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Hong Kong Certificate of Jade Identification

HK cert Floral
Certificate of Jade Identification by Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory

The above Certificate of Jade Identification is done by the Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory on one of the floral jade that I sent in previously.

HKJSL is a reputable and independent jade and gemstones laboratory and I often send jade for their identification. They are very professional and their certificates issued are accepted and highly regarded by all jade and gems dealers. Often, HKJSL issues certificates of Jade Identification for high end jade pieces destined for auction at Christie’s and Sotheby in Hong Kong and other international cities.

For jade enthusiast and amateurs, it may be good education to understand the terms and definitions as appeared in a Jade Certificate. Certain testing procedures are necessary but may not be sufficient for a gemologist to conclude the sample’s identity while certain tests are diagnostic to make a conclusive and affirmative call. One of the testing procedure which is mandatory to determine whether a Jadeite Jade is Type A or Type B is to scan the sample with a Fourier Transform Infra-Red Equipment (FTIR) to detect the presence of organic compounds related to the C-H bond. (C for carbon and H for hydrogen)

One has to understand that whatever tests conducted and stated in a jade, diamond or gemstones certificate as issued by a gem laboratory must be empirical. That is, if a gem lab concludes that a specific test yields a certain result, then that same test must also be observable when tested in other gem labs.

I have read some jade reports, usually some proprietor-owned lab, that states a certain result which is not based on test being carried out but based on known facts of the identity of the sample. For example, a jade certificate may state that the specific gravity of a mounted ring with jade as the center piece (which is the object to be tested) is 3.32. Yes, the SG of jadeite jade is 3.32 but how does the gemologist carried out that SG test when the stone is mounted?

Hence, some knowledge on the findings of a jade report are useful.  A brief run down on each of the item of the Jade Certificate above is described below.

Under the title ‘DESCRIPTION” the item is described as clearly as possible.

Under the title ‘TESTS AND FINDINGS’ :

a)   Refractive Index : 1.66. 

This result can be obtained by using a Refractometer.

 b)  Specific Gravity : 3.32

This result can be obtained by using the Hydrostatic method. Since this is an unmounted jade piece and it is quite small, this testing procedure is easily carried out.

c)   Fluorescence : L.W – Weak white in patches / S.W – Inert

Natural Jadeite Jade when exposed to Long Wave and Short Wave Ultraviolet light may emit weak white streaks or remains inert. When a jade piece fluorescences strongly then possibly it is an enhanced jade.

d)  Spectroscope : Fine chrome lines in the red

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The spectroscope is used to analyze light passing through a stone. White light is a combination of all the colors of the visible spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. When white light travels though a gemstone, one or more of the wavelengths that produce color are absorbed by the gem. The colors that are not absorbed are the colors seen when we look at the stone.

The wavelengths that are absorbed by the stone are seen in the spectroscope as vertical black lines in the spectrum. Each gemstone has a unique absorption spectrum (like a fingerprint of the stone) When identifying a stone we look for a spectrum that is characteristic for that stone.

 e)   Texture by Eye / By Magnification : Fine to medium grain aggregates / Fibrous and granular texture.

These observations conform to the texture of jadeite jade.

 f)    Under Chelsea Colour Filter : Green

Some dyed jadeite jade may appear reddish under a Chelsea Filter, but not all dyed jade. This is an additional test but is not diagnostic nor conclusive and it shows that procedures undertaken by the gemologist is thorough, exhaustive and well documented.

 g)  Polymer Detection : No polymer is detected.

Below this description are two charts showing the spectrum as scanned by an FTIR equipment. Both charts are the same, the first chart has the Y-axis as the Percent Transmittance while the second chart has the Y-axis as absorbance. The bell curve on the right is the molecular fingerprint of a jadeite jade. When polymers are detected there are certain peaks and these peaks identified the jadeite jade to be polymer impregnated. There are none shown on the charts.

 With all these tests being carried out , the gemologist concluded that the sample tested is Natural Jadeite Jade and the final diagnostic test on the FTIR determined that the jade piece is free from polymer.

Hence, the Conclusion is “Natural Jadeite” with a remark stating that “Sometimes known in the trade as “A Jade”.

Some of the gemological tests on the above are described in my earlier posts. Please use the Search function if you want to be clear on these gemological terms and tests.

In latter posts I shall show you some gem lab reports that are flawed and thus one has to be on the alert for these so-called gemologist.


