One of the most fascinating aspect of Jadeite Jade bangle is that you can use your hearing faculty to determine its identity to a high degree and whether the jade bangle is natural or polymer-impregnated.
As discussed in the previous post (read here), the internal structure of Jadeite Jade comprises very minute granules of monoclinic microcrystalline crystals inter-locked against each other. Within the jade there are numerous capillary spaces in between each of these micro-crystals. Thus, when you hit the jade piece slightly the sound energy will reverberate through these small capillaries round the holorith of the bangle to emit a pleasing resonant pitch. It is just like when you hit a glass of water with a tuning fork, a sharp high pitch sound will reverberate through the air, the sharpness of the pitch would be a function of the level of water in the glass and the air space within its confines.
Natural Jadeite Jade does not have any filler resinous polymer within its crevices or capillary spaces. Thus, the sound that emits when you hit it with a tweezers would be sharp with a high pitch. With a polymer impregnated jade bangle, the sound energy would be absorbed by the filler material and it will give only a ‘thud’ pitch. Jadeite Jade bangles also emit a different pitch than other bangles of other gemstones, like Lapis Lazuli, Quartz, Calcite, Serpentine, Onyx, Chalcedony, Ivory, Nephrite or other minerals.
Now this skill is developed through experience, the more you listen to the pitch of various bangles the better would be your judgment. A very translucent bangle would, of course, emits a very sharp pitch as compared to an opaque one when both are natural Jadeite Jade.
Most jade dealers can ‘hear’ a natural jade from an enhanced jade. When you buy a bangle they usually knock the bangle against another bangle to let you listen to the pitch to convince you that the bangle is indeed natural Jadeite Jade. However, a word of caution here, this may not be a 100% authentication unless you have been handling it for a long time to develop this instinct.
As a jade dealer for many years, here are some tips for you to note:
1) Use a thread to hold the jade in order to produce the optimum pitch. Holding it tight with your fingers might absorb some sound energy.
2) Do not use two bangles to knock against each other. If one is a dud the good bangle will still emit a sharp pitch which might lead you to a wrong conclusion.
3) Do not knock on the rim of the jade bangle. You might just chip it.
4) Always ask the dealer for permission whether you can do it or not.
5) This would not work on rough jade (unless you are a miner), carvings, blocks or other shapes of jade.
6) You cannot test it when it is worn over your wrist.
Yeah, go on and explore this with the bangle you own. Or on your next intended purchase do it in front of the dealer,…….just don’t drop the bangle on the floor as you will have to pay for it if it is broken.