1. Learn to Observe, not just to see.
Most people look at a piece of jade, but they don’t really see what it is, how it’s made. Learning to observe is an art and has to be practiced and exercised, like a muscle.
Some things about jade are obvious, others not so much. Teach yourself to learn what to look for.
2. Handle as Many Pieces as Possible.
Other collectors, dealers, the internet and Museum collections are valuable resources for looking at Chinese Jades. Most collectors enjoy sharing and showing off pieces in their collections and possess hard won knowledge.
3. Familiarize yourself with the literature about Chinese Jade.
Most successful collectors have reference libraries they have assembled over the years.
4. Ask Questions.
There are no dumb questions when looking at jades. If you can’t get a straight answer, you are asking the wrong person.
5. Familiarize yourself with the Style and Working of Jade in Each period.
Jade can be cut, pierced, drilled and polished. Nothing else. Each historical period has it’s own distinctive style of working jade.
6. Deal only with recognized dealers and legitimate auction houses.
Do not buy from sketchy sources. Buy the steak, not the sizzle. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. You get what you pay for! Sometimes!
7. Pay the Tuition.
Every buyer makes mistakes at some point. When you write the check, you start to learn.
Learn from your mistakes. Insist that the seller gives you a bill of sale stating what the Jade is and the Period and age. An honest dealer will be pleased to put his opinion in writing.
8. Have fun! Buy what you love!
Collecting Chinese Jade should be a fun pastime. Do not collect art as an investment.
No one can predict what the art market will be like in the future. Art is not a liquid commodity. Buy what you love and what speaks to you with eloquence. If you deal with honest sources, choose carefully and buy what you love, you will do just fine.