Acknowledgement :


Icy Jadeite Jade Bangles

Icy Jadeite Jade Bangle
Icy Jadeite Jade Bangle
Icy Jadeite Jade Bangle

Hi Arthur

I have two very Icy transparent, heavy, perhaps old bangles given to my mother-in-law by her daughter’s father-in-law in the 60’s in Hong Kong. He is the owner of the Good Friend Jewellery and Antiques store in the Peninsula Hotel for some 30 years. I was wondering if perhaps you would permit me to send you some photos of those bangles.

The bangles seem to change color from greenish to bluish when view under different lighting conditions. 

Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to help and educate the eager masses.  

These are the two bangles with GIA report.

I would enjoy corresponding with you about jades that I own but do not know much about. 



Hi Rodney

You have two absolutely excellent bangles, smashing, terrific and very rare bangles.

GIA Certified Jadeite Jade Bangles
GIA Certified Jadeite Jade Bangles

Jadeite Jade pieces when come in pairs are very valuable. They are cut from the same stone. From the pictures there are also quite flawless, that is, I cannot see any crack lines or chips on the two bangles. They are well proportion, rounded and the two are of almost the same diameter. The jade bangles have some small streaks of bluish hue.

The Peninsula Hotel is The Hotel in Hong Kong, patronized by all film stars, mandarins and the high society’s elite of crème de la crème. Retail shops in The Peninsula deals only in very high quality, luxurious, branded and genuine merchandises. Individual proprietors having a shop front in The Peninsula will invariable have a personal cache of valuable jewelleries, of which a number of them are not for sale.

GIA Certified Jade Bangle
GIA Certified Jade Bangle

Together with the GIA report confirming that these are of Jadeite material with no indication of polymer impregnation, you are in possession of some very rare treasures. You write your own ticket if you bring them to China with the intention to sell or you can park them at Auction houses in Hong Kong for auction.

The worth of a jadeite jade piece is evaluated based on 3 factors. These are translucency, color and texture.

Translucency is based on the amount of light which can pass through a jade piece. Of course, the jadeite piece must not be of considerable thickness, like a big piece of carving where light has to travel through from one end and to exit from the other end.  The highest factor by the definition of Translucency is Semi-Transparent. In the lexicon of Chinese jade dealers, jade which are of semi-transparent is called ‘Glassy’, that is, it is almost as transparent as a glass plane. A jadeite jade bangle which is transparent, with almost no color in it, is extremely rare.

Jade Bangle when viewed in the back drop of sunlight
Jade Bangle when viewed in the back drop of sunlight

The other quality is Icy, where the interior of a jade bangle looks like ice, with some light splashes of color. Icy jade is also of high quality material coveted by many a jade dealer. Both of your bangles can be classified as Icy.

Color is the other quality factor. A totally colorless bangle, that is the absence of color or something that resembles glass, is a rare beauty and is very valuable. However, most jade bangles have some ‘vein’ lines or some small splashes of color in it. In fact, some jade connoisseurs valued these small splashes of color that add excitement to a jade piece.

Jade bangle viewed against a dark background
Jade bangle viewed against a dark background

Texture is the grain within a jadeite jade piece. The finer and more compact are the grains within, the more valuable a jade piece will be. A fine grain jadeite jade piece will contribute to its translucency. An opaque piece of jade can be dull and have little lustre.

There are no ranking for the 3 factors and they must be viewed in totality.

When your jade bangles are viewed under sunlight there will invariably change their color hue when you tilt them at various angles. These are due to the interplay of light within the interior of the jade piece.

Congratulations Rodney, your jadeite jade bangles are worth a lot in the market today.

Best of wishes


Icy Jadeite Jade Bangle
Icy Jadeite Jade Bangle


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

Cutting A Rough Jade


A friend of mine showed me a few pieces of rough jade cut from a small boulder weighing about 1.5kg which he bought from a reputable jade dealer for about US$200.  The crust of the jade was grainy yellow indicating that the boulder was from an in-situ deposit of a mountain.  There was a small area which has been mawed and polished.  The green was quite pleasing with some black spots.

A Small Jade Boulder Cut Into Sections

His intention was to cut it into small cabochon pieces and sell them to a jade shop.  He brought the jade to a stone cutter and shaved off a few pieces.  He thought that the whole piece would be the same color of pleasing green.  But this was not so.  The interior of the stone showed dark patches of black spots.  However, there were a few spots of green inside the stone.

Question: Did the jade dealer con him into buying a rock which showed lovely green on the small window while the interior was all blackish.

Answer: NO, the jade dealer did not con him.  He was the one that did not understand the jade trade of the rough market.  It was Jadeite Jade alright but not the imperial green type.

