I recently purchased this bracelet from a well-known online auction site from an antique dealer, and I wanted to validate the authenticity of the jade bangle.
Using your methods of authenticating, the chime is high and very clear like a crystal glass. It even makes “chiming” sounds when it goes up and down my wrist against the skin.
The bracelet does not have a shiny polish, and seems old.
There are tool marks (as outlined in the photos of it on my wrist) and more along the inner and outer edges of the bangle. Horizontal in nature and some like a lemon peel on the inside.
I wanted to know what color, quality, and any information you are able to gather from the photos. Is this Jadeite, Nephrite, or a fake?
Also, I paid $95.00 USD total for this on the auction site, and wanted to know if that was a fair price or perhaps what is the value in today’s market.
Thank you so much for your time and knowledge! I used the information on your site to make this purchase and hope I chose correctly.
From the pictures, your bangle looks greasy and the texture does not look like jadeite jade material. It is also not well polished at all.
It may be difficult to determine the bangle mineral material without carrying out any gemological tests. However, my opinion on your bangle is of the mineral serpentine, which is greasy in texture. I have also seen a lot of serpentine which closely resembles the accompanying pictures you sent.
Please also take note that your bangle might be a Jadeite Jade bangle, which has been not polished well. Cutting a holorith out of slab of rough jade to fashion a bangle is not difficult, but polishing the jade to a fine finish usually involves intensive labor. Those jade bangles cut and polished before the 80s usually falls into this category. Low quality jade bangle was often coated with wax to give it a luster finish. When the wax deteriorates the surface of the bangle will become dull. However, for high quality jadeite jade, the seller would usually polish it well with diamond dust and bamboo.
Hence, your jade bangle may belong to the category of jadeite jade which has been cut prior to the 80s.
You can do one test on the bangle to satisfy your curiosity. Read this post on the Mohs Hardness. Get a small piece of quartz with a pyramidal pointed tip and scratch it across an inconspicuous surface. If your bangle is not scratched by the quartz, then your bangle is of jadeite jade material. If there is a deep indent then your bangle is some other material. Serpentine has a hardness of 2.5 and will leave a deep indent on your bangle if you scratch it with a quartz. Note that this is a destructive test.
The representation of the product ‘jade’ by a seller can be misleading, as it differs in many countries. In China, almost every bangle of any mineral material is termed as jade, as spoken or written in Mandarin. Hence, a jade bangle can be agate, nephrite, jadeite, calcite and even lapis lazuli (which is bluish) is termed as jade. However, for Jadeite Jade bangles they are referred to as Burmese Jade.
In the United States, there is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rules to protect the consumers of USA. A seller can only represent his/her products as ‘Jade’ if the material is either Jadeite Jade or Nephrite Jade. No other mineral can be represented as such.
I have also seen a number of products on internet auction sites being represented by the generic term of ‘Jade’. Some of them have no semblances at all to either being a nephrite or jadeite jade. So one has to be careful when you purchase products on the internet.
As to the value of the bangle it will be difficult to assess whether you have paid a fair value for it. But take note that if your bangle is of serpentine material than it is quite overprized as serpentine is quite cheap and there is no ready mass market for them.
Regarding the test of hearing the sharp ‘chiming’ sound as described in this post, Jade Bangle, Hear Me Out, this refers to the unorthodox quick and dirty test on site to differentiate between natural and polymer impregnated jade. It is by no means conclusive. If you can ascertain that your bangle is jadeite jade and the bangle emits a sharp pitch, then chances are the bangle is natural jadeite jade with no polymer impregnation.
Anyway, it is all part of the learning curve. Do not be disappointed if your bangle is other material than jadeite jade. Just keep on learning and one day you will be an expert.
You can also drop me a note on any gemstones you need some advice.
Good luck Amber, and thank you for your interest in my website.
A Arthur Lau