I purchased this jadeite bangle from online seller. This is supposed to be a old mine lao pit grade A jadeite bangle. When I received the bangle there were three lines running through the bangle. Two of them when I run over it with my finger nail feel smooth. The third line is not smooth and when I look at it I can follow the line all around the bangle. I contacted the seller and was told that with Old Mine Lao pit bangles it’s fine grain so I would see more of the stone pattern. How can I determine if this is a crack or is it just an inclusion due to the fine grain of the jade?
Dear Sharyn Nguyen
There are many loose terms used in the Jadeite Jade industry. A number of dealers love to use the term Old Mine Lao Pit Jade, Imperial Old Mine or other terms which will help them sell the jade to the unsuspecting.
Old Mine Jade normally refers to those Jadeite Jade which has a vivid deep emerald green. This type of green is caused by chromium and it is very pleasing to the eyes. Those garden variety darkish green are caused by ferrous and there are very common and can be purchased very cheaply.
There is no green veins or spots in your bangle at all. This type of bangle is one of the lowest grade of Jadeite Jade. There are also a lot of ‘cloudy’ whitish spots within the bangle inself.
You mentioned that when you run your finger nail across one of the seemingly crack line you can feel the slight indent and that the crack line runs across the whole diameter of the bangle. From the picture this is a recent crack and is most probably caused when the bangle drops onto a hard floor. If you drop the bangle again your bangle will most probably shatter into 2 or 3 pieces as I can see that the crack line is quite deep.
Do not be taken in by dealers who said that these are not crack line but inclusion. Yes in most jade pieces you can find whitish inclusion within the jade piece and there are normally not in a continuous line.
‘Crack’ lines that appear in Jadeite Jade pieces are common. Learn to distinguish them by looking at the crack line closely with a loupe (Read here for how to use a loupe) and using an LED torch light to shine it from the base of your jade piece. If the crack line is something like the one in your pictures then it is a recent crack caused by a fall. If the crack line is brownish, it shows that the crack line has been there for a long period of time and it has been annealed (that is being healed for a prolong period of time) oxidized, i.e, iron ferrous oxide has caused the lines to turn russet brown.
If the crack line is recent, don’t buy it at all. It is a worthless piece and it will break again.
But if the crack line has been oxidized, then you may consider it as part of the healing process of nature. Some of these crack lines when annealed and oxidized can be very beautiful.
Thank you for your interest.
A Arthur Lau