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25 Dec '18

Quality of Jadeite - Translucency

Posted by All About Jade

Jadeite quality factors

Jade consists of two different materials, jadeite and nephrite, and is a term used to describe both materials. However, the physical properties of jadeite and nephrite are very different and thus, identification of quality in the two materials is also a very different exercise. Jadeite, in particular, has relatively clear discerning factors to look at in identifying its quality. One of the important factors affecting the quality of a jadeite would be translucency.

Translucency and Why It Matters

Translucency is a subset of transparency as a google search of its definition explains. It is the amount of light that can pass through an object. The more light can pass through, the more translucent the object is. In jadeite, the higher the translucency of a jadeite piece, the more valuable it is. Translucency is also a factor of how thin a jadeite piece is. As such, thinner pieces of jadeite which are clear and translucent, are valuable, however, they will pale in comparison to a thicker piece with similar translucency. The differences in prices are clearly evident as well. A completely clean and translucent jadeite piece of a considerable thickness will most likely be far more expensive than a thinner piece.

In grading terms, laboratory reports from Nanyang Gemological Institute (NGI), which certify jade pieces from All About Jade, classify colourless jadeite pieces broadly into 2 categories if they are translucent enough. The first being icy jadeite and this is a qualification of jadeite if it is of a high level of translucency. The second category is only offered to jadeite pieces that are extremely clear and translucent, and this is the glassy variety of jadeite. Both classifications are given only after laboratory testing of how light passes through the jadeite pieces. For non-colourless jadeites, the reports will indicate translucency in the remarks section of the report and similarly, only jadeite pieces with high levels of translucency are given these special remarks.

Icy Jadeite

Glassy Jadeite

Identification of the translucency of a jadeite piece is easy from a laboratory report. However, in cases where a jadeite piece, like a bangle, is large and has more material, laboratory reports can only indicate so much. Translucency in jadeite is rare. Only a very small percentage of jadeite pieces in the market have decent levels of translucency and their rarity directly correlates to their prices. In many cases, even if a portion of a jadeite bangle is translucent, the bangle will be worth much more than a more opaque piece of a similar colour. 

04 Oct '17

Jadeite Cabochon Rings and Earrings

Jadeite Cabochons

Unlike most gemstones, Jadeite is not a transparent gemstone. As a result, Jadeite jewellery is not faceted like Sapphires or Rubies, and is fashioned into accessories with smooth surfaces. Colour being the prime factor for quality in Jadeite is followed by clarity of the material. Being generally known as an opaque material, Jadeite with high translucency is exceptionally rare. Fine grained Jadeite pieces found in raw stones will be carved to maximize the yield of the translucent material. When whole pieces of Jadeite that are completely translucent are found, cabochons can be fashioned out of the raw stone.

Colour and Quality

Jadeite cabochons can be found in numerous forms and typically, only exceptional material is carved into cabochons. They are graded by 3 main factors: Colour, translucency and size. As with all jadeite jewellery, green is the favoured colour and of the various green shades, a medium tone and highly saturated green is the most valuable. Another highly rare colour is the lavender jadeite. Translucency in jadeite is highly rare and a clear translucent jadeite cabochon would be an exceedingly rare and precious find. Lastly, rarity increases exponentially with size. However, having a large cabochon would affect the translucency of the material as light would have to pass through a larger cross sectional area of jadeite. Some examples of jadeite cabochons are shown below for reference.

Cabochons in Jewellery

Cabochons are typically fashioned into rings. In examples like the clear light green cabochon above, setting it as a ring is probably the closest one can get to wearing a bead of glassy water on one’s finger. Cabochon pairs are also sometimes set into earrings but to find a matching set of cabochons is not an easy task. Usually, pairs of cabochons are fashioned from a single piece of raw material. Like other gemstones, matching jadeite cabochons fetch a premium as a result.

At All About Jade, we have a selection of various jadeite cabochons either set into jewellery or as loose gemstones for a customized setting. As always, all our jadeite pieces are natural and unheated. To browse our selection of available jadeite cabochons, this is the direct link to our collection. If you have any queries or any special requests, feel free to drop us a message via our contact form.

27 Jun '17

Jewellery Setting

Jewellery settings can be broadly categorized into two groups, settings for calibrated sizes and custom settings. Commercial gemstones, largely available in jewellery shops, are usually cut into pre-set dimensions that fit into standard moulds, uniformly used by jewellery setters. These gemstones which are cut into pre-set dimensions are also known as calibrated stones. This allows for a commercially efficient solution to jewellery setting, as a single mould can be used countless times to set different gemstones.

However, for more expensive gemstones, to cut a raw stone to conform to specific dimensions would mean that a large amount of material might potentially be lost. Finding a good piece of raw material is already a very different endeavour, finding a large sized raw material of good quality, is even harder. And thus, preservation of material is of utmost importance when cutting expensive and rare materials like exquisite rubies and sapphires.

Good quality jadeite is almost exclusively cut in custom dimensions. And settings for jadeite, similar to gemstones, can be done by skilled craftsmen honed in this art.

At All About Jade, most of our jadeite jewellery have been set into jewellery settings made out of 18K gold, be it yellow, rose or white gold. This allows for customers to forgo the hassle of having to design a custom setting and subsequently finding a craftsman to set the jewellery. Moreover, in most cases, finding a reliable craftsman, in Singapore, to perform a custom setting would be more expensive, considering how transactions usually lower in price with increased volume.

