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Jade Bangles – Are They Real Or Other Variant Stones


A Translucent Bangle With Some Green Veins

Dear Sir, Reading in your blog give me a little hope that here I may ask my question to jade expert. Since here, in my country, is very difficult to find a real gemologist, especially who have a broad knowledge about jade. In this opportunity I would like to ask you about my doubtness toward the bangles I have bought several weeks ago from jade supplier. I bought two bangles which I myself did not certain of. Silly wasn’t it? The price was expensive enough for me. Would you please help me to identify whether these bangles are jade or just another stones. I will attach the pictures here. Thank you for your sincere help before. Best regards, Lisa.

Hello Lisa

Since you mentioned 2 bangles, I presumed that one is the translucent one where you took the picture with the LED torch light behind and the other one is the light green bangle shown by the latter 2 pictures.

The first picture of the bangle shows quite good translucency.  From the picture it looks like a bi-colored bangle of rustic brown and light green.  There are also some visible veins inside the bangle.

If this is the Type A Jadeite Jade bangle then you have made an excellent purchase (though I am not sure how much you paid for it).  Prices of genuine Jadeite Jade is increasing monthly as the mainland Chinese are in a buying frenzy.

From the picture I would think that it is a jadeite jade bangle, but I would not be able to ascertain whether it is the Type A Jadeite Jade or Type B Jadeite Jade.

Try the ‘sound’ test on this bangle. (Read here for more information).  A bangle of this translucency will have a very high pitch sound when you knock it with a tweezers or you a small metal ruler.  If the sound is just a ‘thud’ it may be impregnated with polymer, in which case, the bangle is just the enhanced common garden variety, which worth is about US$30.00 in any ubiquitous jade markets in every cities in China.

The best solution is perhaps to have it tested at a reputable gemological lab.  The best place is in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory in Nathan Rd, Kowloon.  In the jade certificate an FTIR (Fournier Transformed Infra-Red) chart is shown where it will indicate the presence or absence of polymer.

A Light Green Bangle On The Waist

For the second bangle, I would say that this is most probably a real jadeite jade bangle.  The color is quite even.  There are quite plentiful of this variety in the market.  I hope that you did not pay a lot of money for this bangle as it is quite abundant.  However, a real genuine jadeite jade bangle of medium quality is always better than a polymer impregnated bangle.

A Light Green Bangle With Back Lit LED Light

If you have more questions I will be happy to assist.

Thank you and have a good day.

A Arthur Lau

Is The Jade Pendant A Fake?


Is This Jade Genuine Or Fake

Last month my wife bought a jade bangle in Guangzhou costing her Rmb2,500 (around US$370.00). The seller start price for the bangle was Rmb5,000.  My wife bargained very hard for the bangle as it was very beautiful.  She knew from friends in China that the opening price of any stores in China was sky high.  The seller guaranteed the jade to be natural jade.  The woman seller then also included a green jade pendant as a free gift and she said was worth Rmn1,500 (~ $220).

My wife is wearing the bangle now.  I want to know whether is it worth it to make a gold clasp over it.  Thank you.

Charlie Y

Dear Charlie,

It is too good to be true that this piece of pendant is a free gift.  Genuine jadeite jade with this type of even green and translucency (even from the picture you can see its translucency) will command a very high price.

Most probably it is a composite material or high quality polymer plastic.  Rub it with your fingers (Read here) and see whether it heats up easily. Remember that this test is very primitive and only gives you some indication and not confirmation of whether your pendant is a crystal or plastic.

To send it to a gemlab for identification is too costly (at least US$100, depending on your locality) and to further put in money for a gold clasp is not worthwhile at all at this stage.

If you have any contacts with some school labs you can use ‘heavy liquid’ to do a quick test.

Heavy liquids are liquids with high Specific Gravities.  By placing the stone into a heavy liquid with a known SG you can observe whether your specimen sinks, suspends or float.  This will give you an indication on whether the SG of your pendant is higher, about the same or lower than the liquid.

