9: The jadeite bead necklace: The beginning of the boom in the jade market
The value of jadeite is based on three important criteria: colour, translucency and texture. Colour is by far the most important factor, and takes into account saturation, brilliance, evenness and purity. Jadeite can be found in lavender, yellow, russet-brown and black, but it is the green stone containing chromium that is the most coveted by serious collectors.
The nature of how jadeite forms in thin seams makes it highly difficult to cut and polish matching sets of beads. As a result, fine-quality jadeite bead necklaces have always been highly sought after.
On 1 June 2010, Christie’s in Hong Kong offered a magnificent jadeite jade bead and star ruby necklace as its top lot. It comprised 51 jadeite beads of homogeneous vivid emerald green colour, measuring from 11.18 to 9.80 mm each. All the beads were evenly and strongly saturated, free from flaws, internally luminous and clear.
The necklace was purchased by a prominent Asian collector for HK$56,660,000 (around $7,275,000) — the first time a necklace with small beads had fetched over HK$50 million at auction.
Content courtesy: Christie’s