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Why So Valuable?

Posted by John Coxon on

Why is Jade and other gemstones considered to be valuable?

The answer lies in a number of factors. Firstly value is in the eye of the beholder. Do you like it, can you afford it, do you really want it? If the answer is yes then the piece has value to you.

To shift a piece of jewellery or gemstone art from being off individual value to being considered high value by collectors and connisuerors a number of other factors come into play.

Quality is a key factor in making something valuable. Scarcity also contributes. The less there is off something or the more difficult it becomes to obtain something then the higher the price people are prepared to pay for it. However it is the quality of the raw material and the quality of the creative process that makes something stand out.

Even where there is multiple sources of a material there is often only a handful of really high quality pieces of raw material, that are flawless, have excellent colour and translucency, are able to hold a shape or detailed design or are found in a size that exceeds all others. Then there is the role of the master crafts person responsible for converting raw material into a highly prized piece of jewellery or art.

The artist behind the creation must not be underestimated. There are thousands of craftspeople working gemstones every day, yet only a small handful create something unique. These master crafts people always start with high quality raw material. In the first instance this material comes at a higher cost. The scarcity of the raw material requires absolute commitment to minimal waste and maximum utilisation of the stone. The time and the skill needed to extract the best qualities from the stone add to its value. Even the most simplest of designs can be enhanced by the overall finish of the piece. The skill is in achieving that finish on a piece of stone that began its journey as a rough piece of rock in some field, someplace.

Sometimes the size of the raw material can create value through scarcity. Diamonds and opals, along with many other precious stones are found in small sizes, with the majority used for jewellery. Every now and then a specimen is found that is bigger, brighter, and able to be used to create something different that makes it stand out and be noticed. Despite that even the biggest piece of raw material, if found to be flawed, fractured, cloudy or containing undesirable inclusion or unworkable by artisans, is unlikely to have much value.

The story behind a gemstone can be important also in creating desire and value. Jade from Aotearoa/New Zealand, for example is traditionally important to the Maori, the Tangata Whenua, or traditional people. In China Jade has been historically associated as a token of wealth and immortality. Buyers like a story. 

For a gemstone or piece of jewellery to stand the test of time it needs to be durable, and durability can add to its value. Diamonds are one of the hardest gemstones known but not durable due to their construction. Ruby and Sapphire are much more durable. Jade has historically been viewed as a stone of the ages, it is tough and durable, with samples being rediscovered centuries after creation.

The last word on value, as it is with all art forms, is to buy what you can afford, and love what you buy. Beauty, and value is truely in the eye of the beholder.

The following ten gemstones were recently listed as the worlds most expensive -

  1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 million per carat
  2. Musgravite – $35,000 per carat
  3. Jadeite – $20,000 per carat
  4. Alexandrite – $12,000 per carat
  5. Red Beryl – $10,000 per carat
  6. Padparadscha Sapphire – $8,000 per carat
  7. Benitoite – $3,800 per carat
  8. Black Opal – $3,500 per carat
  9. Demantoid Garnet – $3,300 per carat
  10. Taaffeite – $2,500 per carat

This post features an image of the Blue Diamond.

Its nice you can afford a piece of Jadeite jewellery at $20,000 per carat, for those with more restrictive budgets visit our online store to purchase your own personal piece of affordable, handcrafted Jade jewellery.




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