For jadeite jade we normally use Methylene Iodide (CH2I2) which has an SG of 3.33.  (Read here for SG).  So when you drop your pendant into the liquid, you may have 3 scenerio as follows:

1) If your pendant sinks, then its SG is heavier than the Methylene Iodide and your piece is a Jadeite Jade.

2) If your pendant is suspended in the liquid then your piece is still Jadeite Jade.

3) However, if your pendant floats on top of the liquid then its SG is less than that of Methylene Iodide and your pendant is definitely not Jadeite Jade.

I will put up a post later on testing of gems by using heavy liquid.

Is this Jadeite Jade Or Plastic?


Rubbing A Jade Piece

There are a lot of imitation jade in the market.  They look like the real jade mineral but are actually synthetically manufactured.  Some are composite material and have the same Refractive Index as Jadeite Jade (RI 1.66, Read here) as powdered mineral of JJ are added on in the production.

Jadeite Jade is cool to the touch while plastic warms up easily.  If you have a piece of green ‘jade’ and am not sure of whether it is a stone or a plastic, rub it in between your thumb and forefinger.  Believe me, not many people do that.  Rubbing a small jade piece to determine whether it is jade mineral is really unorthodox but this is what we called the negation test.  You have to use all your 5 senses when it comes to identification, plus your instinct as well, when you have paid some money to learn the ropes and you have bought some duds.

Certain tests only aid in the identification and is not affirmative.  That is, you cannot be positive in the identification that your specimen is a Jadeite Jade, but you can rule out totally that the specimen is ‘positively’ not Jadeite Jade. Contrast this with my earlier post on “Gimmick Test Is Not Conclusive” (Read here)

This type of instinctive testing is valuable in the field when you are a buyer, armed with only a loupe and every seller tells you that they sell the natural stone. (Read here)

Jadeite Jade is a crystalline mineral.  It conducts heat away faster than plastic material.     If it warms up easily then chances are it is likely to be some other material than Jadeite Jade.

Jade On Cheek

If you have a small cabochon place it in your cheek for this area is more heat sensitive than your thumb and forefinger.  If it still feels cool after a while the piece is probably not plastic.  Caution: do not jump to conclusion that this is jadeite jade.  Remember this is only a negation test.

Other things to consider are the size and the thickness of the specimen.  As you go along you will be wiser when you are armed with some basics and fundamentals. (Read here for Fundamentals).

The above negation test also works for other gemstones as well to separate between natural minerals and plastics.

Good luck.

Gold Chain With A Weak S-Clasp

Gold Chain

I’ve subscribed to your website and just sent you an enquiry in your site. I’m sending a photo attached here to you if you wish to take a look at the gold chain. The pink arrow in the photo points to the soft hook.  The hook is so soft and can be open and closed easily. Do you know whether the hook can break since it is so soft and bends so easily.



Hi JH,

I would think that your gold chain is of 916 gold, that is, what we call 22K Gold.  The content of gold is 916 to 1,000 parts of the chain.

916 gold is soft and can bend easily.  Gold is also very ductile and malleable,

In material science, ductility specifically refers to a material’s ability to deform under tensile stress; this is often characterized by the material’s ability to be stretched into a wire.

Malleability, is a similar concept, refers to a material’s ability to deform under compressive stress; this is often characterized by the material’s ability to form a thin sheet by hammering or rolling.

So the S-hook in your chain is safe.

If you wish to confirm whether your gold chain is 916 or 22K gold, check for the hallmark along the inside of the chain.  Most goldsmith will stamp the gold content into the gold item.  Look at it with a loupe (see how to use a loupe in my post, here) or a magnifying glass and you can see the stamping of 916 or the letters 22K.

Wow! You have a solid gold chain.  With the price of gold at its dazzling height of US$1,211 per troy ounce, your chain is worth a lot of money, now

Warm Regards

A.Arthur Lau

Bangle With White Spots


A Bi-Color Bangle

Bangle With White Spots

Could you please explain why white spots can start appearing after one has worn a jadeite jade pendant for a couple of days?

The piece of jade looked nicer before these white spots appeared. Is the brown and greenish jade piece getting lighter?

