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10 Jul '16

Classification of Jadeite


Jadeite jewellery ranges vastly in terms of price. Quality of jadeite determines the prices of jadeite. There are many factors that affect the quality of jadeite but the easiest method of judging a jadeite’s price is its colour. Natural jadeite comes in a myriad of colours, from green to blue to even red. However, the most prized colour for jadeite would be a very specific shade of emerald green colour. Jadeite of such colour is generally known as imperial jade. This, essentially gives rise to the enhancement of natural jade to achieve such desirable colours.

Enhancements to jadeite come in various forms, all of which damages the integrity of the jadeite and affects the lustre and texture of the jadeite. Furthermore, with regards to its value, an enhanced jadeite would pale in comparison to a natural jadeite of similar colour (Lustre and texture will definitely lose out as well).

As such, a classification of jadeite was introduced to differentiate different methods of enhancements made to jadeite and to allow consumers to safely purchase jadeite with a clear understanding of the state of the jadeite being purchased.

Usage (Countries)

Classification of jadeite is being practised in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

Classification System



Type A

Natural jadeite without treatment except for surface waxing.

Type B

Chemically bleached & polymer impregnated jadeite.

Type C

Dyed jadeite.

Type B + C

Polymer impregnated and dyed jadeite.

Singapore Context

There are many places in Singapore to purchase jadeite. However, a simple search online would display numerous instances where customers are misled into purchasing jadeite that are not of Type A quality, but at Type A jadeite prices.

The easiest way of determining whether the jadeite being purchased is natural or enhanced, would be to bring it to a gemmologist to obtain a laboratory report. Tests will be run on the jadeite which will reveal any enhancements that may have been made to the jadeite. If you are in Singapore, a place that offers such laboratory testing services is Nan Yang Gemological Institute. It offers laboratory testing of gemstones, including testing of jadeite pieces. A report of the jadeite, being tested, will be produced and provided after the completion of the tests. (Note: All About Jade is not affiliated with Nan Yang Gemological Institute.)

Approach to Buying Jadeite

Jadeite jewellery is available at a large range of price points. Natural, unenhanced, jadeite commands a higher price than enhanced jadeite. This is similar to all sorts of gemstones and semi-precious stones. Buying either natural or enhanced jadeite is a personal choice.

With regards to natural Type A jadeite, the fool-proof way of purchasing would be to obtain a laboratory report for any single purchase. A laboratory report for any single piece of jadeite would cost anywhere from 70 – 100 SGD depending on the gemmologist. Considering the price range of Type A jadeite can range from 30 SGD to hundreds of thousands of dollars, the amount for a laboratory test might be a very significant percentage of the jadeite price. Paying 100 SGD for a laboratory test on a 50 SGD jadeite jewellery would be unthinkable. But putting down 100 SGD for a jadeite costing 1000 SGD would then be a very sensible approach.

Thus, the approach to buying jade would be simply down to personal preference. Firstly, it is a choice between either natural or enhanced jadeite. If the choice is to purchase natural jadeite, then, the next decision would be to find out if the jadeite is indeed a Type A jadeite. In doing so, the percentage cost of a laboratory test for a jadeite piece would have to be decided. For example, if 10% is the threshold, then any jadeite above 1000 SGD should qualify for an additional purchase cost of 100 SGD for a laboratory test. Following the same example, purchasing any jadeite below 1000 SGD would not justify the value of a laboratory test. In such scenarios, the best one can do is to perform physical checks of the jadeite to ensure its Type A classification or simply to purchase jadeite only from trusted sources.

 Approach To Buying Jadeite

All About Jade

At All About Jade, only Type A jadeite is being sold. Laboratory testing certifications can be provided for products that are above 3000 SGD, at no cost. For products below 3000 SGD, laboratory testing can always be arranged, but this will be at the cost of the customer and will be charged at the time of purchase (For such arrangements, just drop us a message via our contact form or email).

All About Jade seeks to provide customers a safe and reliable means to shopping and purchasing Type A jadeite. In the event that any jadeite jewellery purchased online in All About Jade is tested to be anything else but Type A jadeite, a full refund of the product will be provided.