$600m price tag on rare jade pieces

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 April, 2001, 12:00am

More than 300 pieces of jewellery and furniture, most crafted from high-quality jade, are going on sale with a total reserve price of $600 million in Asia's biggest auction of its kind.

The auction, which will be held tomorrow at the J. W. Marriott Hotel in Admiralty, features more than 260 jadeite items with reserve prices ranging from $60,000 to almost $5 million.

The most expensive lot is a necklace, a pair of earrings and a ring with six bright green jadeite stones mounted in white gold and diamonds, which carries a price tag of between $4.8 million and $6.8 million.

Jadeite, imported into China from Burma during the Qing Dynasty, is a type of jade that generations of Chinese have treasured as the best of all gem stones, said Lee Yew Khen, chairman and managing director of Dynasty (International) Auction Company, which will host the sale.

Jadeite is considered to bring good luck, wealth and health to wearers, he said.

It is also said to temper people's moods.

Other precious pieces include a $29 million camphor wood horse statue, 'Hero of the Universe'.

The valuable statue is from Malaysia and is decorated with 62kg of pure gold and 2,000 carats of diamonds.

Two sets of Chinese-styled zitan furniture are also up for auction, priced at about $1 million.