Jadeite Jade Buyer’s Guide

Our Jadeite Jade Buyer’s Guide is a compilation of everything you need to know in order to make a wise purchase decision. But first, here is a very brief history of jadeite.

Gemstone quality jadeite jade is a very special stone that was discovered in Myanmar in the 19th century. The first Chinese miners to discover jadeite quickly noted that it seemed similar in appearance to the more common nephrite jade. However, the qualities of jadeite jade are amplified many times when comparing the two stones.

Furthermore, the introduction of jadeite jade meshed well with the 5000 year history of nephrite jade in China. As a result, the popularity of jadeite spread rapidly in China after its discovery. In fact, demand for jadeite was so high in China, the Emperor implemented a standing purchase order for all the imperial jade that could be obtained.

After its discovery by the Chinese, jadeite become the base material for the most precious carvings of Buddhas, Chinese gods, dragons, cabochons and much more. These precious jadeite carvings are available for all to purchase with free worldwide delivery. Please find answers to the most common questions below.  

Is Green Jade and Jadeite the Same Thing?

The two types of jade are nephrite jade and jadeite jade. Indeed, both forms of jade can come in the color green. However, green jadeite is notably more vibrant and translucent than green nephrite jade.

Furthermore, jadeite comes in different shades of green that can greatly impact the value. The most coveted green coloration is what is known as “Imperial Jade” and it can command prices of thousands or even millions of dollars.

This rare form of green jadeite features a rich uniform coloration and translucency This special jade stone of highest quality is the most expensive jade in the world. In imperial China, ownership of imperial jade was reserved only for the Emperor. However, it is now possible for anyone to purchase imperial jade that wishes to own it. 

What is the Jade Buddha Meaning?

Both jade and Buddhism have a very long history in Asia which is interwoven to form the jade Buddha meaning. Indeed, it was discovered long ago that jade would induce Buddhist virtues such as inner reflection, calmness and contemplation. As a result, nephrite jade and especially jadeite jade are commonly used for jade Buddha carvings such as Buddha pendants and statues. 

Furthermore, the identity of the Buddha will also influence the jade Buddha meaning. Jade pendants, especially in East Asia commonly feature Happy Buddha.

Happy Buddha was a historical figure who first appeared in China during the 10th century. Also known as Budai, he was fondly remembered as a monk that wandered through the Chinese countryside spreading good cheer and encouragement.

Furthermore, Chinese Buddhists believe that Happy Buddha is an incarnation of the Future Buddha Maitreya. Maitreya is an integral figure in Mahayana Buddhist teachings and he is the subject of the Maitreya Prophecy. In the distant future, the prophecy says he will return to the earthly realm and deliver all sentient life from suffering.

Jade Emperor vs Jade Buddha?

In Chinese folk culture, the Jade Emperor is also known as the “God of Heaven”. Depending on the interpretation from various Taoist schools, he is an incarnation of the highest “Three Pure Ones” or he is ruler of all that lies below the Three Pure Ones including the realms of man and Hell.

Most Taoists simply regard him as their highest god and he is venerated accordingly in China, especially on the 9th day of Chinese New Year which is his birthday.

The Jade Emperor and the Buddha are not similar to each other or related in any way.

In Buddhism, the Buddha has transcended all the realms of existence and entered Nirvana. This includes the highest Realm of the Gods. Indeed, the gods are subject to human frailties such as desire, anger and attachment. Although they are superior to humans, they are not Buddhas. The Buddha has eliminated all impurities and no longer exists in the cycle of rebirth known as the “sea of samsara”.  

Most jadeite Jade “Buddhas” depict Happy Buddha or Guanyin. These Chinese deities are actually Bodhisattvas, not Buddhas. A real jade Buddha would be a depiction of a fully fledged Buddha such as Gautama Buddha. Jade carvings depicting the real Buddha are more common in Theravada Buddhist countries such as Myanmar or Thailand and are not often found in China or other East Asian countries.

How can I tell if it is Real Jade?

The two types of jade are nephrite jade and jadeite jade. Jadeite jade has very unique translucency, colors and texture that distinguish it from lower quality nephrite jade. As a result, it is like comparing apples to oranges. Therefore, from a valuation perspective jadeite must be compared to jadeite, nephrite to nephrite. 

That said, when evaluating jadeite jade, the simple rule is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 

Grade A natural jadeite jade is the highest quality jade and therefore commands the highest price. Generally speaking, nephrite has a greasy or waxy appearance. In comparison, jadeite jade has much higher translucency, hardness, vibrant colors and clarity than nephrite.

However, to understand the true value of jade, the buyer must not only distinguish between jadeite and nephrite. They must also be able to differentiate between type A, type B and type C jadeite jade.

Many sellers advertise their product as grade A natural jadeite. However, if it has received any chemical treatments, dyes or infusions other than standard wax polishing, it is in fact an inferior grade B or grade C jadeite. If so, the true value and quality of the stone is significantly lower than natural grade A jadeite. The buyer must be careful because grade B and C jadeite can look very authentic, even to the experienced eye.

When buying jadeite online or in a jade market, it is advisable to always buy from a trusted source. Indeed, if there is any doubt, opt for a certificate of authenticity from the local gemological laboratory before completing the purchase.

All of our jadeite is certified grade A natural jadeite. Each item includes our in house certificate of authenticity. However, upon request, an additional certificate from the local gemological lab can be included with your purchase for nominal cost of US$55.     

What does Real Jadeite Cost?

It is not possible to set the cost for jadeite as it is for precious metals such as gold. Gold has been refined and the impurities have been filtered out, so it is possible to establish a set price per ounce. However, it is not possible to commoditize natural jadeite in this manner. As a result, the cost of real jadeite will vary significantly between different stones that display different characteristics.

The cost of the stone is set by evaluating its authenticity. First, establish if it is real jadeite. If so, then establish the grade – natural grade A, grade B, or grade C jadeite. Grade A natural jadeite is the highest quality and therefore it is the most expensive jade stone. However, the cost can still vary significantly between stones depending on the translucency, color, texture and weight.

Indeed, the color of natural jadeite is the most important cost factor especially if it is a certain shade of green called “Imperial Jade”. If so, this vibrant almost transparent green color will increase the price of the stone by thousands or even millions of dollars.    

Does Jade or Jadeite appear in any other colors naturally besides white and green?

Nephrite jade only comes in two colors – white and green. However, jadeite can appear as clear colorless in addition to a much broader spectrum of colors including gray, black, white, brown, yellow, orange, red, purple, lavender and especially green.

The most expensive jade is a shade of green known as “imperial Jade”. However, Jadeite can appear in other less vivid yet very appealing shades of green such as “kingfisher jade” or “apple jade” or a combination of green and white known as “moss on snow”.

What are the Properties of Jadeite?

Chemistry Silicate – pyroxene
Formula: NaAlSi2O6
Refractive Index 1.64 – 1.667
Hardness 6.5-7
Specific Gravity 3.25-3.36
Cleavage Good
Clarity Vitreous (glassy)
Transparency
Transparent
semitransparent
translucent
semitranslucent
opaque
Color
Clear colorless, red, purple, orange, lavender, green, lilac, black, brown, gray, white