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Is This A Crack Or Inclusion?

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A visible crack line on a bangle

Hi Arthur

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?

Sharyn Nguyen

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

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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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Its is great to have you back. Hope that you continue to write your blog. You write well and there are humorous. Will send you a question on my ruby ring later.

    Thank you and have a good day.

  2. I’ve been waiting for long time to see the new article about jade in your blog, and I’m really happy that you are back.

    One of my bangles has a natural crack line and easily seen, however, it now is a purple vein and look nice after 11 months wearing. I think because it becomes more transparent and luster.

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