It is not a 19th century pendant!

April 5, 2016By

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Hi Arthur,

I have the pictures of my pendant here. I was hoping you would be able to help me to look at it to see if the piece is in fact an antique from the 19th century and maybe also provide a price estimate for the handiwork and jade quality. Thanks! 



Hi Casey

Sorry Casey, your pendant is not a 19th century antique jade. You have got yourself a lemon.

This is not even polymer impregnated jadeite jade. It is a type of composite material and you can find them in abundance in the Jade Market in Hong Kong or in China. A piece is sold at around HK$10, or US$1.30.

I am not sure about the clasp. If you set the gold clasp at a jewellery shop with this pendant I suggest you take it off, keep the gold and store away your ‘jade pendant’. If the clasp comes with the ‘jade’ then store it away.

It looks so cheap to be worn by a pretty lady.

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One has to be careful when a seller makes some ridiculous claim. Where did you buy this item? At a road side store in a back alley or some nook-and-corner street, a curio shop or even a jade speciality shop? Surely, this seller did not have the capacity to own a 19th century item.

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To make claims on the provenance of a jade article, you have to know something about the seller. If it is from an auction house of international repute, then it is safe to assume that thorough research work has been carried out to authenticate such claims.

In fact most sellers do not really have ‘antique’ jade, or jade worn by emperors or empresses of dynasties long gone, as they claimed to be. But a lot of buyers are taken in hook, line and sinker because the seller has the gift of the gap and can talk the hind legs off a donkey. Before one realize it, the item is being packed, money received and the buyer leaves with a euphoric feeling of getting a good deal from a sucker seller.

HK$10 a piece at the Jade market ...

HK$10 a piece at the Jade market …

Anyway, I too have been down that slippery road before. I have heard a lot of tales by sellers, and they were so convincing that I did not realize that I had been had until I recapped later what the seller said when he sold me the item.

But if it is not really a lot of money, then take it as an experience. You will get better in your jade shopping as you buy more fake or real items. You just have to enquire more and learn more about jade.

Best of wishes …


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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.

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