Different from Nephrite’s variety in its kind and origin, jadeite is solely sourced from Myanmar (Burma) and only has one kind and one name – “Fei Cui” （翡翠in Chinese. Considered relatively new in the Chinese market, it was in the 1700’s the first jadeite reached China from Myanmar, displaying incredible colour, transparency and texture. Jadeite can be found in colours such as purple, yellow, reddish orange, white, gray black and brown and many shades of green. The vivid green shade of jadeite was highly regarded among the royal family of the Qing Dynasty and has been given called “Imperial Green”. It is considered the most valuable jadeite colour and can command thousands of dollars.
For decades, jadeite was exclusive to the Chinese royal family as a symbol of royalty, power, and wealth. In the modern days, especially with the rise of China’s economy in the recent 40 years, many more people can afford to purchase Jadeite. Demand is outweighing the annual supply mined and over the past decade, the price of the finest jadeite has increased tenfold to $3000 an ounce, making it far more valuable than gold. Jadeite jewelry is being offered by major auction houses quite regularly fetching higher and higher prices. Next to certain rare colours of diamond (blue, red and pink) Jadeite is the world’s most expensive gem, with prices far above even ruby and sapphire! Of the top ten most expensive jewels sold worldwide by Christie’s in 1999, five out of ten were jadeite, including three of the top four. These auctions clearly show that jadeite is among the most valuable of all gemstones.