Help figuring out authentic jade?

Yesterday as a gift my uncle took me to a jewelry store (in vietnam). I’ve always wanted to own a jade bangle so he bought me one. He asked the shop keeper if it was real jade. The shop keeper answered truthfully and said that he’s not sure but is mostly likely fake and that it is impossible in vietnam to buy authentic jade. So we bought it anyway because I still fancied it. The jade was about $30 but because my uncle knows the shop keeper he sold it to us for $12. I was a little disappointed when the shop keeper told me it could be a fake so when we got home I tried a few tests. I tried the fingernail one( the surface felt smooth on my finger nail), the bangle was quite heavy, I scratched it with a knife…but no mark and my grandma told me that if you tie a strand of hair on the bangle and burn it with a lighter it may determine whether it’s real or fake. So we tried that but the hair didn’t burn away it was still there. However the bangle takes a while to become cool again once you hold onto it. I haven’t tried the sound test. But apparently it works well with a jade stick. Unfortunately I can’t take pictures of it because I forgot to pack my adapter but I can give you a reference picture of what it looks like.

http://www.mychinaskymall.com/Jades/JBG%%E2%80%A6

(it kinda looks like that)

I know it’s difficult to determine if my bangle is real or not with a brief description and a reference picture. But either its a really good copy or a type B jade?

(oh and the jade is semi translucent)

1 Answer

  • Note: the link for the picture doesn’t work…

    It sounds like your object is definitely real stone of some sort, or possibly glass. If the material was really soft, really light, and/or burned or melted in a flame, this would indicate a plastic fake. The hair test measures thermal conductivity; plastic is not as good at conducting heat away from the hair as stones are, so the hair would burn with plastic.

    There are a lot of green stones that may resemble jade. Firstly, there are two types of jade: jadeite and nephrite. Both are minerals formed in metamorphic environments. Nephrite is more common, but both are usually considered real jade. Both are very hard (Mohs hardness 6-7) and will resist scratching by a knife.

    Other green stones sometimes sold as jade include serpentine group minerals like antigorite, and green varieties of quartz (chrysoprase or aventurine), and occasionally green glass.

    However, serpentine minerals tend to be softer than steel, so these can be ruled out for your piece.

    Bubbles in the piece would strongly suggest glass. Glass is about the same hardness as steel. A broken surface would have a smooth, shiny, circular fracture, whereas most other minerals (like jade and quartz) would be somewhat more grainy when broken (this is because glass is amorphous whereas minerals are crystalline). Without a broken/chipped surface, it’s hard to rule out glass, but I wouldn’t damage the piece just to make this test.

    Quartz is also difficult to rule out without more complicated tests. It is hardness 7, so it also resists scratching by a knife.

    In conclusion, I think that you have either real jade, or natural quartz, or glass. A jeweler might be able to help you further.

Leave a Comment