery, ranging from pendants, earrings, to bangles. Whether you are looking for a jadeite engagement ring or jade bracelet in Singapore, our store boasts a massive collection of jade pieces for reinvented, modern, and classy looks.
Our jade ornaments will undoubtedly add beauty and elegance to your rooms while instilling the values of eternity and loyalty in your home.
We also customize jadeite jewellery to our customer's liking by creating new designs or modify the existing design based on the size, shape, and colour of the jadeite. Trust our friendly and helpful staff to guide you through the selection so that you pick a piece that suits your preferences and desire.
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