A Baby Jadeite Jade Bangle

Sincerely, SH

Dear SH

Your bangle is the real jadeite jade and I would think that there are no polymer impregnation.  The white spots maybe due to some wax or some polishing residues that are left behind and the polisher does not bother to clean it.

Now you can clean it if you have a sheep skin or some leather.  Or you rub it with a velvet cloth and you will have a fine bangle.

Thank you for your interest

Warm regards

A Arthur Lau

Can A Broken Jade Bangle Be Worn Again?


Dear A.Arthur

Q: My mother broke her bangle many years ago when she slipped and fell down heavily.  But she was not hurt at all.  She heard that once a bangle is broken the bangle should not be used again as there may be bad luck inside the jade.  Is it true or is it just some old wives superstition?  Is there any explanation why does a jade protect the wearer or why does a jade brings luck to a person? Thank you.

From: Jennifer Wong

The belief that a jade piece worn on the body will protect the wearer from harm and evil is being ingrained in the Chinese psychic for thousands of years.  This stems from the belief that evil and misfortunes are due to the imbalance of the Yin and the Yang energy with a skewed preponderance towards the Yin factor.  The Yin belongs to the Night, to the darkness, to the shadows, to the negative polarity and to the female.  It is either good or bad but it is a necessary condition in the balance of the Natural Order of Existence.  Hence, a person may have the Eyes of Yin when he/she has the ability to perceive ghostly apparitions at night who belong to another dimension not of this physical World but to another ethereal World. This does not mean that the person has a lot of ‘bad’ energy from within.  This may be due to the fact that a person is born in a certain hour, date and place heavily silted towards the Yin. Just as in the macrocosm concept of the Tibetan Buddhism, where they believe in a cycle of existence, The Samsara, in which they are constantly being born, die and reborn, in the microcosm of our own continuum of our life time, there are cycles of positive, neutral and negative energies. These are the periods when one is successful, on a plateau or going downhill in his/her life time.

The Chinese believe that wearing a jade piece will enhance the positive energy for a person as it has the capability of absorbing negative energies from its environmental surroundings as well as negative vibes from persons he or she comes into contact with.  And when the negative energies exceed a certain threshold level where at one point when it cannot dissipates the negative energy fast enough, the jade piece will break thus protecting the wearer from absorbing the negative energies and harming oneself.  In bad times it is believed that wearing a jade may help to mitigate any unfortunate circumstances or lessen the impact of ill-fated events.

This is part of the metaphysical explanation where you cannot prove it nor can anyone disproof it.  It will be up to the individual to believe it or not.

Now once the jade is broken it has dissipated the negative energy.  Therefore, it goes back to its original state of existence, that is, the yang energy is still retained within its structure.  Hence, (at least I have heard from many sources from the older generation) the jade can still be worn.

I would suggest that if your mother loves this jade she can take it to a jeweler to have a bridging gold clasp to join the 2 broken parts.  Of you can take the 2 pieces of broken jade and re-cut it to some small carvings like a cucumber, which is very popular as a pendant.

Anyway, buy another bangle for your mother.  An old lady should wear a bangle.  From the practical point of view, a jade bangle does protect the wearer from any hard fall.  When a person slips it is a natural reaction to break the fall by extending the waist and hand to lessen the impact.  Jade is a hard mineral and it has excellent toughness within its molecular structure.  Thus, it will absorb the force first on impact and the wearer is protected against the hard fall.

Be careful that you must buy a Type A natural Jadeite Jade for it to be ‘effective’.  The polymer impregnated Type B Jadeite Jade has been enhanced upon and its structure has been altered and therefore it will not be ‘effective’. (The difference between Type A and Type B Jadeite Jade will be posted later.)

Incidentally, there are many of my clients who wore jade and could not explain why their jade pieces were broken mysteriously when they did not knock it against other objects or drop it on a hard floor.  I would think that the answer is quite simple: “Why ponder over the imponderables when even if you did find a plausible explanation you cannot say whether it is ‘true’ or not. Recite your own mantra of thanks and forgiveness to your God that somehow you are in HIS grace and thus you are being protected from all evil and harm.”


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