For jadeite, the intensity of the green color, combined with a high degree of translucency, are the key factors in evaluating the value. Stones that are too dark in color or not as translucent are less valued. Many of us think of the rich bottle green color when we think of jade, and this is no coincidence. The more green jade you have, the higher its value.
The most expensive examples of jade are found in the so-called Imperial Jade color, which is an intense and vibrant emerald green. To achieve the highest possible value, the jade stone must be as pure as possible, without spots of gray or other colors. Imperial jade, as one of the most expensive gemstones in the world, can sometimes be worth millions of dollars. Jadeite, one of two distinct minerals commonly known as jade, is the rarest and hardest variety.
Intense green jadeite, known as “imperial jade”, is also the most valued. However, durable jadeite can be found in many colors and is suitable for both intricate carvings and cabochons. In these cases, jade stones are most valuable when they are thick, symmetrical and proportional; there should be no defect or imperfection on the surface of a jade stone visible to the naked eye and some shapes must be uniform, without flat spots or irregularities. The most valuable type of jade is imperial jadeite jade, which has a bright green, semitransparent and evenly distributed coloration.
Because of this decisive factor when evaluating this type of jade stone, some people treat or bleach jade to hide and eliminate any signs of discoloration before applying it with colored polymers; these artificially altered jadeites are not as valuable as their untreated counterparts. However, today, colorless transparent jade called icy jade has become very popular among younger consumers. From a mineralogical point of view, the value of jade also depends on the mineral composition, whether the jade is represented by nephrite or jadeite minerals. For example, one of the most expensive ancient objects made of jade is a Neolithic vessel called a jade cone with a sacred face of humans and animals from the Liangzhu culture.
Both are highly praised, but because of the better qualities of the mineral jadeite, jadeite jade is more valuable than nephrite jade. The biggest auctions in the world focusing solely on latex are Myanmar Jade Auctions and China Jade Auctions. The purpose can affect the value so much that the small jade object can be much more expensive than a larger-scale jade sculpture. According to an old Chinese proverb (gold has a value, jade is priceless), it's easier to value gold than to establish the value of jade, because it often exceeds the value of the stone.
Therefore, it is always good to consult with a jade expert to choose the highest quality jade with an appropriate budget. Culture and history have a significant influence on the jade market and on the perception of jade as a gemstone.