Hi Arthur, I’m so thankful I came across your website. My husband and I run a jewelry business in Sydney Australia. I am also a gemologist but I don’t have the use of a proper lab at work as we are mainly focused on design and handcrafting custom made jewelry.
About 13 years ago my husband purchased a Jadeite bangle from a gentleman by the name of Mr Lau who was bringing to Australia some Burmese Jade. He was only a small business operator. Mr Lau told my husband that the bangle he was to purchase was an untreated rare Burmese Jadeite Bangle because it had all three colors – Lavender, light green and dark green. And only Burmese Jade had the high polish and translucency that this bangle obviously shows.
Please bear in mind that we really don’t buy and sell Jade ourselves because we don’t really know much about it. Other than a few loose stones we have made into jewelry, we haven’t really purchased anything like this. We have displayed it in our window over the years and there have been some interest in it, especially by a Chinese Tourist who wanted to know if it was treated. I didn’t have any evidence if it was treated, so I took it to the most reputable lab in Australia – The Gem Studies Laboratory – run by Bill Sechos and got an Authentication Report. I will email you the copy and the images of the bangle.
I wish to know what is your opinion on the bangle and what sort of value would you consider it to be. I thank you in advance for your help.
First of all I must congratulate you on your sincerity and honesty in not selling a jade piece when you are not sure of its content. Though the seller represented to you that the bangle you purchased was the Type A, natural Jadeite Jade and you have no means of verifying its authenticity, you preferred the honorable manner of testing it at a reputable laboratory.
A large number of jewelers are traders, re-sellers or retailers and they represented their products on display or on sale as what their buying source told them. Sadly, a large number of jade pieces on sale are the Type B, polymer impregnated jade. Most sellers may not have the intent to sell a ‘fake’ item but it is the expediency of business and the profit motivation that most sellers will not verify every jade piece they are selling as it involves time and expenses.
Hence, I am sure you and your husband run a thriving business as both of you are honest, fair and honorable jewelers and customers are naturally drawn to you.
Tri-color Jadeite Jade bangles are highly valuable. To the Chinese, the tri-color represented the auspicious trinity of the personified deities of Fu-Lu-Shou or Happiness, Prosperity and Longevity in that order. The desirable color attributes of hue, saturation and tone of the bangle must be vivid and in sharp contrast. But a combination of these attributes are so rare that it is seldom seen on the market as jade connoisseurs will probably lock it away when they are in possession of it.
Your bangle has the 3 color attributes but the light green and dark green are not so defined. Anyway, it is still a good piece as the polishing finish is done well.
The gem laboratory which you sent for testing has done a good job of going through all the necessary steps of verifying that this is the Type A natural jadeite jade. The gemologist also took the trouble of describing his observations as to why did he come to the conclusion that this is a natural jadeite jade bangle.
His observations are:
A round grey and faint lavender bangle of mottled green patches in three different areas.
A polycrystalline aggregate material with spot refractive index of 1.65 – 1.66 and no reaction to UV light. The material is translucent with signs of undercutting in the polishing process. Spectral absorption pattern of the green area shows three distinct steps and an absorption line in the violet is noted in the grey and lavender areas. No reaction is noted under the Hanneman-Hodgkinson stained jadeite filter. No evidence of colour enhancement detected.
Conclusion: Natural Jadeite
Jadeite Jade is a polycrystalline aggregate – these are observable under a polariscope.
Jadeite Jade has a refractive index of 1.66 – these are observable under a Refractometer. Because of the curvature of the bangle a gemologist has to use the ‘Spot Method’ to determine the RI of the specimen and an absolute value cannot be determined. Hence, his readings is 1.65 – 1.66, which indicates that this is Jadeite Jade material.
As seen from the picture the Jadeite Jade bangle is translucent. In a jade bangle there will always be some undercutting as the final polishing cannot be totally perfect. This is totally acceptable and it is only observable through the use of a 60x microscope or a 10x loupe if the undercutting is not polished away.
Spectral absorption pattern of the green area shows three distinct steps. This is the final proof that the Jadeite Jade bangle is natural, Type A. As seen from the spectral pattern below, a sequence of lines indicates a natural jadeite, while a broad band represented a dyed or polymer impregnated jade.
An absorption line in the violet is noted in the grey and lavender areas. This is the key test for jadeite jade material. Under a spectrometer, Jadeite jade has a diagnostic line at 437nm and this is the confirmation test that the specimen is Jadeite Jade.
No reaction is noted under the Hanneman-Hodgkinson stained jadeite filter. This is the additional test for jade piece to detect color dyes. Under the stained jadeite filter, any dyed color jadeite jade piece will show a color change to reddish brown.
Final observation: No evidence of colour enhancement detected.
Hence, the final conclusion is Natural Jadeite.
Here, you will note that the testing procedures as carried out by the gemologist are exhaustive as he goes through all the key and diagnostic features of jadeite jade. His recording of his observations is also meticulous and professional. There are also no vague descriptions and neither did the gemologist made any assumptions.
All the tests that the gemologist carried out can also be tested in other gemological lab. That is to say, the tests are all empirical. Hence, his conclusion that this is a natural jadeite jade is affirmed.
The value of a jadeite jade is hard to ascertain. Read my other posts for a valuation of a jade piece.
If you have bought the bangle many years ago, you can be sure that the value has gone up a few multiple times. Hence, when you make your sale you can get some good profit as you deserve it.
Thanks for your interest, Ani