Imperial Jadeite Jade (Green) Ring

June 23, 2012By

Hi Arthur,

I would like to ask you about Imperial (Green) Jadeite Jade Type “A” and also the jade ring I purchased as shown in the picture.

I was told by the sale-person where I bought this Jadeite Jade Type “A” ring that Imperial (Green) Jadeite Jade Type “A” is rare and of the highest quality.  I have not seen one yet.

The online website of Jadeite Jade mentioned that Imperial (Green) Jadeite Jade Type “A” is the best Jadeite Jade of Type “A”. “Only Jadeite with elements of Chromium (Cr++) are considered Imperial (Green) Jade. They are “Deep Green” in color.

Am I correct to say that in order to verify the authenticity of an Imperial Green Jadeite Jade, I have to send it to a Gem Laboratory to certify for the presence of Chromium (Cr++), apart from an expert visual on its color and textures.  Do you have an advise on any Gem Laboratory that does this test and states in their report the presence of Chromium (Cr++).

I dropped the above ring onto a hard cement floor.  Viewing the jade piece under microscope, I can see a tiny line but I am not sure whether is it a crack line or is it a vein line. The outer surface of my Jade ring does not show the crack line, neither do I feel any indentation at all.

Beside the Christie’s Auction House or other Auction House for Jadeite Jade, where can I find or buy an Imperial Green Jadeite Jade Type “A”?.

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards,

Henry K, Singapore

Hello Henry

Firstly, I have to clarify the oft-mentioned term of Imperial Jadeite Jade.

Imperial Jade is a trade term, the scientific name is Jadeite Jade with its chemical composition as NaAlSi2O4 together with the presence of some trace elements within.

The generic name used as pronounced in Mandarin is ‘Fei Tsui’ (literally refers to the color of the peacock feathers)

Among auction houses in Hong Kong, Imperial Jade (or Imperial Jadeite Jade) denotes those high quality Jadeite Jade with deep vivid color, excellent translucency (or semi-transparency) and very fine texture.  The color is mostly a vibrant deep emerald-like green or ‘fresh apple green’.  Other vivid colors like lavender is sometimes refer to Imperial jade too.

In China, the term jade (‘yu’) is used loosely.  All stones and minerals of ornamental or aesthetics value are referred to as ‘yu’.  However, Jadeite Jade is referred to as ‘Fei-Tsui Burma Jade’ to distinguish it from other stones.  Hence, if you buy any jade from China you have to be careful on the trade terms used there.

The trace element that gives a jade green color is due to the presence of Chromium 3+ or Cr3+ (Cr++ is something else).  Ferrous ion (Fe++) also causes a jade to turn green, but the green is the duller, garden variety type.

In gemology, a gemologist is not really concerned about the composition of various elements within the specimen.  Identification of a specimen is by means of various gemological tests like Refractive Index, Specific Gravity, Spectrum, microscopic observation, pleochroism and other observable and repeatable tests.  If one wants to know the exact composition of a mineral piece, then X-ray Diffraction has to be carried out, which is of academic interest to a gemologist.

However, in a gem lab we also used a spectrometer to locate the absorption spectra of a specimen.  This is the final conclusive test for a mineral.  In Jadeite Jade the absorption spectrum is at 437.5nm and a doublet at 690nm. (nm is nanometer).

I have noticed that in some gem lab in Singapore the lab report published the absorption spectra of the tested specimen.  But this is more of a show as the picture in most cases is a generic one and does not refer to the specimen under test.  In gem labs in Hong Kong, USA or European I have not come across this color spectra picture on their gem lab reports.

Hence, if a reputable gem lab verifies a specimen as a Jadeite Jade, the description of the presence of Cr3+ is immaterial.

Jadeite Jade has a lot of microscopic vein lines or pores within.  If you do not feel any indentation by scraping a finger across then I would think that it is not a crack line.  Moreover, Jadeite jade has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and is extremely tough.  For your jade cabochon dropping it on the hard floor most probably will not ‘crack’ the jade piece.  However, if you drop a bangle then it will most probably crack.

The 2 pictures you sent are of the same mounting.  Are they the same ring, as the color of the jade are not the same?  I presume they are the same ring you mentioned.

You can buy Imperial Jade from a lot of places, not necessary through Auction houses.  If you buy an expensive jade it is better to insist on a gem lab report and insist that the vendor described the jewelry as Jadeite Jade on their receipt.  Most receipts I have seen only describe the generic term as jade, as in Jade Pendant, Jade ring etc.

But beware when you buy on-line.  The description of the merchandise by a large number of on-line vendors are way off the actual goods that you are going to receive.  If you come across an item of jade bangle as described as Finest Imperial Burma Jade Type A and it cost only US$100, it is almost certain that it is a ‘fake’ piece.

Have a good day, Henry.

A Arthur

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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 (6)

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  1. A.Arthur Lau says:

    Hello Ivan,

    My deepest appreciation to you for taking your time to comment on my posts.

    You have a good day
    arthur

  2. A.Arthur Lau says:

    Hello Sally

    Will be planning out to write about FTIR. Thanks.

  3. A.Arthur Lau says:

    Hello Stephen

    Yes you are right. The spectrography is merely a show and is of no relevance.

    thanks
    arthur

  4. Ivan says:

    A nice ring!

    “Imperial green”, nearly every seller try to put this term in their items even the darkish green as you mentioned before is now called “Dark Imperial Green”. Such a…

    Thank you for your informative post!

    Have a nice day.

    Ivan

  5. Sally Liao says:

    It is great to read your post, arthur. Hope that you can give us a post on FTIR, as this is the main test for polymer impregnated jade.

    Please keep writing as even for your other posts there are so interesting and lively.

    Have a good day
    sally

  6. Stephen Goh says:

    Thanks Arthur,the above post is very informative. I have seen some jade gem lab report. As you have mentioned this is all for show as it is quite difficult to capture the real image on the spectrometer.

    regards
    stephen