Home Ask Arthur I Bought a Dude Jade Bangle

I Bought a Dude Jade Bangle

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At a jade market in upper Burma, I always dressed as a local Burmese

I have been receiving a number of emails from readers enquiring on Jadeite Jade as well as giving me comments on their experience with jade.  Here is an interesting letter, which refers to the post ‘Type C Jadeite Jade – Much Ado About Nothing’:

Hi Arthur,

I read with great interest on your article ‘Type C Jadeite Jade – Much ado about nothing’.   I am wondering why would you buy a fake piece of bangle for $1,500/- when your profession as a gemologist couldn’t even tell a real A from a C type.

Yes, I agreed with you and your article that mentioned the various ways to tell a real from a fake. But with your years of experience, I am sure you could correctly guess a real from fake.

An experience money changer will tell a real or fake currency by just feeling the texture of the note. Not a 100% correct but say 60%.

This dude bangle cost me $1,500

I saw a similar C bangle in a store selling Jade. The storekeeper quoted me US$300/-. I was surprised at the low price for a piece of icy glass bangle. How could it be when another similar piece would cost US$50,000/-.?

But in the end, I didn’t buy it. There used to be a saying, “Good things are not cheap. Cheap things are not good.”

Alex

Thank you Alex for taking your time to write to me.

You have brought up an interesting question?  If I would have known that the piece was a Type C Jadeite Jade, I would not have paid one and half Grand big greenbacks on it.  Maybe as a sample I might have paid $50 for it, but definitely not $1,500.  Alas, hind-sight is always 20/20.

As you know that an icy almost colorless bangle would cost more than US$50,000, this is always the bait that caught the hungry fish.  Now one would have said that if you are not greedy, you will never be conned.  But I am in business and if there is a good deal I go for it.  High risk always commensurate with huge wind falls and spectacular returns.

Semi-transparent, icy and cool but this is a Type B Jadeite Jade Bangle

The dealer was a known party whom I had dealt with before.  He told me he had fallen on hard times.  This was his most valuable piece and he needed money fast.  I did not ask him too much on his personal matters.  In fact, I was rationalizing to myself why did he sell it so cheap.  This was his asking price and this was the strike price as I did not even bargain.  I was about 90% sure that this was Type A Jadeite Jade.  So hook line and sinker, I bought his story and his master piece jade.  So much for mixing business with sympathy.  Lesson learnt: never do business out of sympathy, if he was your good friend and he lamented that he really needed some money, then perhaps you can lent some to him to tide over.  Don’t follow the quote of Old Polonius in Hamlet of William Shakespear too strictly.

Neither a borrower nor a lender be,
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.

Anyway, after that I did not see him again for a number of years.  He surfaced after many years and we met up.  He did not look prosperous and we did not mention what was past.   Ha ha ha we were old friends again.  Never mind that he conned me when he was up the financial shit creek without a paddle.  If he conned me to amass a fortune then it maybe another matter.

So in the jade trade, you score some you lose some.

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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.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Arthur,

    Your articles writing about jade & jadeite are very interesting. I’d like to know if there is any gemmology associations having jade or jadeite courses (in English)? Can you please advise?

  2. Yes, if you have a valuable jade, it is always better to have it tested by a gemlab.

    thanks Ivan
    arthur

  3. After reading this post, I think its better for me to take all of my jade bangles and beads and rings to the gem lab although I really believe in my friend. ^^

  4. Another interesting read, Arthur. It is great that you share your stories, even of your failures, to your readers. Thank you

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