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. Whether you buy your materials at the jade market, at an annual jewelry show, or at a friend's jade factory, you don't need to be an expert to make a smart purchase. The cabochons, beaded necklaces, or jade cabochons that are smaller than a dime that are used for rings and pendants are easier to cut.
I teach this observation method in my Canadian Master of Jade valuation program and emphasize how important it is to recognize these diagnostic characteristics when buying for your jade business. It's difficult, even for experienced jade merchants, to know which jade is real and which is fake.