Rough Granular Surface On The Unpolished Jadeite Jade

When you cut a jade the surface is rough and granular.  You have to put some water on the surface to appreciate how it looks like when you polish it.  There are some greens no doubt but you cannot cut a decent cabochon from it.  There are still a lot of unexposed parts and if you want to take it further you have to cut it wide open.  It is your call if the cutting cost is low.

Unpolished Surface With Water Spread Over It

Rough jadeite jade is often sold with an open window.  Those stones which do not have any open windows can be expensive as even the seller has not the slightest idea of how the stone will fare when cut.  But they can tell you that the stone is of the mineral of Jadeite Jade.

A lot of these stone sellers are geniuses.  By instinct or by experience, they can identify a lovely spot to maw a window and polish it.  If the window shows a lively green spot, the seller still will not know how the whole stone will look like until it is virtually cut open.  So they prefer to sell the stone rather than to take more risks.

Most of them have been burned badly before when they started on the jade trade.  Most of these dealers have a dream of landing an imperial green jadeite jade, and thereafter he can live happily forever.  It just take a small needle to burst their balloon of dreams and their high expectation can turn into an ash rock, worth a small fraction of what they have paid for.

Many are die-hards.  There is always one last rock to cut, one more chance to take and one more spin to make before they run out of money, run out of friends and have to be on the run.  But a number of them have gotten smart too.  They prefer to cash out and let somebody take their chance.

I have my share too.  Look at the pictures below in sequence.

An Imperial Green Window On A Weather-Worn Jadeite Jade
This Jade Gonna Make My Day
The More I See The More I Like
Turns Up That It Is A Lemon

Excellent green on the open window.  I paid 3 Grand of Ben Franklin greenbacks for them at the Hpakan jade mines in upper Burma.

Subsequently, I sold the rock for $250 to an American gems collector in New York City.  And he was deliriously happy about the trade for rough jadeite jade of this size is rare in America.

You may have missed other posts of interest. To read them, please click on the picture

Current Prices of Jadeite Jade Bangles

One set of Jadeite Jade Bangles
One set of Jadeite Jade Bangles
One set of Jadeite Jade Bangles

Dear Arthur

I came across your site recently, and must say that I have enjoyed very much reading it.

Just like you, my mother and I are both jadeite enthusiasts; however, we have very limited exposure and resources to pursue this expensive hobby. So, our appreciation lies mostly in reading and learning about it, other than seeing the pictures of auction pieces.

Recently, a thread in a forum of my local town drew much of my attention. A mainland Chinese claims to have Type A Natural Jadeite Jade Bangles pieces for sale, at extremely high prices in Canadian dollars.

Out of extreme curiosity, I am wondering if an expert like you could tell the genuine nature of the jadeite just by looking at the pictures, and whether her claimed prices are anywhere reasonable for the stated quality.

Ann, Canada


Hi Ann

It is of course difficult to ascertain whether a Jadeite Jade bangle is of Type A, which is natural Jadeite Jade or Type B, which bangle has been impregnated with polymer just by looking at pictures. Even when we handle jadeite jade bangles and examine them under a 60X microscope a very experienced jade dealer will at most be about 95% certain, when the polymer impregnation is so well done. We have to scan them through an FTIR machine (you can read about it in my earlier post) to determine whether hydrocarbons (i.e. polymers or resins) have been impregnated into it. As organic compounds like hydrocarbon (C-H bonds or C=H bonds) is never a constituent of natural Jadeite Jade, the FTIR chart will be able to show the presence of C-H bonds or C=H bonds at certain peaks.

So it is unfair to make a judgmental call based on the pictures at the forum.


However, I can give you some posers to think about and you draw your own conclusions. These pointers are insights from experience gained from mining, cutting, auction bidding and trading in the real business world of jade as I was involved in all these activities. The Chinese called it literally as ‘One Dragon Stream’, that is, the whole business activities from the upstream mining processes to the downstream jade wholesale and retail business. It will come in handy when you begin on an adventure of collecting jadeite jade rough, carvings, jewellery or loose cabs.

Believe me, once you are in love with jadeite, you will be beholden to its beauty, texture, translucency and vividness of its color. You are going to need an adrenalin junkie fix once in a while and you will be itching to buy more and more jade pieces.

The picture in the forum shows a total of 5 bangles and the seller is asking a price of C$4,500,000 in a lot sale, that is, you take the lot as is where is. The seller is from mainland China.

Converting it to Renminbi or Chinese Yuan, it will be in the region of Yuan 22 million for 5 bangles, which is still a large sum of money in China.

No other information is offered except a remark that these are top quality bangles and can be placed on the auction block at major auction houses. Prospective buyers can contact seller through the forum’s mail box service.


