Jade Quality - What is the highest quality jade?
Grade A, B, and C Jadeite Jade
To help determine the quality of jadeite jade, experts have come up with a grading scale for evaluating a piece of jade. Jadeite jade can be Grade A, B, or C, while this scale is typically not used for grading nephrite.
Grade A means that the jade is completely natural with absolutely zero treatment. This is the highest quality jadeite there is.
Grade B means that it has been treated by being bleached or soaked in hydrochloric/sulfuric acid. This is done to clean the inside of impurities and inferior color.
Grade C jade has gone through all the treatments mentioned for Grade B but is also dyed to improve the color or consistency of the color. This is detrimental to the jade as it weakens its structure and could result in further treatment like injecting it with polymers to make it stronger again.
At Dahlia, we only offer Grade A Jadeite Jade, so you can buy with confidence. When buying grades B or C, you may experience fading of color or even skin irritation due to the chemicals used to treat the jade.
5 Main Qualities of Jade
The grade that a piece of jade receives is a great starting point for evaluating jade but are many other factors that come into play. Beyond its grade, there are 5 main qualities that factor into the quality as well.
Texture is the most important factor of jade. The texture inside jadeite can be seen with the naked eye since the particles are noticeable. However, measuring the particle size will require industry tools. In general, the smaller the particles, the better the jadeite due to its smoother texture and higher luster.
Transparency refers to how easy light can pass through the jade. Jadeite with high transparency would be almost water-like jelly while opaque jades would not be clear at all. Higher transparency jades are worth more than their cloudy counterparts.
Naturally formed jade will have inclusions, such as cracks or spots, in its composition. It is very rare to find one with nearly no blemishes inside. In addition, jade jewelry is prone to cracking if mistreated. Even a slight bump against a hard surface may cause a microscopic crack inside the gemstone. In Chinese culture, many believe that jades have an aura that protects their wearer from harm. A crack on the jade will mean that the piece of jewelry has successfully fulfilled their purpose as a good luck charm. After that, one must obtain a new jade for continuous good fortune.
Although color is the first noticeable factor, it is NOT the most important factor. Jadeite can come in many different hues. What should be taken in consideration is the vibrancy and rarity of the color. For example, jades are typically green, but the rarest jade color is Imperial Green. This green is extremely vibrant and rarely found in nature.
Craftsmanship is a great indicator of value because the better the jade, the higher quality craftsmanship it will have. Many artisans would not spend their time crafting a masterpiece from poor quality jade due to its intrinsic value of being too low. The general rule of thumb is, if the craftsmanship is more detailed and finer, it is more valuable.
To learn how to tell if jade is real or not, click here
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