Antique Chinese Jade

Antique Chinese Jade

Jade has been mined and used in the creation of valuable heirlooms and pieces of art for thousands of years in China. The first use of jade in the country was for simple decorative or ritual versions of weapons or tools. Over time, the use of jade was expanded to all manner of statues, figurines, household decorative items and clothing accessories. It was even very popular for use in the mouthpieces of opium pipes, due to a belief that it improved health and longevity!

In the Chinese Imperial Court, jade artifacts made by highly skilled artisans were considered the most valuable of their possessions, worth more than gold and silver. Creamy white nephrite jade was considered more valuable than the striking green jadeite variety. In modern times, however, jadeite items are often among the most valuable of jade carvings.

The Value Of Chinese Jade

Jade items have sold for some of the highest prices on record among Chinese antiques. In 1997, a necklace made of 27 identical jadeite beads sold for over nine million dollars at auction! The beads had been cut from a boulder known as “Doubly Fortunate” because every time it was cut into, it revealed a new layer of jade with even higher quality than the previous.

Nephrite cannot be overlooked, however. The record for an auction price for a Chinese jade item is actually held by a nephrite Imperial seal from the Qing Dynasty. It sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2010 for over 15 million dollars!

While most jade collectors won’t encounter these astronomical prices, they can still expect their items to be among the more valuable of jewelry and antiques. Jadeite is one of the world’s most expensive stones along with rare colored diamonds, and the price of nephrite has been increasing considerably in recent years as interest in it grows.

Caring For Chinese Jade

Jade is very delicate and easily cracked by impact, so it must be handled with extreme care. Small cracks on the surface may not be immediately apparent, but can in time cause visible interior damage. If the jade is not being displayed, it should be stored in a solid box or case to protect it from bumps and drops.

It also needs to be kept away from any moisture, dirt, dust and chemicals. Basically anything that can settle on top of jade causes it to lose its luster, and many substances will often corrode it. If jade is worn as jewelry or as a clothing accessory it should always be cleaned with a soft cloth when it is removed.

There are also some environmental concerns with jade. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause it to expand and change shape slightly. Jade also retains some amount of moisture, and can dry out if there is little humidity where it is kept.

San Diego Liquidation and Estate Services is your  source if you want to sell your Chinese Jade.

San Diego Liquidation and Estate Services is the leading source in the area for Chinese antiques, especially jade artifacts. We buy all types of Asian antiques and are especially interested in jade items. Contact us for a free consultation!

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