Subject:Re: jade pebbles
Posted By: Steve Gridley Tue, Feb 16, 2021
IMHO, from what I have learned by those with more experience, the Chinese artists that carved river or “pebble” jade look for consistency in opacity and uniformity of the ground color. Important is the secondary iron oxide staining colors which the finest craftsmen use as highlights of what is being carved. The location, position, and coverage of the colors help to determine what would be carved from the stone. River jade is also less likely to have internal flaws unseen until carved.
In the example I have attached, this Qing Dynasty river jade snuff bottle has a uniform whitish ground with russet iron staining secondary colors. The artist used the natural shape of the stone and carved a simple scene of a tree with wind blowing. The russet is used as an accent to bring out the clouds. The proceeds from the sale of this piece could have purchased a decent used car. That being said, I would focus first on the appreciation of the jade and its characteristics, not the value. You can never appreciate jade by focusing on gold.
The best way to determine value is to visit jade markets or auctions where jade rough is being auctioned, handle the jade, and learn what characteristics make some jade more valuable than other jade. You can read all day long but nothing can compare to actual experience. I learned more in a short time by being directly involved with the diamond and gemstone markets than I ever could by taking a course or reading. Better yet, visit the Guangzhou Jade Market and see what sells (or at least google the market for more information links).