A Guide To Jade Jewelry

If you are planning on buying jade jewelry to resell, it would be useful to educate yourself about the history and formation of this prized gemstone. Jade has held a special interest for mankind going back thousands of years. Though it may appear to have a slightly greasy luster, it is a stone that was held in esteem by ancient cultures around the world and which remains popular today.

During prehistoric times, its toughness was what first made it desirable. It was thought to be an ideal material to be used in tools and weapons. In China, from around three thousand BC, it was known as "Yu" meaning the royal gem. Since then it has been an integral component of Chinese art and culture, almost on a par with that of diamonds and gold in the western world.

In south and central America, during the pre-Columbian period, the Aztecs, Mayas, and Olmec also viewed jade as being more valuable than gold. Similarly, the Maoris of New Zealand carved cult instruments from this gemstone, a tradition which continues up to today. In Egypt, it was also a stone that was admired, thought to provide feelings of harmony and balance. Fast forward to today and see that the superstitions intricately linked to jade are still very much alive.

Strictly speaking, jade is actually a term used to describe two different gemstones, namely nephrite and jadeite. The name used today comes from the Spanish phrase "piedra de ijada", translated as loin-stone. A name believed to have been given because of its use as a remedy for kidney ailments by the original inhabitants of the Americas.

Jadeite is much rarer than nephrite, therefore it is suggested to be more precious. Deposits of nephrite have been found in New Zealand, China, Guatemala, Russia, Canada, and Switzerland. Jadeite primarily comes from Russia, Guatemala, and China, though the best quality stones are found in Myanmar.

If you are going to buy wholesale jewelry that features jade, it is important to know how to identify quality specimens. The value of the stones are primarily determined by the intensity of their color, texture, and vivacity, and their transparency and clarity. The popularity of different colors varies from country to country. For example in Europe and the US, apple green and spinach green are suggested to be most in demand, whereas in China stones that are of a white or yellow shade have the greatest value.