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Your Jade Bangle Is A Dud…

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Polymer Impregnated Jadeite Jade Bangle

Email Question from Kenji of Tokyo:

I come to know your website and I told my friends’ mother.  She wrote in Japanese as below. She pay US$1,500.00 for the jade. She mention that the tourist guide said 100% genuine jade bangle. Please give opinion and a picture is inside the mail.

Shitsumon ga aru…Kyonen Beijing ni itta toki, nedan ga takai yatsu no tama ga katta no desu ga, nisemono ka honmono ha kakuninshitain ne !

English Translation:

I’ve have a question, I bought an expensive jade last year in Beijing, I want to check whether is fake or genuine, how?

Dear Kenji

Without viewing your jade bangle physically, I can say with certainty that it is a non genuine jade.  You have been had.

This type of jade bangle is impregnated with polymer to give it color and translucency.  In the trade we called it Type B jade, meaning that it has been enhanced upon and it is not a natural jadeite jade.

But it is still jadeite material. Jadeite jade is a very porous stone and can be impregnated with fine resin to make it look good and gorgeous.  Firstly low quality jadeite mineral is subjected to bleaching by strong acids as well as keeping it under tremendous pressure to open up the pores.  Then colored or colorless polymers are forced  inside the capillaries of the jade under pressure.

And, Presto! you have a beautiful jade bangle with vivid multiple colors and with excellent translucency.

I have purchased some of these bangles in my early years of buying jade.  You mentioned that you paid US$1,500 for it and if it is a genuine Type A jadeite jade bangle the price will be many multiples of it.  I am not saying that my conclusion is based on the price you paid.  It is based on the picture you sent me.  For a tri-color jade the price can be astronomical as the Chinese believe that this relates to the 3 deities of Prosperity, Longevity and Productivity.

Now try this simple test.

Put a thread over the bangle and knock it slightly with a spoon.  Put your ears close to it and listen to the pitch sound it emits.  If it is a genuine jade then the pitch and timbre is quite high and if it is the Type B jade the sound is just a thud.

The reason is quite simple.  Type A jadeite jade is not been impregnated with polymers.  Its capillary veins are still ‘free’ of impurities or foreign elements and when you knock it slightly the sound reverberates within giving it a high timbre pitch.

For Type B jadeite jade the capillary veins are filled with polymers and therefore the sound emitted will be a dull thud.

Note : Please note that terms and conditions apply as to the rendering of my opinion.

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I am a Graduate Gemologist trained at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City, USA. I hold an MBA degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics. My earlier profession was a banker until I found jade in Myanmar (Burma) in the early 90s. I have traveled to the fabled Hpakan Jade mines, and Mogok, the world’s famous rubies and sapphires mines in upper Burma, with my second son. Three of my children are also Graduate Gemologist, GIA, NYC and they deal in diamonds, gemstones and jade. 我是在美国纽约市的美国宝石学院(GIA)接受过培训的宝石研究学家。 我拥有英国克兰菲尔德大学的工商管理硕士学位和数学学士学位。我以前的职业是银行家,直到90年代初我在缅甸接触到玉石。我曾经和我的次子一起去过缅甸上流传说中的哈帕翡翠矿山和莫谷矿山, 莫谷矿山是世界上著名的红宝石和蓝宝石矿山。我的三个孩子都是纽约市GIA毕业的宝石研究学家, 他们专门处理钻石,宝石和玉石.

121 COMMENTS

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