Monday, December 5, 2016

What Does Jade Cost and How Much Should I Pay for Jade?

There's a saying in China: "Diamonds and gold have a price, but jade has no price".

Diamonds and gold have quality scales and karat and carat weights.  But jade does not.

When you go into a Chinese  jade store, or jade market, or buy directly from the jade carver, there are no prices on jade.  The seller "assess" you, and then the price is what you and the seller agree on.  Jade shops in Chinatown or online have prices.  If you didn't have online prices, it would be nearly impossible to buy.  Although I have offered "make an offer day".

If you read the blog, you may have read about my experiences going to China, the days it takes to get my US dollars converted to Chinese cash, because jade sellers don't accept credit cards, it's a cash business.  And how I would spend a day traveling by bus, train, van to get to a jade carver near the Burma border.  I can't put any price on the difficult trek, the unrecognizable food, squatting over a mud hole that serves as a restroom.  And although I learned some Mandarin Chinese language, the Chinese language in the south is different, and for many years I didn't have an app on a smart phone to help me.  But I had a very good quality jadeite bangle bracelet on my wrist so I immediately earned the respect of jade sellers.

A jade market near the Burma border. So much to buy and only one husband to help me get it home!

So that experience of acquiring jade to sell justifies any price on the Jade Heaven web site.

Before web sites went mobile, I designed and maintained a "real" web site, made on Dreamweaver, and using FTP to upload and keep it current.  But first, the domain name had to be purchased.  They were actual fairly inexpensive, but domain names that state the purpose of your online business are more difficult and expensive now.  The ideal domain name would be  And that domain name sold to a company in Europe for $1.5 million dollars last year!

So real genuine, natural jade is cherished, and not cheap.

And on Jade Heaven and Ying Yu Jade, you get what you pay for.  The higher the price, the better the quality.  Ying Yu Jade focus is Chinese jade, with some Burmese jadeite, but the jade bangle bracelets and pendants on Jade Heaven are Burmese jadeite. 

    *The higher quality jadeite has more value.  It often is finer grain with a high "chime"
    *The more green and deeper green veins on a jadeite piece give it more value
    *Natural color is more rare and costly.  Some people love lavender jadeite, but an all lavender jadeite bangle bracelet is valued at thousands, maybe hundreds of thousand dollars,  Veins of "hong" red, honey, white add value.
    *Naturally translucent jadeite is also more rare, especially now.  The more translucent, the higher the value.
    *The only truly reputable gemology testing is through GIA, Gemological Institute of America, and the cost for a complete testing and certification is $100+.   Sometimes customers wear their jade bangle bracelets if they travel to China, and ask jade sellers there if their jade is "real".  Can you guess what you would be told and why they would say that?
(The answer is they tell you it's fake, but can sell you a real one, and will provide you with a certificate stating your original jade is fake)

While we all want our jade bangle bracelets and pendants to be "perfect", unless you are paying a premium price, you might find something that makes you wonder if it's a crack or some damage.  There's another Chinese saying: "The jade carver always leaves something behind".  And many Chinese people appreciate that "imperfection" because they know they have real jade.  (Jade has inclusions that sometimes look like cracks, but it's the way jadeite stone is often formed.  That's another blog post!)

I have had customers tell me that they showed a jade bangle bracelet on Jade Heaven to their jeweler to get their opinion, and were told that the jade couldn't be real because the price was too low.  I could raise prices because I agree they are low, but I'm at a point in my jade selling career that I want these to be on someone's wrist, because I do plan to retire one of these days!.

Translucent "glowing" soft green jadeite bangle bracelet
classic round style,  the kind of jade bangle I buy for myself

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