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A Superb Jadeite Jade Bangle



Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sales on May 27, 2014.

Price Sold: US$5,239,920 or HK$40,440,000

The semi-cylindrical jadeite bangle of brilliant emerald green colour and high translucency, inner diameter approximately 53.7 mm, width approximately 13.8 mm, thickness approximately 8.2 mm.
Accompanied by report no. KJ85156 dated 11 April 2014 from Hong Kong Jade & Stone Laboratory stating that the bangle is natural jadeite and no polymer is detected.

jade bangle

Source : http://www.christies.com/



Jadeite Jade Necklace Sold For US$27.4 Million



jadite-necklace dz


The Hutton-Mdivani necklace, which once belonged to Barbara Hutton, was sold for HK214.04 million or approximately US$27.4 million at the Sotheby’s auction on April 7, 2014, setting the world auction record for any jadeite jewellery.

A Cartier jadeite bead, ruby and diamond necklace once owned by Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton (1912 – 1979) was sold for more than $27.4 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Auction, held on Monday, 7 April 2014. The sale set the world auction records for a jadeite jewel and for a Cartier jewel, the auction house said. It sold for more than double its estimate of $12.8 million.

The item, which Sotheby’s described as “highly translucent bright emerald green color” and the “greatest jadeite bead necklace of historical importance”, was purchased by The Cartier Collection after what was reported to be 18 minutes of bidding.

The necklace piece consists of 27 graduated jadeite beads with by a clasp set with caliber-cut rubies and baguette diamonds, mounted on platinum and 18k yellow gold. The jadeite beads have an approximately 19.20 to 15.40mm in diameter.

Acknowledgement : www.sothebys.com, www.forbes.com, Photography by Ernest Yiu.

Imperial Jadeite Jade (Green) Ring


Hi Arthur,

I would like to ask you about Imperial (Green) Jadeite Jade Type “A” and also the jade ring I purchased as shown in the picture.

I was told by the sale-person where I bought this Jadeite Jade Type “A” ring that Imperial (Green) Jadeite Jade Type “A” is rare and of the highest quality.  I have not seen one yet.

The online website of Jadeite Jade mentioned that Imperial (Green) Jadeite Jade Type “A” is the best Jadeite Jade of Type “A”. “Only Jadeite with elements of Chromium (Cr++) are considered Imperial (Green) Jade. They are “Deep Green” in color.

Am I correct to say that in order to verify the authenticity of an Imperial Green Jadeite Jade, I have to send it to a Gem Laboratory to certify for the presence of Chromium (Cr++), apart from an expert visual on its color and textures.  Do you have an advise on any Gem Laboratory that does this test and states in their report the presence of Chromium (Cr++).

I dropped the above ring onto a hard cement floor.  Viewing the jade piece under microscope, I can see a tiny line but I am not sure whether is it a crack line or is it a vein line. The outer surface of my Jade ring does not show the crack line, neither do I feel any indentation at all.

Beside the Christie’s Auction House or other Auction House for Jadeite Jade, where can I find or buy an Imperial Green Jadeite Jade Type “A”?.

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards,

Henry K, Singapore

Hello Henry

Firstly, I have to clarify the oft-mentioned term of Imperial Jadeite Jade.

Imperial Jade is a trade term, the scientific name is Jadeite Jade with its chemical composition as NaAlSi2O4 together with the presence of some trace elements within.

The generic name used as pronounced in Mandarin is ‘Fei Tsui’ (literally refers to the color of the peacock feathers)

Among auction houses in Hong Kong, Imperial Jade (or Imperial Jadeite Jade) denotes those high quality Jadeite Jade with deep vivid color, excellent translucency (or semi-transparency) and very fine texture.  The color is mostly a vibrant deep emerald-like green or ‘fresh apple green’.  Other vivid colors like lavender is sometimes refer to Imperial jade too.

In China, the term jade (‘yu’) is used loosely.  All stones and minerals of ornamental or aesthetics value are referred to as ‘yu’.  However, Jadeite Jade is referred to as ‘Fei-Tsui Burma Jade’ to distinguish it from other stones.  Hence, if you buy any jade from China you have to be careful on the trade terms used there.

The trace element that gives a jade green color is due to the presence of Chromium 3+ or Cr3+ (Cr++ is something else).  Ferrous ion (Fe++) also causes a jade to turn green, but the green is the duller, garden variety type.

In gemology, a gemologist is not really concerned about the composition of various elements within the specimen.  Identification of a specimen is by means of various gemological tests like Refractive Index, Specific Gravity, Spectrum, microscopic observation, pleochroism and other observable and repeatable tests.  If one wants to know the exact composition of a mineral piece, then X-ray Diffraction has to be carried out, which is of academic interest to a gemologist.

However, in a gem lab we also used a spectrometer to locate the absorption spectra of a specimen.  This is the final conclusive test for a mineral.  In Jadeite Jade the absorption spectrum is at 437.5nm and a doublet at 690nm. (nm is nanometer).

