Highly cov­eted by Chi­nese col­lec­tors for cen­turies, jadeite is get­ting the wider at­ten­tion it de­serves. These facts about the gem­stone and ex­quis­ite jew­ellery by Tin Min Jade will pique your in­ter­est

Hong Kong Tatler - - Style -

Jadeite is the term used to dif­fer­en­ti­ate the high-qual­ity jade suit­able for use in jew­ellery from the lower qual­ity jade used in larger dec­o­ra­tive pieces.

Myan­mar is the source of more than 90 per cent of the world’s jadeite. The best jade carvers, how­ever, are found in China. It is tra­di­tion­ally a sym­bol of supreme sta­tus and wealth, and was worn by his­tor­i­cal fig­ures such as Em­press Dowa­ger Cixi and Madame Chi­ang Kai-shek. Wool­worth heiress Bar­bara Hut­ton was also pas­sion­ate about the beau­ti­ful stone; her fa­mous Hut­ton-mdi­vani neck­lace, which fea­tures 27 per­fect jadeite beads, sold for a world record US$27.44 mil­lion at auc­tion in 2014.

Con­trary to pop­u­lar be­lief, jadeite is not only green. It comes in many colours, in­clud­ing white, black, laven­der, red and yel­low, and can also be a colour­less stone.

Im­pe­rial jade, a type of green jadeite known for its vi­brant green hue and high translu­cency, is the most valu­able. The best sam­ples can com­mand mil­lions of US dol­lars. Jadeite is be­lieved to be a spir­i­tual gem­stone that, when worn close to the skin, trans­mits good en­ergy; the wearer’s pos­i­tive aura is also said to cause the stone to re­tain its vi­brant colour and translu­cency.

Other highly val­ued green va­ri­eties in­clude king­fisher jade (slightly less in­tense than im­pe­rial), ap­ple jade (an in­tense yel­low­ish green shade) and moss-in-snow jade (translu­cent white with bright green veins or spots). Laven­der is the next most valu­able colour.

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