All our jewellery settings are performed by master craftsmen who have been working with us for countless years and if the need arises, custom designs and settings can be performed. The entire process of designing a custom setting to the delivery arrangements of the jadeite will be arranged by us. Advice on the optimum designs for any jadeite will also be provided either via email, or in person at our physical shop.

Our jadeite pieces are sourced as raw unset stones and will be sequentially arranged to be set into classic jewellery showcased in our physical and online shop. If there are any specific requests for a certain shade of green, or a certain size of jadeite cabochon pair for that dream pair of earrings, feel free to drop us a message to enquire or visit us at our physical shop to take a look at our custom jewellery settings in person. Odds are that we will be able to source a perfect piece for you from our inventory.

16 Feb '17

Imperial Green Jadeite?

Background

A wide variety of colours is available in jadeite. Of which, a specific shade of green is the most highly sought after variation. This particular shade of green is often described in many differing ways and a quick search online will lead you to various shades of green claiming to be the most exclusive. Apple green, vivid green and other names are common terms all leading to the most popular term, imperial green jadeite. However, noting the fact that there is no specific guideline to classify and grade natural jadeite, there is no actual clear definition of what constitutes an imperial green colour.

So, what is imperial green? To term imperial green as the most exclusive shade of colour for jadeite would naturally tag prices correspondingly. Thus, the most expensive jadeites should define the term imperial green.

Examples Of Some Really Expensive Jadeite

Some examples of the most expensive jadeite ever sold publicly are shown here.

 

Jadeite Brooch

 

Jadeite Bangle

The first photo is a brooch that was featured in a NYTIMES article (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/fashion/Jade-Becomes-Rarer-Amid-Demand-From-China.html).

The second photo is the most expensive jadeite jewellery that was publicly transacted. An astounding 214 million HKD was the hammer price for this necklace purchased by Cartier. 


 

The third photo is another piece of jadeite jewellery publicly transacted. This jadeite bangle was sold under the hammer for 43 million HKD and is as expensive as it gets for jadeite bangles.

These 3 pieces of jadeite jewellery are just samples taken from the internet to showcase exclusive jadeite jewellery and their colours.

Colour Analysis

Further analysis of the images through photo pixel mapping, reveals further information of the specific shades of green that make up the majority of the images.

Image 1 – Jadeite Brooch

Colour

Pixels

HEX

RGB

 

24.51%

#186D2C

24 109 44

 

18.59%

#1C8938

28 137 56

 

7.75%

#6E9F78

110 159 120

 

Image 2 – Jadeite Beads Necklace

Colour

Pixels

HEX

RGB

 

8.78%

#2C7D46

44 125 70

 

1.88%

#285839

40 88 57

 

1.25%

#9EC1AD

158 193 173

 

Image 3 – Jadeite Bangle

Colour

Pixels

HEX

RGB

 

5.84%

#08723A

8 114 58

 

2.92%

#1F9552

31 149 82

 

1.48%

#3F8660

63 134 96

 

Thoughts

Are these the colours representative of the elusive imperial green?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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07 Dec '16

Jade Si Dian Jin 四点金

Background

Si Dian Jin or 四点金, in Singapore is a gift that is presented from the family of the groom to the bride before a wedding. This tradition has its roots in Chinese culture and the types of jewellery presented as Si Dian Jin depends on the different dialect groups. The common Si Dian Jin set of jewellery presents itself as a set of a necklace, a ring, a bracelet or bangle and a pair of earrings.

Modern Take on Si Dian Jin 四点金

In most cases, Si Dian Jin, as a set of jewellery would be worn on the wedding day and subsequently kept in a safe to be passed down to future generations.

24k gold is usually the metal to go for when choosing Si Dian Jin due to its ability to retain value and absolute resistance to tarnish. However, as jewellery, 24k gold is not the hardiest and is susceptible to being deformed. Pure gold jewellery sets made in 24k gold are therefore not very practical to be worn more than the 1 occasion, before being tucked safely away in safe boxes. Thus, many places nowadays offer many different modern takes on Si Dian Jin to be sets of jewellery that can be both meaningful and yet worn on formal or classy occasions, still made of 24k gold but incorporating other hardier material in various designs.

Here at All About Jade, varying sets of jade have been carefully selected to present options to the traditional Si Dian Jin in the classiest forms of jade. Jade, in itself, is an exceptionally hard material and will withstand the test of time. In terms of value, quality jade pieces have always been the go to material of Chinese as investments through centuries past. Choosing a set of quality jade jewellery adorned in gold would be the definite step up in beauty, durability and if recent trends are an indication, even investment value.

All About Jade Sets of 四点金

All About Jade - Si Dian Jin GreenAll About Jade - Si Dian Jin Colourless

Jade comes in various colours and quality. Only natural Type A jade is sold in All About Jade and investing in a set of Si Dian Jin 四点金 would be really down one’s personal choice. Different pieces can be mixed and matched depending on the colour of the jade pieces and if you have any preference for any specific colour, we will be more than happy to configure a set to your preferences. For any enquires, do contact us here.

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