Since the brand began in 2009, one of the most common questions we have been asked is
“How do you know you’re buying good jade?”
This question has come from far and wide – from South East Asia to Australia, from Europe to North America. It’s known that purchasing jade is incredibly complex; gemologist friends have given feedback that testing jade is “so much more” technically challenging to grade as compared to diamonds. Today, you can get a strand of “jade” beads on China’s Taobao or Singapore’s Chinatown for less than SGD $20 and then walk into a fine jewellery boutique and see prices of jade jewellery at SGD $20,000 or even SGD $200,000! The difference is so vast, we can imagine that it’d be hard to immediately understand why.
KNOW YOUR JADE:
We thought long and hard about how we can help.
It took us speaking with many stakeholders before we came up with the solution: The Choo Yilin Jade Kit, a comprehensive resource and guide on purchasing jade. We thought it might also be useful to include a Cheat Sheet to Buying Jade where we go through a list of five questions you can ask any jade jeweller when purchasing your dream jade piece.
Although both jadeite and nephrite are classified under the term “jade”, the seller should know the differences between the two. When it comes to jade jewellery, we choose to work exclusively with jadeite as its rarity, toughness, and value make it the perfect material for celebrating significant moments, or gifting loved ones. Jadeite can also take on a higher gloss polish than nephrite, which makes it more suited for fine jewellery.
Mother Earth can take millions of years to create the beautiful colours and textures you see in each bangle. Our duty is to craft and polish them in a manner that brings out the inherent radiance of each piece. Type A jadeite is the gemstone’s most organic form - no heat treatments, no added colours, no added polymers. Due to its organic nature, the colour of a Type A jadeite piece is unlikely to change over time. Type B and Type C jadeite, having undergone treatment, could potentially change in appearance in just a few short years. The retailer should be able to tell you the differences between Type A, Type B and Type C jadeite.
For verification of Type A jadeite, you may have the piece certified at reputable, non-affiliated gem labs in Singapore, or overseas.
4. HOW DOES JADE QUALITY DETERMINE ITS VALUE?
Jade quality is determined by the following factors: colour, translucency, texture (grain density & clarity), and cut. The value of a jade piece is dependent on a confluence of quality factors. Most importantly, it has to be pleasing to the individual owning the piece. Your seller should be able to have a conversation with you regarding all four quality factors should you need further guidance.
5. DOES THE CUT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN TERMS OF COMFORT & FIT FOR A JADE BANGLE?
Aim to get jade bangles that are custom-cut according to specially-designed proportions, instead of mass-produced hololiths. A hololith is a ring shape carved from a single piece of stone. Mass-produced hololiths prioritise maximising the number of bangles that can be crafted from a single jade boulder. Fine jewellers place the necessary time and resources into developing proportions that benefit the customer. Bangles crafted with a set of proportions in mind would make a difference both in aesthetics and in how the bangle fits on a human wrist. Your comfort is key to the longevity of your bangle’s wearability.
YOUR VERY OWN JADE KIT
Apart from asking questions, we have prepared The Choo Yilin Jade Kit, a comprehensive guide that will hopefully help to demystify the purchasing of jade forever. We really hope it helps you, and anyone else you’d like to share the knowledge with.
Click the image to download your very own jade kit:
The more we talk about jade, the better we can all understand this natural marvel, and the more its true value can shine. Thank you for joining us in our journey to cherishing Asia’s Royal Gem.