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.