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Assessing A Carved Bangle


1 jade bangle

Dear Arthur

I have just sent a message via your website. Found your articles really helpful and would be grateful for help in assessing the jade pieces I acquired.




From the pictures you sent, I think there are 2 bangles taken under varying lighting conditions.

Carving bangles are quite popular with the Chinese. Most of them are carved with motifs of flowers, fern leaves, Pixu (auspicious mystical animal), Ling-Zhi, gourds or other auspicious signs.

It is difficult to assess a jade piece just by seeing a picture. Assessing a jade piece can mean whether a jade piece is of the Type A or Type B Jadeite Jade and assessing can also mean giving an estimated valuation to it.  

3 jade bangleA valuation on a jade piece based on a picture is impossible. Moreover, there is no standard pricing for jade as each piece is as unique as a snow flake, that is, no two jade pieces are the same, even though it may be cut from the same boulder. There will be bound to have some variations, though if cabochons are cut from a sizeable jade boulder there are almost similar. Price is often what the buyer perceives as the best buy.

It has been the standard practice for hundreds of years that when negotiating for a rough boulder some secret language of the fingers covered in a cloth is being used by buyer or seller. The seller does not want to let others know how much he sold the jade boulder while the buyer does not like others to find out how much he paid for it. This practice is still used today in some parts of Hong Kong and China.

2 jade bangle

Even for jade carvings and loose stones, price can differ vastly. I have seen some jade bangles sold for as little as RMB100 ( US$1 ~ RMB6.23) a piece in small road side stores under a bridge while bangles of almost the same quality are sold for as much as RMB1,000 in a shopping mall.

So when you purchase a jade piece, you just have to make your own call on whether you are willing to pay the price the seller is asking.

Based on the pictures, in my opinion there are of the Type A Jadeite Jade.

Type B Jadeite Jade is more translucent and ‘cleaner’ as dark spots and inner impurities will be bleached and bleed out from the jade piece. Note that the ‘Hearing Test’ for carving jade bangles do not work well. If you are really keen to determine whether there are of the Type A or Type B you may have to send them to a gem lab for testing and identification.

For carving jade bangles, do not expect them to be of high quality jade. Mostly there are of medium or low grade jade. Generally, most of the carved bangles invariably have flaws inside which the jade cutter will use his skill to ‘bypass’ it by making depression or by cutting it away to make way for a motif at the part where there are no visible fissures. However, that should not deter you from buying some carved bangles if a particular piece strikes you. I have seen some excellent carving bangles and their cost are really astronomical.

High quality jade bangles are normally of the traditional round type (or flat on the inner surface) with smooth surface to bring out the color and the translucency from within. Carved bangles show the vividness of color on certain parts as when they stand in stark relief against the duller and insipid part of the bangle but the good translucency of the jade piece is almost lacking.

To a jade cutter, the most profitable piece of jewelry that can be first extracted from a rough boulder is to cut as many jade bangles as possible. Jade bangles sell well and can be sold for good price if a jade cutter can avoid the cracks and visible vein-like fissures commonly found on a boulder. The inner core that is cut out from a circular rough jade bangle will be used to fashion cabochons or carving pendants.

Thank you, CY, for your interest.





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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.