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The 10 Most Expensive Jade Jewelry of All Time

The 10 Most Expensive Jade Jewelry of All Time

People have prized jade gemstones since ancient times, with some carved jade artifacts dating back to 3500 BCE. In Chinese culture, jade is particularly significant, as jade jewelry is thought to bring good luck and protection. But some jade pieces are far pricier than others.

The most expensive jade jewelry of all time is the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, a flawless jadeite bead necklace once owned by Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton and Princess Nina Mdivani. This necklace sold for $27.4 million in 2014, making it the priciest Cartier necklace ever sold at auction.

Let’s explore the most luxurious jade jewelry ever sold to discover why some jade pieces cost millions while others sell for far less!

Here are the top 10 most expensive jade jewelry pieces of all time:

10. Single-Strand Jadeite Bead and Diamond Necklace – $5.5 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

What happens when you combine pearl-like jadeite beads, diamonds, and the Cartier brand name? Well, you get an expensive jewelry piece that can sell for millions!

This single-strand jade necklace is a fantastic example, consisting of 35 jadeite beads and a diamond-studded clasp made of superior-quality platinum.

Why It’s Expensive

This necklace has quite a few attractive qualities. Firstly, there’s the almost creamy coloration of the jadeite beads, each of which catches and reflects light like a polished pearl.

Secondly, the clasp is made of platinum, one of the world’s priciest precious metals. Even better, this clasp is set with diamonds and features the Cartier signature.

So, all-in-all, this necklace’s high price is attributable to its quality, precious materials, and reputable brand association.

9. Jadeite Bangle – $5.6 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

Solid jadeite bangles are rare, especially high-quality pieces with zero cracks or bumps. Consequently, this unique jade bangle bracelet is virtually one-of-a-kind.

It features a smooth and rounded exterior and a flat interior, making it both comfortable and fashionable. The slightly translucent quality of this jade bangle is also indicative of luxury-quality stone, which wasn’t lost on buyers. After all, this bright green piece sold for $5.6 million.

This jade bangle would pair well with the most expensive bracelets, especially those featuring jadeite beads or diamonds!

Why It’s Expensive

The jadeite stone required to make a bangle of this quality would likely be worth millions of dollars, even when unpolished. But the fact that it was crafted in a flawless circlet makes it far more valuable, as pulling off such a feat requires exceptional craftsmanship and an incredible number of labor hours.

8. Imperial Green Jadeite and Diamond Necklace – $5.9 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

Determining the actual value of this Imperial green jadeite necklace is challenging, as it was sold with a pair of matching earrings and a gorgeous jadeite ring. But the beauty and value of this set are undeniable.

After all, the jadeite stones are complemented by rows of sparkling diamonds, accentuating the natural extravagance of the gems. Maybe that’s why this set sold for $5.9 million!

Why It’s Expensive

Jade stones come in various colors, including yellow, brown, black, and white. But the most prized type of jade exhibits a sparkling green hue, often called Imperial green.

This phrase ties to Chinese history, as members of the Imperial court often sought out jade stones with this specific semi-translucent type of jadeite. This preference continues today, with Imperial green jadeite jewelry often outselling jade pieces that exhibit other shades.

This is true of this jadeite and diamond necklace, which features a candy apple green hue reminiscent of the most treasured ancient jade pieces. But, of course, the diamonds also boost this necklace’s value, as do the included earrings and ring.

7. Jadeite and Diamond Stud Earrings – $6.6 Million

photo source: Christie’s

As this ranking reveals, many of the most expensive jade jewelry pieces are necklaces, with few exceptions. This stunning pair of jadeite earrings is one such exception.

Made of nearly identical jadeite pieces, these earrings reflect light to reveal an otherworldly green glow. They’re also adorned with small shimmering diamonds, four per earring.

These elements are backed by white gold, adding an extra touch of sophistication to an already defined piece. They also help boost the price of these earrings to an impressive $6.6 million.

Why It’s Expensive

These earrings feature extravagant materials, including 18-karat white gold, diamond accents, and ethereal green jadeite. These materials are the main reason behind the incredible selling price.

Of course, you can’t discount the cultural significance that high-quality jadeite holds in Chinese culture, with undoubtedly contributes to the perceived value of these earrings.

6. Star Ruby and Jadeite Bead Necklace – $7.3 Million

photo source: Christie’s

This jade necklace’s purple-red star ruby clasp perfectly complements its 51 glassy jadeite beads. And while other pricey jadeite jewelry, particularly necklaces, are short strands that only draw the eye to the neck, this piece is long enough to accentuate the wearer’s neck, collarbone, and upper chest.

As such, this item would look stunning when worn with an elegant dress or ruffled blouse. The feminine qualities of this necklace likely appealed to many of the affluent individuals who bid on it in 2010. But only one lucky (and wealthy) participant managed to take it home, spending roughly $7.3 million in the process.

Why It’s Expensive

This necklace’s exceptional value stems from the high quality of its materials. After all, this necklace contains more than 50 semi-translucent jadeite beads and features an 18-karat gold clasp embellished with a sparkling oval-shaped ruby.

These qualities make it longer than many other high-quality jade necklaces, and it also makes it a precious item. While diamonds are often considered one of the most valuable birthstones, rubies often sell for higher prices, so this necklace’s clasp adds significant value to the piece.

5. Double-Strand Jadeite Bead Necklace – $7.5 Million

photo source: Christie’s

This is one of the few double-strand jadeite bead necklaces to fetch millions at auction, selling for $7.5 million in 2015. Though its previous and original owner remains undisclosed, this piece was once part of an affluent gentleman’s collection.

The diamond-covered circular clasp also features a Cartier signature, increasing this necklace’s value even more. Still, the 60 graduated jadeite beads and platinum-mounted circles of diamonds are likely the primary reason this piece sold for such a high price.

