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Sunday
Apr242005

Gold is valuable but Jade is precious!

By Herbert Giess


Just back from Hangzhou, I want to report you about the actual prices of Khotan White River Jade pebbles.

I have visited, in the Hangzhou Flower and Bird Market building, a local dealer of Khotan Jade. I have seen their exquisite carvings in their shop window and started to enquire about the different Jade articles, helped by my local Chinese/English translator.



The Managing Director in front to their Shop sign “Hetian Jade”

To show my serious interest in Jade, I connected on their shop computer to the FOJ homepage via Internet and then called up my “River Jade Pebbles” paper. Having established my credentials I was able to get more in depth information.

First the lady showed me, as appetizer, a carved piece in so called (Brown) Sugar Jade (grey brown nephrite) from Yarkand (Xinjiang) and considered second class material. The asking price of this “float on rough seas” is 13600 RMB or 1700 US$.


“Brown Sugar Jade” carving

After this introduction, she started to open the strong box/safe of the shop and presented me a nearly 3 Kg White Jade Pebble from Yutian river (east of Khotan). The pebble has nice russet surface coloring, is accompanied by an official Xinjiang Government certificate and has an asking price of 12180 US$ or about 4$/gram!


2.95Kg Yutian River Pebble at 4 US $/gram

This pebble was nice, but more beautiful material was to come. The Lady went back to the safe and brought out two bundles of green cloth, opened them up on the counter and there it was, the top of the top of Khotan River pebbles!

One bundle contained an extraordinary collection of 30 to 60g size pebbles in a translucent Lychee flesh Jade with tenuous russet skin marking. Each pebble would give a nice sculpted pendant or a precious hand piece.



Lychee flesh type Jade pebbles from Yutian River



Lychee flesh Jade pebbles with more intense russet skin again from Yutian River

I got quite excited and hoped that I could complement my collection of river Jade with such marvelous Jade specimens.

However here it was, Jade at 45 US$/g (yes, no typo) when purchased in this size. For my American FOJ this translates into 1260 US$ the ounce and thus Jade is about 3 times more valuable than gold at yesterdays fixing price 433 US$!

PS 1. I then finally left the shop with a 1.1Kg piece of white “Mountain Jade” at 12US$ per Kg, i.e. Nephrite not collected from the Xinjiang Rivers and thus considered less valuable as prone to show hidden fractures!

PS 2. A newly discovered White Jade Deposit in Xinjiang awaits an investor to acquire a government license and start extracting!



Xinjiang White Mountain Nephrite Jade


Herbert Giess
April 2005

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