As discussed in this post, Natural vs Enhanced Jadeite Jade, Type A Jadeite Jade is natural Jadeite Jade which has not been subject to any form of chemical treatment. Traditional processes such as plum juice washing and some wax polishing is acceptable as these procedures are internationally recognized as standard practice and are not defined as ‘enhancement’ as the integrity and structure of the jade piece is still intact and has not been altered.
Type A jadeite is for the connoisseur, the discerning and the true lover of jade. As natural jadeite is getting rare, possessing a piece of natural jade, even though it may not be a high quality one, would be like owning a piece of antiquity from mother nature.
Constant handling and wearing an untreated jade would enhance its appearance naturally over time. As natural jadeite jade is quite porous, wearing a piece of jade for a prolong period will enable the body sweat and oil to seep into the capillary veins of the jade giving it more luster and brilliance. Hence, the Chinese belief that jade is a living stone has some relevance and familiarity to it.
A family heirloom should be a Type A jade for it gets better with ‘age’ and wear. Traditionally, it was a common custom for the daughter to inherit a jade bangle, a pendant or a hairpin from her mother when she was betrothed to a man by the family patriarch. In modern China, jade is still the gemstone which is much valued and favored by the older generation, though diamond engagement ring is getting to be very popular.
Type A jade is a purchase for posterity as its beauty would transcend the present and its value would definitely appreciate. A natural jadeite carved and polished fifty years ago will still look as brilliant as it is today, its color still remains and it evokes fond remembrance for the person from whom the jade is inherited.
All Jadeite Jade jewelry pieces put under the hammer by international auction houses, notably Christie’s and Sotheby’s of Hong Kong, have been certified by a reputable gem lab to be natural jadeite jade. The most established gemological laboratory is the Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory Ltd. (HKJSL) which was established in 1993 and is a joint venture between The Hong Kong Jewelry & Jade Manufacturers Association and the Jadeite Traders Industry & Commerce Association, which are both non-profit making organizations. Since the two associations are not directly involved in any trade transactions, testing and certification services are carried out in an absolutely independent and unbiased manner. The Hong Kong Jade and Stone Laboratory is also recognized internationally by the World Jewellery Confederation, CIBJO (Confederation International de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfevrierie des Diamantes, Perles et Pierres), and has been designated as the Official CIBJO Registered Laboratory for Hong Kong.