Friday, September 28, 2012

Determining the Authenticity of Jade (Part 2)

Repaired jadeite bangle bracelet.
Cement layer appears as a colorless line running
across the photo. Under UV light, the glue fluoresced blue.
Photo Copyright: Richard W. Hughes.
Photo Credit: Palagems
by Angela Magnotti Andrews

The first step in ensuring that your purchase does not disappoint you is to do your research. Buy from reputable buyers who have established credentials and a permanent store location. Choose dealers who are willing to back their claims with certification from an authorized gemologist.

Spend time learning about the different forms of jade, as well as those stones labeled jade which are not truly jadeite or nephrite. When you step into a shop to buy your jade, be sure you can ask informed questions, such as:
  • v     Is this stone dyed?
  • v     Is this nephrite or jadeite?
  • v     Is this A-jade or B-jade?
  • v     Where did this jade come from?
Go in with a clear idea of what quality and type of jade you are looking for and inform the dealer that you desire only authentic jade. If you are in the market for A-jade, be prepared to insist on outside tests in order to confirm your purchase and don’t hesitate to walk away if you have the slightest inkling that they are not able to guarantee that you’re purchasing top-quality jadeite or nephrite.

As part of your research, consider casually visiting agate shops, gem shows, or reputable jewelry dealers in your area. Especially in agate shops or at gem shows, you should be able to handle genuine articles of jade. Inspect them carefully, noting the range of colors, the way the color is dispersed within the stone, and how it reflects light. By touching the genuine article as often as possible before making your purchase, it will be easier to intuitively discern between real jade and knockoffs.

Read Part 3.

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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