Why It’s Expensive

This Cartier necklace is expensive due to brand recognition and high-value components. Cartier jewelry often sells for thousands or millions, in no small part due to the brand’s international reputation for producing luxury-quality pieces.

But this double-strand necklace also contains a jaw-dropping number of jadeite beads, all of which are the ideal shade of jade green. In addition, the diamond clasp is far larger and more opulent than the clasps of many other million-dollar jadeite necklaces, making this necklace particularly attractive to buyers.

4. Exceptional Jadeite Bead Jeweled Necklace – $9.4 Million

photo source: Christie’s

The partially translucent jadeite beads that comprise this high-value necklace are only part of its charm. The diamond-covered gold clasp features a cushion-cut ruby that exudes affluence and beauty.

This necklace garnered an impressive $9.4 million when it went to auction in 2022, and if it ever makes it to auction in the future, there’s an excellent chance it’ll sell for far more. After all, precious metals and gemstones tend to appreciate in value over time.

Why It’s Expensive

There are two primary reasons why this necklace sold for millions. Firstly, it’s made of high-quality jadeite beads, which are rarer than nephrite jade. These beads are also a highly prized material in Chinese culture due to their association with good luck and harmony.

However, the glittering diamond-and-ruby clasp (set in one of the most valuable precious metals, gold) also adds to the value of this necklace’s stunning jadeite beads. Still, it’s crucial to note that this necklace is tied for the third most expensive jade jewelry piece of all time, as the next entry on our list also sold for $9.4 million!

3. Heavenly Harmony Jadeite Necklace – $9.4 Million

photo source: Christie’s

Most jadeite bead necklaces are relatively short, consisting of less than 40 beads. But this necklace contains almost 70 beads, making it one of the longest high-quality jadeite necklaces in the world.

In fact, it’s so long that it can function as two matching necklaces or a double-strand necklace! Still, this piece’s above-average length isn’t the only appealing feature that draws in buyers.

The Heavenly Harmony jadeite necklace has a ruby-encrusted clasp in the shape of a flower, making it both valuable and glamorous. No wonder it managed to fetch $9.4 million when it sold at auction in 2019!

Why It’s Expensive

This necklace is one of the costliest jade jewelry items due to its superior length and stunning gemstones. It contains about twice as many luxury-quality jadeite beads as other top-notch options and features several rubies set in gold.

Still, the length of a jade necklace isn’t nearly as crucial as the quality of its beads. As such, a few pieces featuring more impressive jadeite beads have sold for more than this necklace.

2. Jadeite Bead Jeweled Necklace – $12.3 Million

photo source: Christie’s

This necklace contains 29 jadeite beads, each a stunning opaque green hue. The clasp is made of gold and embellished with multiple diamonds, adding a touch of luminousness to the luxury-quality beads.

The center of the clasp is particularly eye-catching, as it features a pearl-like ruby gemstone. When this necklace went to auction in 2017, it sold for an incredible $12.3 million!

Why It’s Expensive

This necklace’s multi-million dollar value stems from the quality of its jadeite beads, diamonds, and ruby clasp. However, there’s also a decent amount of cultural significance at play, as jade jewelry is thought to bring good luck in Chinese culture.

But while this necklace is one of the priciest jade jewelry pieces of all time, it’s not the most expensive ever sold. That honor goes to the next entry on our list, the Hutton-Mdivani necklace.

1. The Hutton-Mdivani Necklace – $27.4 Million

photo source: Sotheby’s

The most expensive jade jewelry is the Hutton-Mdivani necklace. This necklace is made of 27 jadeite beads of various sizes, arranged to ensure the largest bead sits at the precise center of the band.

The clasp is made of rubies and diamonds, all set in platinum 18-karat gold. These jewels and precious metals make the necklace exceptionally valuable and add a touch of undeniable elegance to the piece.

Throughout the years, the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace has enjoyed sales totaling millions. But when this piece was auctioned in 2014, it reached a new all-time high sales price of $27.4 million.

Notably, this necklace set a new record for the most expensive Cartier necklace ever sold. It’s also one of the priciest necklaces in the world!

Why It’s Expensive

There are several reasons why this necklace is valued at more than $27 million. Firstly, it contains more than two dozen semi-translucent jadeite beads. These green pearl-like beads are some of the highest-quality jadeite stones ever discovered.

But this necklace is also made by one of the planet’s most reputable luxury jewelry brands—Cartier. This brand association adds a significant amount of value to the piece.

The final piece of the puzzle regarding pricing is the necklace’s ownership history.

In addition to once belonging to Woolworths heiress Barabara Hutton, this necklace was once part of the personal collection of Princess Nina Mdivani of Georgia. Consequently, this jadeite bead necklace has belonged to some of the world’s most affluent women, making it a historically significant item.

These combined factors and qualities easily make this necklace well worth $27.4 million.

What’s the Difference Between Jade and Jadeite?

The term ‘jade’ can refer to two types of gemstones—jadeite and nephrite. When most people think about jade, they picture vibrant green jadeite. This stone is the pricier of the two, but it’s also the more aesthetically pleasing option.

Nephrite can be a pale, milky-green hue or a dark, murky green color. But only jadeite shines brightly with an almost emerald-like tone. Jadeite is also far rarer than nephrite, an aspect that also contributes to its much higher value.

What Is the Most Expensive Jade Jewelry of All Time?

The most expensive jade jewelry of all time is the Hutton-Mdivani necklace. This flawless jadeite bead necklace is valued at $27.4 million, making it one of the priciest necklaces ever sold.

In addition to having inherent value due to the quality of its beads, this necklace is precious due to its ownership history. After all, it once belonged to Woolworths heiress Barbara Hutton!

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