The Story Behind the Stone: The Jade Riot

Jarrett earringsRed jade ear pendants in 5-stage graduated shapes. Courtesy Maxior.Seems like an oxymoron doesn’t it? Red and jade? Of course, we love the limpid verdant hues that made jade so coveted. Asian jade collectors can deftly express the subtle nuances that inform wild price differences in this lovely ancient stone.

Jade is a unique stone in so much as it is actually two separate minerals. There is nephrite - a fibrous aggregate variety of tremolite-actinolite. Jadeite on the other hand is a pyroxene mineral. Nephrite is the more commonly occurring jade material, and a bit ‘softer’ than Jadeite - yet it’s considered tougher than Jadeite for its structural density.

Nephrite jade can come in other colors besides green; black, yellow even pink and white. But the Jadeite jade manages to develop in a wider array of tints that include a richly saturated red.

The Chinese have long been considered cognoscenti of the finest jade, and the classic green varieties of this stone are valued on hue, transparency and even texture. An ultra-smooth texture can be so appealing to collectors that it runs the price of fine material up through the stratosphere.

We like to think of red Jadeite jade as a dark horse in the jade world. Certainly, it hasn’t shared the limelight with the leafy green varieties. Yet when one spies something whether it’s a carving or piece of jewelry, red jade is a show stopper. This strikingly sophisticated stone holds its own, and designers are finding it appeals to their clientele.

Jarrett IsabelaYoung actress Isabela Mona wears Maxior red jade pendant earrings. Courtesy D’Orazio & Associates.The reason it is gaining traction with jewelry lovers today is because collectors have a distinctly modern short list in view when they go jewelry shopping today. Gone are the days when one wore jewels to show off their means or specifically their spouses assets. Now, jewelry fans make a very personal statement about their style preferences and individuality.

Red jade is a no-brainer to accept a starring role in a fine piece of modern jewelry. It was even irresistible to young Nickelodeon actress Isabela Mona who flaunted a stunning pair of red jade ear pendants by Maxior recently at a Hollywood premiere. It speaks of the modern vibe this ancient stone conveys.

You may want to introduce this dazzling ruddy stone to your customers - most of whom I imagine also want to utilize jewelry as a very personal expression - it’s about to cause a riot in design circles.

Jarrett dragonRed jade carved Chinese dragon.Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers (AIJV). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, her blog: Color-n-Ice, and Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit her website at, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).