I have noticed that in some gem lab in Singapore the lab report published the absorption spectra of the tested specimen.  But this is more of a show as the picture in most cases is a generic one and does not refer to the specimen under test.  In gem labs in Hong Kong, USA or European I have not come across this color spectra picture on their gem lab reports.

Hence, if a reputable gem lab verifies a specimen as a Jadeite Jade, the description of the presence of Cr3+ is immaterial.

Jadeite Jade has a lot of microscopic vein lines or pores within.  If you do not feel any indentation by scraping a finger across then I would think that it is not a crack line.  Moreover, Jadeite jade has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and is extremely tough.  For your jade cabochon dropping it on the hard floor most probably will not ‘crack’ the jade piece.  However, if you drop a bangle then it will most probably crack.

The 2 pictures you sent are of the same mounting.  Are they the same ring, as the color of the jade are not the same?  I presume they are the same ring you mentioned.

You can buy Imperial Jade from a lot of places, not necessary through Auction houses.  If you buy an expensive jade it is better to insist on a gem lab report and insist that the vendor described the jewelry as Jadeite Jade on their receipt.  Most receipts I have seen only describe the generic term as jade, as in Jade Pendant, Jade ring etc.

But beware when you buy on-line.  The description of the merchandise by a large number of on-line vendors are way off the actual goods that you are going to receive.  If you come across an item of jade bangle as described as Finest Imperial Burma Jade Type A and it cost only US$100, it is almost certain that it is a ‘fake’ piece.

Have a good day, Henry.

A Arthur

Listening Test Type B Jade Bangle


Hi Arthur,

I am confused with the information in the internet on distinguishing an A grade jade bangle from a B grade one.

I hope that with your extensive experience, you could clarify my doubts.

1) I read that jade bangles with ‘flowering’ patterns ie, where the individual stone crystals are visible in some places, are definitely unbleached. Is it true?

2) For the sound test, is the ‘thud’ of a non-A-grade bangle to be taken literally? I have struck a grade B (or maybe it’s C) bangle and it produced a hollow echoing sound, like ‘clangggggg’, but not a ‘thud’.

As for my other bangles, one gave an unmistakable A grade sound (so I sort of compared it with the rest), some gave a high pitched sound without much resonance, some gave medium-pitched echoing sounds. But no thuds.

What do these mean or rule out? Are they conclusive? Thanks for reading and your kind attention.


Hello Winnie

The ‘flowering’ patterns in a jade piece are the color of the very minute individual monoclinic crystals within a jade that is ‘locked’ in together as a massive habit.  They cannot be bleached away.  So whenever you see some flowering pattern it does not mean that the jade has not been bleached.

When a jade is bleached it will only remove some of the minute black spots or specks on the jade piece.  It may be hard to really determine whether a jade has been bleached by just eye-balling it with a loupe.

You must remember that ‘hearing’ the sound emit from a jade bangle when hit is only a ‘quick and dirty’ test.  This is especially useful when you are buying from jade dealers in a market place where you cannot run any gemological test.  It is by no means conclusive.

I have ‘listened’ to perhaps thousands of jade bangles throughout my years in the jade business.  I have ‘listened’ to sound as emitted from other types of bangles as well, examples are nephrite jade, lapis lazuli, agate, calcite and other minerals.  This is to enable me to distinguish other sound from other minerals and also to ingrain into my psychic so that when I hear the reverberating sound from other types of minerals I will be able to distinguish that there are not of jadeite jade material.

The jadeite jade picture above was a Type B Jade.  A few years back I bought 3 pieces of them at USD3,000 a piece from a known Burmese trader whom I have many years of dealing.  The reverberating sound is almost that of a Type A Jadeite Jade.  I was wrong and they turned up to be Type B Jadeite Jade when I ran an FTIR test on them.  Had I being right, then I could make a tidy sum from these 3 icy jade bangles.

So I blew 9 grand dollars.

When you use the ‘listening’ test, you must be aware that each jade bangle is unique and you have to use some judgment on your own.

I list some of the factors that you have to take into consideration:

1) The sound that emits from a Type A jade is a kind of reverberating resonance and not only a high pitch sound.  This means that when you hit a jade bangle the sound should be ‘clear’, ‘sharp’ and resonates within the jade bangle.  The longer the reverberating resonance the better the chance that the jade piece is Type A.  If it is high pitch and does not resonate then chances are it is a Type B jade.

2) The pitch and resonances as emitted depend on the cut, thickness and the ‘size’ of the jade bangle.

  • A jade bangle with a round inner diameter will resonate better than a flat inner diameter bangle
  • A thicker bangle will resonate better than a thin diameter bangle
  • A bigger bangle will resonate better than a smaller bangle.

3) The more translucent the bangle the better will be the reverberating resonance.  Hence, if you have a semi-transparent (note this term, as in icy jade) jadeite jade bangle, the resonance will be excellent.

4) You may have to test the sound by hitting it on all the 4 ‘corners’ of a bangle. Say, you start with a point on the bangle at 12 o’clock.  Then you must also test the sound emitted at 6 o’clock, 3 and 9 o’clock.  The main reason for this is that not all surface of the jade bangle may be impregnated with polymer.  There may be certain areas that a ‘manufacturer’ may pad it with heavy cotton wool so that polymers cannot penetrate.

