Legend attributes the first use of a jadeite bracelet to the consort of a Tang emperor. The search for perfection implies that the jade piece must be monolithic. The difficulty of realization is extreme because the cutting must not reveal cracks in the stone or a local loss in color or translucency.
The Qing encouraged the work of jadeite in the form of beads that will be assembled into necklaces, and in the form of bangles. In both cases, the waste of material is very important before getting the perfection of the final piece.
The jewelry collection of Barbara Hutton, dispersed by Sotheby's on 16 November 1988, was fabulous. Her necklace assembled by Cartier in 1933 was composed of 27 jadeite pearls of perfect homogeneity. It was sold for HK $ 15.6 million in 1988 by Sotheby's and for HK $ 214M including premium on April 7, 2014, also by Sotheby's. The Hutton sale of 1988 also included a bangle carved in a pattern of twisted ribbon, sold for HK $ 7 million including premium.
An oval bangle in jadeite with a smooth surface 55 to 47 mm in inner diameter and 13.4 mm in thickness was sold for HK $ 44M including premium on April 7, 2014 (same sale as above).
On October 4 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells another smooth bangle that offers the sensational feature of being a perfect circle: 56 mm of inner diameter and 10.6 mm in thickness all around the circumference. Its color is intense and its translucency is excellent. This jewel which is perfect in its category is estimated HK $ 50M, lot 1790.
It is not dated by the auction house but an execution at the time of the Qianlong emperor is plausible because the demand for such a high skill could not have been maintained afterward.