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Color from White Jadeite Jade to Lavender to Imperial Green Jadeite Jade

Color from White Jadeite Jade to Lavender to Imperial Green Jadeite Jade

When looking for authentic jade jewelry, color is another factor consumers look for. Typically, jade is synonymous with the color green, but there are various colors of jadeite ranging from red, yellow, lavender, black, and white. The vibrancy and rarity of its color are factors of a jade pendant’s value.


Green jade is the most popular color out of the other hues, which makes it the most expensive if other qualities of the jade are consistent. The most vibrant and rare of the green hues is imperial green, which is rarely found in nature. The single most expensive jade jewelry sold is the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, which is made from 27 imperial green jadeite beads and was auctioned for $27.4 million. Other shades of green are kingfisher jade (vibrant green), apple jade (yellow-green), and moss-in-snow jade (white with veins of green). Green jade has a rich past, not only was it extremely valued by those in Southeast Asia, but also in the Far East and Central America, where this gemstone was given the status of a “royal gemstone".


The image shows a dark green or emerald jade.The image shows a lavender jade that is popular amongst elderly womenThe image shows the most commonly known green color of jade.The image shows a yellow jade that can also be attractive.The image shows a red jade that is very interesting.

Aside from green, lavender jade is also highly sought after. Created by mineral manganese particles forming with jadeite, the price of authentic lavender jades have risen due to its rarity and increased demand. Authentic lavender jadeite deposits are found in selective regions such as Myanmar, Japan, Guatemala, and Russia. If the jadeite found does not exhibit the vibrancy demanded, some will try to enhance the color synthetically and depreciate its value by doing so. In China, lavender jade is favored by elderly women as its color symbolizes wisdom, intuitiveness, and insight, though that has not deterred western women from demanding this jadeite. The soft color creates a psychological calming effect and as a result, this shade of jadeite is often used in meditation and religious activities.


Has the Popularity of Different Colors of Jade Changed Over Time? 

When purchasing jadeite, consumers usually lean towards green jade. While white nephrite used to be  popular, the high pricing of white nephrite jewelry has led consumers to prefer green nephrite.


Color Preference of Ethnic Groups

Chinese consumers prefer greener jadeite because of the symbolism it possesses in Chinese culture. The first jadeite arrived in China from Burma and the emperor of the Qing dynasty, Emperor Qianlong was said to be obsessed with this gemstone as he amassed a giant jadeite artifact collection. The word “jade” (玉) is closely related to the word “emperor” (王), suggesting that those in possession of jade jewelry are those of a higher class. Many traditional proverbs also use 玉 to express one's beauty and importance. Then cuts of jade are imported to China where it is made in the jewelry and craftsmanship pieces we see today.


Vietnamese consumers also prefer green jadeite in the belief that the jade color may change throughout time. This belief stems from the idea that jade protects the wearer from negative energies and provides good luck. Vietnamese children would wear their jade bracelets into adulthood. Vietnamese people believe the deeper the green color changes, the better fortune prevails. 


The Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs of central America also valued greener jadeite since jade was seen as an antiquity. Jade was also used in rituals to communicate with their ancestors. Jade was highly valued since jade was used as an offering to the gods and royalty. Jade was a symbol of purity and life. Certain groups in Mesoamerica preferred other colors as opposed to green due to their religious symbolism. The Olmecs used blue jade because it represents water and the underworld. The desire for different colored jade depends on the religious uses as opposed to pure aesthetics. The Maori from New Zealand also valued jade resulting in creating tools and heirloom pendants with green nephrite. Maori jade jewelry is called pounamu and it exhibits wavy shapes. 


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  • Angela Hu