It is seductive, mysterious, addictive–it’s jade. People have died for it. Legends surround it. A Chinese emperor once offered fifteen cities for a jade carving so small that it fit in the palm of his hand. Jade was thought to be a male stone, so naked virgins were sent to gather it from stream beds in the belief that the stone would be attracted to them. Jade has survived floods, fires, burial, and economic upheavals. Not least of all, during the past decade, some jade carvings have appreciated at a rate of nearly three thousand percent. Another plus for collectors is that manly of these treasures are small enough to be easily portable or worn as jewelry.
Buying and collecting jade can be a tricky road to navigate. The most obvious form of insurance is to buy from reputable dealers who will stand by their merchandise. But what about the collector who loves the hunt (and what true collector doesn’t?), the collector who haunts the flea markets and garage sales in the hope of finding a treasure among the plastic fruit and broken china? This collector has to have some ammunition for protection, and the following suggestions may hel