In Chinese culture, jade is associated with purity, grace, and longevity. This prized gemstone is thought to ward off malevolent forces, bringing good luck to its wearer. If you’re interested in buying jade in Hong Kong, here are some things to keep in mind.
An introduction to the different types of jade
High-quality jade is cold to the touch, with an attractive, translucent hue. While jade is typically green, it can also be white, black, lavender, yellow, orange, and amber.
There are two types of gemstones that we call “jade,” nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite was used and prized in China for centuries, whereas jadeite was first imported into China from Myanmar in the 18th century. Of the two types of jade, jadeite is rarer and more expensive. Jadeite falls into four grades:
- Grade A is the purest form of jadeite. It hasn’t been physically or chemically processed in any way.
- Grade B jadeite has been bleached to improve color and transparency, making the stone more brittle.
- Grade C consists of inferior stones that have been injected with artificial dyes.
- Grade D refers to imitation jade, made of materials such as glass or plastic.
Where to buy quality jade
Hong Kong is home to a number of luxury jeweler boutiques. While you can expect prices to be steep, the quality is assured. Edward Chiu, Chinese Arts & Crafts, and YEWN are all renowned for their exquisitely crafted jade jewelry. If you’re looking for something less pricey, stores like Chow Tai Fook, Hong Kong’s biggest chain jewelry retailer, and Meimei Wonbow should be worth considering.
In addition, the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show takes place every March, and has a special section dedicated to jade, with many reputed manufacturers and exporters exhibiting their wares.
For antique jade wares, check out Hollywood Road in Central, which is lined with antiques stores. While there are many reputable vendors here, Hollywood Road isn’t entirely without risk. If you run into a bargain that seems too good to be true, it’s probably fake. Vendors should be able present a certificate of authenticity verifying the quality of the jade.
Where to buy jade souvenirs and trinkets
The Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei is extremely popular with tourists looking for a jade souvenir to take home. Here, you’ll find dozens of stalls selling all kinds of amulets, bangles, pendants, and more. The vast majority of wares here are imitation or low-quality jade, but if what you’re looking for is a cheap and attractive trinket, this is the place for you.