Further to this post, Detecting B Jadeite Jade (Part 1 – DBJ), on the use of acetone to determine whether a jade has been impregnated with polymers, you should first make close observations on your jade piece. Instead of sending it to a gem lab to have it tested for polymer impregnation, there may be some tell-tale signs that may indicate that a jade piece has been impregnated with polymer.
Observing the base or reverse of a jade figurine or pendant
If you have an ornamental jade, examine the base of the jade. If the carving is quite big, most jade carvers will not polish the base. There are 2 reasons for this:
- A non polished base will ensure that the jade figurine or statue will not easily slip when placed standing.
- A non-polished base indicates that the jade has not being enhanced upon.
Similarly the reverse of some jade pendants may also be left unpolished. It may be art in its own form, but the chief reason is to indicate that the jade is natural.
Polymer Impregnation is too homogeneous
When the color distribution of a jade piece is too homogeneous, this may indicate polymer enhancement. When the color of a natural jade piece is vivid green, a jade carver will take pains to have it polished to a fine finish. If the jade piece has been enhanced, the finish will not be as shiny as a natural jadeite jade.
Obvious green veins
Using a strong probe light, you may see some obvious green veins running across the jade piece. This is not difficult to detect as the veins do not ‘belong’ and do not merge well with the whole carving piece.
Color impregnation is only on the surface
When color dyes are added onto a jade piece, the dyes will only penetrate a few microns from the surface. Refer to this post: The Making of Type B Jadeite Jade. Using a strong probe light you may be able to see that some green veins running along the surface. Some green dyes may penetrate deeper but in most cases it is ‘skin deep’
Hearing a jade piece
If you have a bangle, hearing a jade piece may indicate a Type A or Type B jade. Please refer to this post: Jade Bangle Hear Me Out.
The above are only indicative tell-tale signs of a jade being impregnated with polymers. They are by no means conclusive. However, if the tell-tale signs are too marked then you can conclude that a jade has been impregnated. This may help you in your buying decision. If you are not sure, then you should walk away from the deal.
Next post: Using Hot Point – Detecting B Jade (Part 3 – DBJ)