Thousands of people visit this site and arrive at a specific post via a search engine without seeing the main page. Please click on the PrivateCollection logo at the top to go there. The site is maintained as a Tribute to Susan as a small part of her legacy. Nothing on the site is for sale. Questions are sometimes answered, time permitting. PrivateCollection is the Photo Blog for Susan Dods, a long time antique dealer and collector. The site features photographs and commentary on very special pieces of Chinese Jewelry. View ALL of the posts in the archive with our exclusive PictureBook format.     相片书

Chinese Antique Jade Bead Comparison

As part of this series on beads, I want to spend some time talking about quality… what makes one bead more valuable than another … here is an example using the Jade stone…


[ click on images to enlarge …. photos by: RP (Bob) Birt ]

“The Chinese have venerated and worn jade for over 5,000 years” … The History of Beads, Dubin.

Here are two jade necklaces but totally different in style… the Barrel beads are carved with the Shou on 2 sides and a dragon on the other two sides …the round beads are carved with Shou on 4 sides.


First look at the color of the beads … the round beads are all perfectly matched in color … the barrel beads are not – there are some variations in color.

Next the round jade beads are translucent – you can see through them – a translucent jade stone is more rare = more valuable.


Third: the quality of the carving – when you compare the barrel beads and the round beads you will see that the round beads are carved with more precision – classical style.

Both of the necklaces are jade, both are valuable… but the classical, translucent jade will always be more valuable.

I would like to thank the Northumberland News for the nice article they did on the upcoming Artisan Tour ….

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  1. Judy Viers
    Posted January 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    I was looking around for some info on three jadeite (white) beads that were given to me as a baby…they are antique and apparently are part of a larger necklace…I found them on your site..they are the round white ones with the 4 sides carved with shou…I don’t understand any of this and was interested as I have 3 daughters and want to give each one a bead with the proper story…I was wondering if you could point me to some thing where the beads are explained…it is obvious that they are hand carved and the only thing I remember about them is my grandmother, who also possessed 3 beads was asked by a palmbeach museum if she would show them there???? see the mystery.. Thank you in advance, should you know anything….they sit in the bottom of my jewellery box a complete mystery.

  2. Susan
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Hi Judy,

    You might like to look at the PictureBook section of the site… especially the entry; 08-05-20 Chinese White Jade Beads. There are also other posts there which you may find helpful… good luck!


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