Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Determining the Authenticity of Jade (Part 1)

B-jade bangle bracelet with resin-filled areas
seen under microscope in reflected light.
Photo Copyright: Richard W. Hughes
Photo Credit: Palagems
  by Angela Magnotti Andrews

Whether you’re looking to purchase a beautiful jade necklace or a therapeutic piece of jade to use for body work, it is imperative that you take every precaution against bringing home an inferior stone. Although receiving a certificate of authenticity (based on scientific tests appropriate for jade) from a certified gemologist is the only way to guarantee that a piece of jade is genuine, there are a few ways for a layman to identify the most obvious fakes on the market.

Despite some claims that any stone that looks like jade will have the same calming and curative effects of jade, this is simply not true in most cases. Of course, jade look-alikes certainly make beautiful jewelry, and home décor made of similar-looking stones or glass can bring the beauty and harmony to a room on an aesthetic level, if you are looking for a piece of jade that will vibrate at a frequency capable of restoring balance to your body or draw negative energy out of the room, or if you’re making an investment by purchasing a piece of jade jewelry or a jade carving, nothing less than true nephrite or jadeite jade will suffice.

Unfortunately, since the 1980s, low-quality jade and outright fakes have flowed steadily into the marketplace in such quantities that buyers must beware even when the merchants make claims of authenticity and great value, and even when such stones appear to radiate every essential quality of the lustrous green stone.

Read Part 2.
1. "Case Study: Jade and its Historic and Modern Meanings for Trade." The Trade and Environment Database. Accessed September 19, 2012.
2. Dietrich, R.V. "Jade (jadeite)." Stoneplus. Last updated April 16, 2012.
3. Dietrich, R.V. "Jade (nephrite)." Stoneplus. Last updated January 20, 2012.
4. "Jade." International Colored Gemstone Association. Accessed September 26, 2012.
5. "Jade Gemstone." Sunny Ray website. Accessed September 26, 2012.
6. Keverne, Roger, editor. Jade. New York: Lorenz Books, 1995.
7. Leaming, Stan and Hudson, Rick. Jade Fever: Hunting the Stone of Heaven. Heritage House Publishing Co. Ltd.: Surrey, BC, 2005.
8. "Nephrite." Optical Mineralogy. Last updated May 15, 2009.
9. "Power of Stones, The: Jade." Angelfire. Accessed September 26, 2012.
10. Sun, Tay Thye. "The Changing Face of Jade." SSEF Alumni Newsletter, No. 3, January 2006.

*Clip art courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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