Friday, December 4, 2015

How do I know if my jade is "real"?

I often get the question "is my jade real".  And I often get unsolicited photos of a jade piece with the sender asking me to "tell me about it".  A very difficult task.

The only way I know if the jade I sell is "real jade" is by testing it with a refraction tester. 
Most jewelry stores have a gemologist (GIA is the "gold standard" for gemologists") and they can usually test your jadeite to let you know if it is truly jadeite.  Most gemologists don't know about or acknowledge Chinese jade as being a gemstone, and their standard  jade is nephrite.  So they can test Burmese jadeite, or Guatamala jadeite, and nephrite.  And that's what you should do if you really want to know what your jade is.

A couple of years ago a woman sent me a photo of a blue bangle she found when going through her mother's things after she died.  She thought it was jade because her mother loved jade.  But she couldn't find anything online about blue jade, other than it's usually fake jade.  She told me she took it to a Chinatown store that sold jade and was offered $20 for it.
There was "something" about that photo that made me think it was really jadeite.  I recommended she get it tested by a gemologist.  She found a gemologist in her jewelry store, and amazingly, it was jadeite.  The gemologist consulted with a Chinese person whose knowledge he trusted about jade, and was told the most interesting things about blue jadeite.  Neither had an idea of the value, so I suggested she take it to an international auction business.  They valued it at $500,000. 

Now that's a good reason to get your jade tested.

The other part of "is my jade real" concerns if it's natural color.  And yes, color treated B and C grade jade is "real".  Most gemstones are color enhanced to make them pretty, and jade is also.  It's still real jade when it's color treated, because refraction proves it.

Do you you think these two jade bangle bracelets are  "real" jadeite?  Do you think either of them is color treated?  Why?

Comments can be written below.  You won't see them right away, I have to log in and accept comments, but next blog will discuss them. 


  1. I don't know that you can tell from a photo which is real jadeite.

  2. #1 is definitely real and not colored. Isn't that your "everyday bangle"? #2 I would say is real and may be color treated. Or maybe not.
    Pamela Pierce