How to Buy Jade
Genuine jade is rare and precious and comes in beautiful natural colors that are hard to mine and rather difficult to process. This is one of the reasons as to why jade is regarded as a gemstone on par with the four precious stones; diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds. There are some famous Chinese saying about this beautiful stone one of them being, "There is a price for gold, but not a price for jade".
The quality of the jade lies in its color, translucence, and luster, and those with cracks or bubbles will definitely lessen its value. Jade has proved to be very profitable even as an investment; but for this purpose it has to be the real natural jade which is known as Grade 'A' jadeite. The moment it's treated, jade become less valuable and can only be made into an ornament, accessory of carving with decreased durability and value because treating damages its texture.
Those who wish to buy jade for the purpose of investing, should only by grade 'A' jadeite. GHowever, this cannot be detected by a laymen. Only an experienced jeweler or craftsman can identify a piece of jade and determine whether it's genuine or not. All others should ask for an identification certificate or get the piece tested in a gemological laboratory to make sure they have purchased Grade 'A' jade. The most costly of all jade is the "Imperial Green Jade", which is translucent and very rare with a starting price of at least $100,000 which just goes to show how valuable true jade really can be.
As with any precious stone, the key elements of jade are the three C's, color, clarity and carving, color being the most important factor. Jade is also graded into three other categories according to its value, such as imperial, commercial and utility. When you buy jade, be careful of the color treated jade which is done mostly to fool the unsuspecting buyer into believing that its grade 'A' quality jade. The natural jade is always very translucent, which is another factor to look for when buying green jade.
If you want to know how to buy jade, here's something you can try out without much difficulty. Make a scratch on the surface of the stone with a sharp instrument and if it does not leave any mark, you have got yourself the real jade and you are indeed very lucky. Another test is the sound it makes. Genuine jade has a musical tone to it when struck against another piece whereas the fake jade will make a dull noise. Different styles and types of carvings can also tell how ancient or new the particular piece of jade is.
The best place to buy green jade is either from Beijing or Hong Kong and here too preferably from antique shops where you will be able to find the finest old jade of a very high quality. Beijing has jade carving factories that sell genuine high quality jade which can be expensive, but you can be sure that it's the real thing. A word of warning to those who buy jade from street hawkers; be careful, for all you know you might be buying green glass or even colored pebbles. Take an expert with you or be armed with enough knowledge to differentiate the good from the fake.
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