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Why jade and amber can pave the way to an auction windfall

Posted on 19/08/2019 in Press Coverage

Jade, a green gemstone renowned for bringing good luck and good health, is proving fortuitous for its owners – particularly if they decide to sell.

Two pieces of jade soared to success in Hansons Auctioneers’ August jewellery sale and were snapped up by overseas bidders. Prices – and demand – for jade have been rising as wealth increases in China where objects made from the mineral are sought after.

Lot 355, a carved jade pendant, sold for £2,700 while lot 354, an unusual carved jade decoration in the form of a horse, possibly Indian origin and set with emeralds, cabochon rubies and tourmaline and featuring carved ruby leaves, sold for £1,050.

Helen Smith, head of jewellery at Hansons, said: “In Chinese culture jade is a symbol of good luck and good health. It’s the embodiment of the virtues of courage, wisdom, modesty, justice and compassion, the bedrock of Chinese philosopher Confucius.

“The Chinese believe jade heals the body and spirit of the wearer and protects it from malevolent forces. It’s also deeply connected to the country as nephrite jade originates from China. It’s considered the imperial gem. In ancient times it was even used to make to burial suits.

“If objects are sought after by the wealthy Chinese prices are inevitably strong, so if you have a piece of jade now may well be a good time to sell.”

Demand from the Chinese market has also pushed up prices for amber jewellery. The same Hansons sale saw £1,300 achieved for lot 348, a butterscotch amber bead necklace.

Helen said: “Amber also has a deep connection to China’s history and heritage and is valued for its healing qualities in folk medicine as well as its beauty.

“In ancient China, it was customary to burn amber during large festivities. If amber is heated under the right conditions, oil of amber is produced, and in past times this was combined with nitric acid to create artificial musk.”

Jewellery and silver expert Kate Bliss will be offering free valuations at The Kings Head, 19 Cheltenham Road, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham GL52 8LU, on Tuesday August 27, 11am-4pm. Free home visit and no-obligation quotes for house clearance and downsizing also available. To find out more, email [email protected]. To arrange a free jewellery valuation, email [email protected]