Is This Type B Jade Carving?

May 25, 2012By

I need your professional advice on this piece. Is this Class B polymer jade?   It does not look as good as the picture. How do they make the picture looks so good?


Dear Janet

This item was listed on ebay and the winning bid was $180.00. I presumed you have bought it.  I took the liberty to clip the picture from the link you gave me.

This jade carving is in the form of a Ling Zhi and the shape of a Ruyi.  Ling Zhi is a traditional herbal plant that is purported to have aphrodisiac benefits as well as enhancing the health of a person.  Ruyi is in the shape of two tablets with a bridge linking the two parts.  In its simplest term Ruyi means “your wishes shall come true”.  This is an auspicious symbol as it purportedly bring good luck and fortune to the recipient of such a carving.   It was normally conferred to a Mandarin by the Imperial Emperor.

It would be difficult to assess whether the jade carving is the Type A Jadeite Jade or Type B Polymer impregnated jade.  It has to be tested with an FTIR equipment.

Big carvings are seldom impregnated with polymer as the process is quite complicated and it is not worth the effort.  However, most big jade carvings are coated with wax to give it a glossy look.

As far as I know, most sellers who are selling items on ebay, seldom enhanced their pictures with software such as Photoshop.  Buyers are bound to return the item if the specifications do not match.  However, pictures taken with a suitable background can easily make the picture looks much better as in this case with a black background the contrast will make the jade looks much more glossier and sharper.

Hence, when buying on-line you have to be prepared that the picture is always better than the actual product.

Caveat Emptor – buyers beware!

A.Arthur Lau

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About the Author ()

I am a Graduate Gemologist trained at GIA in New York. I hold an MBA from Cranfield University, United Kingdom and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics. My earlier profession was a banker until I found jade in Myanmar in the early 90s. I have traveled to the fabled Hpakan Jade mines and Mogok in upper Burma with my second son. Three of my children were also Graduate Gemologist, GIA and they are deal in diamonds.

Comments (5)

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  1. A.Arthur Lau says:

    They may be various methods as used by ‘manufacturers’ of Type B Jadeite Jade. Usually they are impregnated with polymer upon pre-forming the stone and not when they are in big boulder form as the polymer may not penetrate the jade boulder easily. Yes, you should get the Type A Jadeite Jade as they are genuine. Type B JJ is only for aesthetic purpose and later they may discolor.

    thank you Ivan

  2. A.Arthur Lau says:

    Hello Ivan, Normally jade has been cut or pre-form before they are impregnated with polymer. This is a much easier process. Refer this to one of my earlier posts on how Type B jade is being made. Thanks Ivan

  3. A.Arthur Lau says:

    Hello John, thanks for your comments. Will write something for every week.


  4. Ivan says:

    The method to impregnate polymer to the carving piece is the same with bangles, isn’t it? Or more complicated?

    I’m thinking about buy one carving piece as well, so I really wonder about this issue. For me, the factor that I concern the most is “genuine or not” (grade A or not).

  5. John Kelly says:

    As always delighted to read your blog as they are informative. Hope you continue to write more and share your knowledge with the world.