Jade Buying Guide


Jade, “The Stone of Heaven,” has an elegance unmatched by any other gem. Long used for tools and even musical instruments due to its toughness, jade’s value goes far beyond its appearance. Jade jewelry can be worn daily and passed down through generations, while retaining its original appearance. Though available in many colors, green hues are the most popular and valuable. Unfortunately, because of jade’s popularity and rising cost, many imitations have appeared on the market. Treatments for lower-quality stones are also widespread. For any significant jade purchase, be sure to obtain a laboratory report to ensure that the material is natural.

Jadeite or Nephrite?

As a gemstone, jade can be one of two minerals: jadeite or nephrite. While both are jade, there are significant differences between these minerals. First, jadeite, a pyroxene mineral, has somewhat greater hardness than nephrite, an amphibole mineral. Still, both are susceptible to scratching.  On the Mohs scale, jadeite is 6.5-7, while nephrite is 6-6.5. Nephrite can occur in extremely large sizes. Large jade sculptures are commonly made from this material. Both materials are extremely tough and resistant to wear, though nephrite is somewhat tougher. However, the top color for jade, imperial green, …

Premium Article

This is a Premium Article. Please become a member to read this entire article and gain access to hundreds more like it.

Membership options

Full Article Details


Content Length 2552 words
Reading time 12 min 46 sec

Here's what you get if you unlock this article:

  • Jadeite or Nephrite?
  • Quality Factors for Jade Buying
    • Color
      • Green
      • Lavender
      • Ice Jade
      • Red
      • Yellow
      • Black
      • White
      • Other Colors
      • Color Distribution
    • Translucency
    • Texture
    • Clarity
    • Cut
    • Size
  • Untreated vs. Treated Jade
  • Jade Simulants

Plus, additional member-only benefits:

  • Exclusive access to other premium articles and courses
  • Unlimited access to our gem pricing guide
  • Participate in our member-only forums
Membership options