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Boiling A Jadeite Jade


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A reader posed the following question to me:

“I have heard that to test whether a Jadeite Jade is genuine or fake, use vinegar and boil the jade piece for 15 minutes.  If the color fades then it is a fake.  If the color does not fade then the piece of jade is genuine.”

So I tried out a little experiment.  I used 2 Type B Jadeite Jade bangle (they are polymer impregnated jadeite jade of which I have scanned through using the Perkin Elmer FTIR equipment) and the doggie jadeite jade pendant which was dye coated.  Read this post ‘Dye Coating of Jadeite Jade.” I poured a whole bottle of vinegar into a small pan basin, put the 3 pieces of jade into it and heated it up until it came to a boil.  Then the fire was turned down to half to keep the vinegar boiling and shimmering. The vapor from the vinegar was quite pungent.  The 3 pieces of jade were left in the pan basin until the vinegar had evaporated after about 25 minutes.

End Result: The 2 polymer impregnated jadeite jade bangle were intact.  All the dye coating on the doggie pendant came off.

Conclusion: Vinegar is a mild diluted acetic acid and will not cause any color deterioration to the jade pieces.  Vinegar composition is about 3% acetic acid and 97% water.  But when it comes to a boil for some time, the dye coating of the doggie pendant will come off.

Dye color has faded on the doggie pendant on the right

Water boils at around 100oC at 1 atmospheric pressure.  Jadeite Jade’s melting point is around 1,200oC.  You have to note the difference between boiling point and melting point.  The alkenes polymer used for the impregnation of the 2 bangles have a high Glass Transition Temperature (TgoC when the polymer goes from a hard, glass like state to a rubber like state) hence, the boiling vinegar has practically no effect on the two bangles.

The method used above to test whether a jadeite jade has been impregnated with polymer or dye coated is very primitive.  This is a destructive test as you will never know the end result until it is too late.

For detection of dye coating, it is best to use a high magnifying microscope or as most people do not have one, then get a 20x or 30x loupe to examine the color of the jade. A 20x or 30x loupe has a very limited depth of field but it will enable you to zoom in on a narrow particular area to determine whether there are any traces of dye in a jade piece.


  1. This information really useful. I tried this method. I use one jade bead and boil in 30 mins. The color was the same => my bead is not color coated ^^

  2. Hi Arthur, thank you for sharing so many trade secrets of the jade on your blog. Your writing is very good and the facts presented are extremely useful. Please keep doing so so that internet users can benefit

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