Sunday, May 28, 2017

"I Think I'll Wait Until I Go to China to Buy My Jade There" - Buying Jade in China

I often get emails for people who are booked on a tour of China, and looking for information about jade.  They plan to purchase their jade in China instead of buying online.

One of my friends, a couple who travels the world extensively, just came back from a tour of China.  They went to the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, and then a cruise on the Yangtze River.  She was eager to show me the jade ring she purchased.  They are professional people, intelligent, sophisticated.  But that doesn't seem to mean very much when purchasing jade in China.  I think it's more risky to purchase jade while traveling in China, than it is to buy online, because you can't make a return from China when you find it out it's either not real jade, or you thought it was natural and it is color treated.

When I saw the ring was sterling silver (sterling silver is low grade in China), I knew the jade would be Chinese jade.  Burmese jadeite is sold with 18-22k gold.  It was,purchased in a government store while they traveled in China.  Of course, it was beautiful. She wanted my opinion, and I told her it was beautiful. 

Then she showed me the pearl ring she bought in Beijing.  If it was a natural Chinese south sea pearl, it was probably natural. 

When you shop for jade, pearls and other gemstones on reputable web sites, like, there are always disclaimers on the gemstones they sell.  The first disclaimer is that gemstones all look slightly different from the photo shown. Then there's the disclaimer that it's common to color enhance gemstones so they look as pretty as possible.  That's honest.

Buying in China in tourist shops is not. 

And when you show a jade shop worker your jade bangle bracelet you bought online, and ask for an opinion, what do you think they will tell you?  That it's fake, and they will even make up a certificate that states it is either not genuine, or not natural.  How amazing they can do that without gemology testing!

My friend is very happy with her jade and pearls, and since they are major travelers, it will remind her of her enjoyable China trip.  That's what is important, unless you are buying jade for the qi energy for wellness, "jade as medicine".  I didn't spent any time analyzing it, because it's her special token. 

My personal carved jadeite bangle bracelet, Qing Dynasty, I made a personal deal with the owner.
It tested as genuine and natural grade A jadeite. 
 It's safer to purchase your jade from a reputable online seller than it is in China if you are a tourist.  You have more options if the item you receive is not as described, or you get it tested by a GIA gemologist.  If you spend a lot of money on jade in China, and find out later it's not genuine and/or natural, and those qualities are important to you,  getting a refund is probably not going to happen.

And that's why Jade Heaven and Ying Yu Jade offer guarantees of authenticity.

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