All 5 bangles are cut from the same block of jade boulder. They are proportionately  cut, well rounded, of tri-color (which the Chinese addresses it as Fu Lu Shou, or Prosperity, High Status & Longevity, all the attributes of a good life) and the size of each bangle can fit into most Chinese ladies’ wrist. If there are genuine Type A bangles they are worth a hefty fortune.

If these bangles are genuine the main market is in China, where there are a lot of nouveau riche money bags and where jade collectors will pay top price for genuine Type A bangles. Why put them up for sale onto a forum in Canada, where the seller does not even have a website and is anonymous?

Current potential buyers of high quality jadeite are sophisticated, well-informed and most of them have ready-to-roll stacks of cash. High valued jadeite is a very tight market where buyers will look for seller/s when there are whispers in the trade that some high quality jade are on the market for private sales.  Or if these serious buyers go into a high street jade retail shop in Shanghai or Beijing they are not interested in the jade pieces displayed at the counters, they are interested in what you have inside your vault. A sophisticated seller sells more high value items in their vault which are kept away from public eye than on items displayed, which may be sold to a walk-in out-of-towner tourist or foreigner.

The seller who is in possession of high quality jadeite will get them to be authenticated by a reputable jade and gems laboratory. This will make the sale easier as these bangles are verified, tested and identified by third party independent gem labs. There are no such description in the forum.

The Customs and Excise Duties at entry ports in Canada is very strict for imports of jewellery items. A Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident or a tourist who wishes to bring in jewellery from overseas must declare such items, or they must have gem lab report done within Canada on jewellery items when they travel abroad, stating that their origin is from purchases within Canada and they are now re-importing them back as personal jewellery.  Are you going to risk such a lot of money to purchase such goods where there might be contrabands?

A sophisticated buyer of high quality jade may want to know who the seller is, or at least some information on the seller. One cannot expect a small timer jade dealer in China Town Toronto or Vancouver with a retail shop at some nook and corner to be in possession of such high value items, where his normal retail goods are priced within a range of a few thousand Canadian dollars. Does the seller who post his/her high value jade possession in a forum fall within this category of high end jade seller?

So you decide whether the jade bangles are genuine or not?

Best of wishes


Your Jade Bangle Is A Dud…



Polymer Impregnated Jadeite Jade Bangle

Email Question from Kenji of Tokyo:

I come to know your website and I told my friends’ mother.  She wrote in Japanese as below. She pay US$1,500.00 for the jade. She mention that the tourist guide said 100% genuine jade bangle. Please give opinion and a picture is inside the mail.

Shitsumon ga aru…Kyonen Beijing ni itta toki, nedan ga takai yatsu no tama ga katta no desu ga, nisemono ka honmono ha kakuninshitain ne !

English Translation:

I’ve have a question, I bought an expensive jade last year in Beijing, I want to check whether is fake or genuine, how?

Dear Kenji

Without viewing your jade bangle physically, I can say with certainty that it is a non genuine jade.  You have been had.

This type of jade bangle is impregnated with polymer to give it color and translucency.  In the trade we called it Type B jade, meaning that it has been enhanced upon and it is not a natural jadeite jade.

But it is still jadeite material. Jadeite jade is a very porous stone and can be impregnated with fine resin to make it look good and gorgeous.  Firstly low quality jadeite mineral is subjected to bleaching by strong acids as well as keeping it under tremendous pressure to open up the pores.  Then colored or colorless polymers are forced  inside the capillaries of the jade under pressure.

And, Presto! you have a beautiful jade bangle with vivid multiple colors and with excellent translucency.

I have purchased some of these bangles in my early years of buying jade.  You mentioned that you paid US$1,500 for it and if it is a genuine Type A jadeite jade bangle the price will be many multiples of it.  I am not saying that my conclusion is based on the price you paid.  It is based on the picture you sent me.  For a tri-color jade the price can be astronomical as the Chinese believe that this relates to the 3 deities of Prosperity, Longevity and Productivity.

Now try this simple test.

Put a thread over the bangle and knock it slightly with a spoon.  Put your ears close to it and listen to the pitch sound it emits.  If it is a genuine jade then the pitch and timbre is quite high and if it is the Type B jade the sound is just a thud.

The reason is quite simple.  Type A jadeite jade is not been impregnated with polymers.  Its capillary veins are still ‘free’ of impurities or foreign elements and when you knock it slightly the sound reverberates within giving it a high timbre pitch.

For Type B jadeite jade the capillary veins are filled with polymers and therefore the sound emitted will be a dull thud.

Note : Please note that terms and conditions apply as to the rendering of my opinion.


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