At Worthmore Jewelers, we are passionate about offering our clients natural, untreated jadeite jade jewelry. This article is going to dive deep into the world of jade, one of the most fascinating and revered gemstones in the world.
Jade has been cherished all over the world for at least 8,000 years. Important to the ancient Chinese, Mesoamerican, and many other cultures, modern jade jewelry is only increasing in popularity over time as an exceptionally rare, tough (hard to break), and alluring gemstone.
In this blog post, we will explain the types of jade, the differences between natural and treated jadeite, explore the various colors of jade, and discuss some of the common symbolism associated with this gemstone. We will also highlight the importance of shopping with a knowledgeable professional (not online!) when it comes to purchasing jade and ensuring that it is natural.
The Two Jades
Gemologically speaking, in the US, there are two different gemstones called “jade:” Nephrite Jade and Jadeite Jade.
Although they are chemically different minerals, they share a deep connection with cultures all around the world.
Jadeite jade is the rarest and most valuable form of jade, and is the jade that tends to be used more in fine jewelry. It comes in a variety of colors including green, lavender, and red, with translucent “Imperial” green being the most valuable. Jadeite jade has an unparalleled translucency, superior hardness (resistance to scratching) to nephrite, and fetches higher demand in the Chinese jewelry market.
Nephrite, the jade of ancient China, has been used for thousands of years and is appreciated for its cultural significance. Its colors are typically white, earthy green, brown, and black. Nephrite is more abundant than jadeite, and takes the title of “toughest gemstone in the world,” although jadeite jade proudly holds second place. Jade is estimated to be 24-48x harder to break than a diamond.
Natural Vs Treated Jadeite
It can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to distinguish natural from treated jadeite jade without advanced gemological testing, which is why it’s very important to shop for jade at Worthmore Jewelers.
At Worthmore, the jade we sell has been tested and guaranteed natural, untreated jadeite jade.
'A Jade' refers to natural, untreated jadeite with a possible beeswax coating. In contrast, 'B Jade' is acid-bleached and polymer-impregnated jadeite, while 'C Jade' is dyed jadeite that usually predates the impregnation era. 'B + C Jade' is the most heavily treated form, which involves acid-bleaching, impregnation, and dyeing.
Unfortunately, many unscrupulous sellers sell treated jade (B Jade, C Jade, and B + C Jade) as “natural.” Not only are these sellers over-charging for their product, but it’s also inferior in every way to natural jade.
Natural jade is tougher. (Harder to break)
Natural jade is harder. (Harder to scratch)
Natural jade is more rare.
Natural jade is more valuable.
Natural jade is more durable.
And most importantly…
Natural jade won’t leak acid onto your skin, which B Jade has been to known to do.
Real Jade VS Fake Jade
Jade is one of the most commonly misidentified gemstones, maybe the most “ripped off” gemstone in the world. The high value of jade has made it a popular target for fraudsters. The most common jade simulant is dyed green quartz. Although it shares some characteristics with jade, such as hardness and sonority, quartz is less valuable, more brittle, and geologically common. It is important to note that distinguishing between natural jadeite jade and dyed green quartz can be difficult even for experts, which is another reason why it’s so important to shop with a jeweler who you trust.
At Worthmore Jewelers, our staff is extremely knowledgeable of jade and leans on advanced gemological testing and laboratory reports. Every piece of jade we sell is guaranteed natural and untreated.
Colors and Symbols of Jade
Natural jadeite jade exhibits a wide variety of colors, including green, lavender, blue, red, ice (translucent colorless), orange, yellow, grey, black, and white.
In Chinese culture, jade is considered to be a symbol of nobility, perfection, and immortality, and many different symbols are associated with this revered gemstone. Some of the most common Chinese symbols in jade include:
The Dragon which represents power and strength.
The Pi Xiu which symbolizes wealth and good luck.
The fu dog which signifies protection and good fortune.
The Ling Zhi mushroom, which is a symbol of longevity and vitality.
The bat, which represents good fortune.
The fish, which is a symbol of abundance and wealth
The Phoenix, which is associated with rebirth and renewal.
The peach, which is a symbol of longevity and immortality.
And many more! These symbols are often intricately hand-carved into jade pieces, making them not only beautiful but also imbued with powerful meaning.
Importance of buying local
There are so many treated and fake jades being sold, unknowingly, by online sellers and even some jewelry stores. As a jade customer, it’s important to be discerning and to shop with an independent jewelry store that guarantees the jade you’re buying is natural and untreated.
At Worthmore Jewelers, our jade is sourced from Mason-Kay Jade, which provides conclusive testing and certificatication of all of their jadeite jade jewelry.
Shop REAL jade with someone you can trust, because #YouAreWorthmore.