Investing in jade jewelry is a delightful experience, but the fear of acquiring fake jade can be daunting. Growing up in a jade jewelry family business, I've honed my skills in distinguishing real jade from counterfeits. So, when you're examining a piece of jade jewelry, the burning question is: is this authentic jade or a mere imitation?
Mastering the art of identifying genuine jade takes time, especially with the rise of sophisticated fake jade in the market. That's why our top advice for jade enthusiasts is to buy from trusted sources like Jade Artisan. But if you're keen to test the authenticity of jade yourself, here are five insightful methods to help you identify genuine jade:
The short of it: Real jade has natural variation in color and transparency.
Because fake jade is dyed the color is usually evenly distributed like plastic or like tiny balls that resemble fish eggs. Fake jade, often dyed, exhibits uniform color, resembling plastic or tiny spheres akin to fish eggs. In contrast, real jade displays a fiber-like color structure, reminiscent of hair or cotton strands, indicating its authenticity. Genuine jade can also exhibit a range of colors and shades, further evidence of its natural origin.
The short of it: Real jade is surprisingly heavy.
Authentic jade feels dense. If you're familiar with the weight of other stones, toss the jade piece lightly in your hand. Real jade feels heavier than most stones of similar size due to its density. Additionally, genuine jade often feels slightly cool to the touch, unlike fake jade which feels neutral, akin to plastic.
Also one top tip when you’re throwing a piece of jade up in the air. Real jade will feel slightly chilled. If it’s fake, you won’t feel any temperature difference as if you’re touching plastic.
The short of it: Real jade refracts light strongly, much more than glass.
Real jade has a natural gloss or sheen to it. Almost as if there's a thin layer of water reflecting the light as it bounces off and through the piece. In contrast fake jade won’t be radiant and will appear plasticity.
The short of it: Real jade is exceptionally hard and durable.
Jade, especially nephrite jade, is known for its toughness and resistance to breakage. One way to test this is by gently tapping the piece of jade against a hard surface like a countertop or another stone. If it emits a deep, resonant sound, it's more likely to be genuine jade. Fake jade, on the other hand, might produce a dull or hollow sound, indicative of a less dense material.
The short of it: Real jade is resistant to scratches.
Jade is quite resilient and resistant to scratches. Using an unglazed porcelain tile or the back of a knife, try to create a small scratch on an inconspicuous part of the jade piece. If it remains unscathed or shows only a faint mark, it's more likely to be genuine jade. However, if it scratches easily, it's probably made from a softer material like glass or plastic.
Keep in mind that these tests offer guidance in determining the authenticity of jade but are not foolproof. To ensure that you're purchasing a genuine and high-quality jade item, it's always best to consult with a professional gemologist or reputable jade expert. Buying from a trusted source like Jade Artisan also guarantees that you're acquiring an authentic and beautiful piece of jade.
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