It is this gemstone that is colloquially known as Imperial Jade. White jade was considered to be the most precious and valuable stone in ancient China. Its value was equivalent to the way the West values diamonds and gold. It was highly prized for its beauty and durability, symbolized purity and moral integrity, even indestructibility, and was often used to make the so-called funeral jade costume for the richest and most important people in the country.
Today we know that white or creamy nephrite is much more common and not as valuable as white jadeite, which is a very rare stone and can still be appreciated more than gold in Asian countries. Carved jade pieces are valued per piece, not by carats. Art and origin are the main factors of value. 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.
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. Therefore, it is always good to consult with a jade expert to choose the highest quality jade with an appropriate budget. Jade costumes, of course, no longer have a place in modern society, but the fascination with jade jewelry has only grown, spreading even outside of Asia and attracting a new group of Western fans. 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.
Both are highly praised, but because of the better qualities of the mineral jadeite, jadeite jade is more valuable than nephrite jade. The most valuable type of jade is imperial jadeite jade, which has a bright green, semitransparent and evenly distributed coloration. The purpose can affect the value so much that the small jade object can be much more expensive than a larger-scale jade sculpture. Culture and history have a significant influence on the jade market and on the perception of jade as a gemstone.
The most expensive examples of jade are found in the so-called Imperial Jade color, which is an intense and vibrant emerald green. 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. The biggest auctions in the world focusing solely on latex are Myanmar Jade Auctions and China Jade Auctions. However, today, colorless transparent jade called icy jade has become very popular among younger consumers.
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.