5) You should not test a bangle with another bangle.  If one is the Type A Jadeite Jade and one is Type B, then you are only hearing the resonance from the Type A jade, while the ‘thud’ sound from the Type B is masked.  The best is to use an agate piece. (read here)

In order to acquire expertise in the listening test, you must test hundreds of samples and let the ‘tinging’ sound be impinged onto your psychic.  You may also have to test with known samples, that is, the jade piece must first of all be determined.

Best of wishes to all readers who may find the above post informative.  Do drop a comment if you have additional facts to add.

A Arthur

Jade Bangles & Carvings

Probably a Type B Jade

Hi Arthur,

I would be very grateful if you could take a look at the photos of the 5 bangles and 3 pendants I have sent, to see if they are Type A jade.

The sound test for bangle 1 & 4 are high pitched but not very resonant, 2 is high pitched and resonant, while 3 & 5 are echoing medium pitched. Not sure if this info is useful.

Thanks so much for your help.

Best regards,


Hello Winnie

It would be difficult to assess whether a jade piece is Type A or Type B just by looking at pictures. So I will venture my opinion based on many thousands of samples I have seen.  The comments of each of the jade piece is posted on the pix as caption.

Probably Type A Jadeite Jade

Please note that this is just an opinion and I would give it only an 75% significance percentile.  The only way to determine whether a jadeite jade is Type A or polymer impregnated is by means of an FTIR test.

Probably Type B Jade

However, I can say for certainty that all your jade pieces are Jadeite Jade because of the distinct structure as seen from the pictures.

Since you are from Singapore, I have a suggestion that will make your tests cheaper.  You can go to a gem lab to have it tested.  If you do not want a lab report you can ask the gemologist to run an FTIR test on the jade piece.

95% percentile is Type B Jade Bangle

A jade report from a lab may cost you S$250 to $350, however, if you just want an FTIR run then it may cost you $50, depending on the lab charges.

95% percentile is a Type B Jade bangle

These are the 2 gem labs which are reputable:

1) Far East Gemological Laboratory

2) Nan Yang Gemological Institute.

95% is Type B Jade Carving. I have tested a number of these type of translucency and color range of similar jade
Probably Type A Jadeite Jade
Probably Type A Jadeite Jade

Thank you for your interest.  I will answer your next question from your email in another posting.

A Arthur

The Color of Jade


An Excellent Green Jade earrings

Hi Uncle Arthur,

Reading the new articles, I have some questions. Can you help me with those?

“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.”

I understand this but I can’t imagine what exactly “darkish green” in here. Can you give some photos for example?

Can you make something like a rank list for the color of jade bases on their value? I understand that there are many factors which affect to the value of a jade piece, but the color is one of the factors I don’t really get how to value them.

Thanks uncle! Really appreciate for your kindness.


Hello Ivan

Color in a jade piece is one of the important factors determining the value of a jade.

According to some research on the perception of color, our naked eyes actually can differentiate as much as 10 million tints of color.  (I am not sure how this number came about).

The color in jade is determined by 3 factors.  These factors are hue, tone and saturation.

Hue refers to the vividness of color within the jade piece.  Hue in its simplest term refers to as ‘pure’ color.  In the theory of color there are 4 hues, that is, red, green, blue and yellow.  If the hue is vivid then each of these 4 types of color stands by itself individually.  Say, a high desirable green color jade has only green with no variation of other color. Hence, the more vivid the color of a jade the better the quality.

Tone refers to the brightness and lightness of a jade piece.  Hence the color green may be bright green or light green.

Saturation is the intensity of the color within the jade.

An Imperial green jade as viewed under a microscope

It may be difficult to give an accurate description of what constitutes a desirable color in terms of the 3 factors above.  The best lesson is from experience.  I have gone through a lot of costly lessons in learning what is the most desirable green color, as an ‘Imperial’ green color jade may be very pricey while the garden variety green is very cheap.  Dealers may use the following terms in describing the color green: imperial green, spinach green, pea green, apple green, dark green or light green.  These are generic description and is translated directly from Chinese to English.

A vivid green jade cabochon. Pix was taken under natural daylight

As jade dealers we evaluate jade under natural daylight.  In tropical countries like Burma, the best hours are between 10am to 3pm.  Natural lighting before 10am and after 3pm is too diffused.  In retail environment where you buy jade pieces under halogen or chandelier’s lighting, the jade piece will look much better.  Remember also that although yellow is not exactly complimentary color to green, a green jade under halogen lighting looks much brighter and greener than in natural lighting condition.

Garden variety green jade cabochons

Hence, if you are buying some jade pieces try to view the color of the jade under natural daylight.

Here, I posted some photos of what is actually a ‘lively’ green which gives the jade its value.  Those pictures with jadeitejade.com watermarks are my own collection.

This green jade cab is dull and 'dead'

There is no ranking of colors in determining the color of jade, as the scope is too wide to be really exact.  We do not use the color model of Munsell or Pantone as references.

Thank you Ivan

A.Arthur Lau


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