Know Your Gems: Jade

The Chinese jade culture is one that many are familiar with. Its beauty and splendour is revered, and a jade piece can be commonly seen on the arms and neck of mature Chinese women everywhere. But there’s a fashion misconception here – the elegance of jade is not only limited to older women.

jade jewellery

Jade can be worn by women of all ages and taste whether they are quirky style experts in their 20s or corporate women in their 30s. Rachel Chua, the Marketing Manager for Li-Hong Jade tells us more about this versatile gem.

Glam: Some may think that jade jewellery is reserved for the older generation. What would you say to change their minds?
Rachel: Jadeite is getting increasingly popular with the younger women as the design and settings has changed to include a modern twist. Gone are the days where jade is only worn as a round bangle or a plain, traditionally-craved ear stud. Now, jadeite is set with 18K white, yellow, rose or black gold, with diamonds and other precious stones. There are more options and they are easily accessorised.

Glam: What is the difference between the jade and the jadeite?
Rachel: Jade is actually the general name for two different metamorphic rocks that are made up of two different silicate minerals: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite can be found in 5 different countries but only Myanmar’s jadeite is considered of a precious gemstone quality.

jadeite ring

Glam: Tell us more about the different types of jades.
Rachel: Jadeite jade is categorised into Types A, B, C and B+C. Type A is untreated Myanmar jadeite jade, which is also the only type that Li-Hong Jade sells. They are the most valuable and widely sought after because they appreciate in value. Type B is natural jadeite jade that has been bleached and added with resin whereas Type C has been impregnated with colour pigmentation. Cheaper jades are generally of the B+C quality.

It isn’t easy to tell the Jadeite-look-alikes apart from the authentic ones, and unless you have enough experience in handling jadeite, you need to consult a gemmologist. However, some easier ways include weighing the jadeite. Untreated jadeite is rather heavy. Plus, it has very few pit marks on its surface.

Glam: What jade designs are most popular with your customers?
Rachel: In recent years, trendier customers go for simpler pieces with fewer carvings. It really depends on individual’s style preferences though younger customers are veering towards bangles. The colours Icy Jadeite and Lavender Jadeite are also really popular. Other colours include Flower Green, Apple Green and Yellow.

jade ring

Glam: Is it true that jades gets brighter in colour the longer you use it?
Rachel: Yes! However, it is unlike the popular myth where the jade gets brighter when the wearer is healthy. In reality, jadeite is a porous stone and is made up of millions of grain crystals. This, and the long hours of contact between stone and body, allows the oils from our skin to enter the stone, increasing the shine in the jadeite jade.

Glam: How do we take care of our jade pieces?
Rachel: Keep them separately to avoid scratches, and remove them when you’re on safer places, like the bed. You can also use hand lotion for easier removal.

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