Yes, White Jade can be valuable.
The price or “value” of white jade depends heavily upon the color of the piece, as well as the shape and size.
In this article, you’ll learn more about White Jade, to help you understand why it costs what it does.
Is White Jade Valuable? (ANSWERED)
Although White Jade is popular and quite beautiful, the value of the white-colored Jade — also called Nephrite — is generally lower than other types of Jade.
Green Jade (and the darker the green, the better) is actually the type of jade which costs the most if you are looking to purchase a piece.
However, over the last few years, the white-colored Jade has become more well-known.
The increase in demand has contributed, in part, to the rise in price/perceived value of the material.
What is White Jade?
White Jade is part of the silicate class of minerals.
Because it is a comparatively hard stone (from 6 to 6.5), it is able to withstand enough exertion to be made into anything from statues to jewelry pieces.
Jade is actually the name used for two types of stone, both which look very much alike yet are derived from different chemical substances:
- Jadeite, which is the more valuable form of Jade. Jadeite includes the familiar Green Jade as well as many other colors, such as blues and lavendars.
- Nephrite, which contains high levels of magnesium. The magnesium gives these Jade forms their beautiful white to light yellow-colored palettes.
While similar in appearance, Nephrite and Jadeite are valued differently.
Jadeite, which is known as an “imperial gem” in China, carries a higher worth than Nephrite.
The Types of White Jade
There are various types of White Jade, and the value fluctuates from type to type.
- Mutton Fat Jade
- Mutton Fat Jade ranges in color from a translucent white to a soft yellow.
- Chicken Bone Jade
- Chicken Bone Jade ranges from a more opaque white color to a very creamy light brown.
In order to verify which type of White Jade you are looking at, be sure to look at it in direct, natural light.
This helps to better identify the type of Nephrite, as well as its value.
How Valuable is White Jade?
Each White Jade piece you come across will be different than the next.
When assessing a piece of White Jade, keep in mind that the more icy bright the color is, the more the piece is worth.
As you look at a specimen, examine:
- The transparency of the piece (transparency = quality)
- The brightness of the White Jade (the brighter or icier the white, the better)
- The shape and size of the piece
- The smoothness and texture of the Jade
- The quality of the craftsmanship (shaping, setting, surface finish)
What is White Jade Used For?
White Jade, no matter the value, makes for lovely jewelry pieces that go with any sort of outfit and for any occasion, thanks to the gemstone’s white and iridescent coloring.
You can find White Jade in pendants, in rings, used as bangles and earrings, and much more.
Many people believe that White Jade has healing properties, so you can even find White Jade in everyday items such as keychains and paperweights.
So, when buying White Jade to collect it, to display, or to wear it, remember the levels of quality mentioned above: color (go for the icier white pieces), size, shape, texture, and craftsmanship.
Furthermore, take a good look at the level of artistry involved in the piece. Is it intricately carved? Does it contain solid, masterful crafting?
And, sometimes, know that the true use of the piece could very well be as simple as what the White Jade item means to you.
The piece may not be worth a thousand dollars in cash, nor will it sparkle like ice from your ears, but its use and worth may be much more than either of those things if it somehow “speaks” to you in a special way.
Jadeite and Nephrite: What’s in a Name?
For thousands of years, people have held the belief that both Jadeite and Nephrite had physical healing powers, including the healing of any back pain or disease of the kidneys.
“Nephros” is the Greek word for kidney. That is where the word “Nephrite” has its roots.
The ancient peoples of Central America would keep a piece of Jadeite near the sides of their bodies to help with kidney problems and with back pain.
“Piedra de ijada” means “stone of the side” in Spanish.
That is where the word “Jadeite” was born from.
Where Does White Jade Come From?
While it is true that Jade, of any color, has a close association with China, most of the Jade we see today comes from Burma.
Burma is the world’s biggest exporter of Jade.
Some Jade is also exported from Russia, from Australia, from New Zealand, and from Guatemala. Canada has also begun to export the popular and beautiful Nephrite.
White jade is valuable.
But the ultimate price really depends on the piece as well as the interest of the buyer (meaning what she is willing to spend).
It may be true that Jadeite, and the range of colors in that group, cost more (higher perceived value).
However, it is also true that Nephrite, which includes the beautiful White Jade (as well as the mutton fat and chicken bone range of light yellow and creamy brown Jade gems), has been climbing steadily in worth over the last several years, and may one day equal its more colorful cousin.