Yilin's Top 5 Insider Tips to Buying Jade
Thinking of purchasing your first jade jewellery and not sure of where to start? Here at Choo Yilin, there are many first time customers who come in with questions on what to look out for when it comes to jade, and we are always very happy to assist! To help you with the shopping process, we sat down with Yilin, Founder and Director of Choo Yilin, as she shared with us her top 5 insider tips to buying jade.
Tip 1: Know The Purity of Jade
Our gemologists tell us that jade is one of the most complex gems to grade, partially because there’s so much artificial enhancement in the market. There are generally three types of purity – Type A, B and C.
Type A refers to jade that has undergone no enhancement, i.e. it's completely untreated.
Type B refers to jade that has been chemically treated with polymer injections, making it look more valuable in appearance.
Type C refers to jade that has gone through colour enhancement.
Needless to say, we should always be going for Type A jadeite. For experienced jewellers, it is possible to tell the difference between A, B and C, but because treatments are getting increasingly sophisticated, especially in B, it is always wise to rely on lab reports from certified laboratories to ensure the jade's authenticity and purity.
Tip 2: Judging the Quality of the jade
There are a couple of important things to note when you are assessing the quality of the jade. These factors include: (i) translucency; (ii) colour; (iii) clarity; (iv) texture and evenness.
From my time speaking with jade traders and experts, we’ve learnt that translucency tends to carry more weight as compared to the other factors. The definition of the different factors can be found here.
Tip 3: Flaws are not bad; in fact they are to be expected
It is highly unlikely that you will ever see a “perfect” piece of jade jewellery – where there is complete translucency, clarity, and evenness of colour. The one time the Choo Yilin Team heard of this fabled unicorn, we were told that it was on its way to a world-renown auction house, and that the market value of the jewellery was over US$1 million.
In our time sourcing for jade, we have realised that flaws are not necessarily bad. In fact, there have been many instances where we personally felt that the slight unevenness of colour, coupled with some visible “veining” brought unexpected character to the jade piece. Each piece of jade is endearingly unique due to these characteristics, making the piece you own unlike any other.
Tip 4: Think Long Term
Certain pieces of jade, like a jade bangle, should be treated like good art, with love. Meaning, the purchase should be thought as a long term purchase, with potential heirloom value. Jade is slowly becoming a genuinely scarce resource, and there is only one place in the world – Burma, where you can find the best jade. If you love a particular piece of jade and can afford the price, don't hesitate to purchase it as chances are you will not come across the exact same characteristics again, and even more so with supply and demand forces suggesting that the prices of jade will only go up over time.
Tip 5: Trust your heart
Buying jade is very much like purchasing fine art. Yes, the financial investment may be an important consideration, but the primary reason why one chooses to purchase jade (instead of a financial products) is because of the inherent beauty and emotional significance behind each piece. Thus, when in doubt, always go with your heart, instead of what “the experts” may tell you is a “better” piece of jade.
After all, the market’s perception of what is considered valuable can change. It already has: we were told that many moons ago, lavender jade was never quite in demand, with most people thinking it was inferior to the traditional green jade. But today, lavender jade tends to trade at a premium compared to many other green jade pieces.
Choo Yilin's jade bangles are all made from Type A jadeite, personally sourced from Southeast Asia. Interested to learn more about our jade jewellery? Book an appointment at our flagship boutique at Mandarin Gallery, or discover our jewellery collection on our website here.