Jadeite

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Jade has been treasured for some 7,000 years for its unique luster, lovely color and impeccable toughness. This precious gem has always had special significance in many Asian cultures, and can be compared to the West's admiration of diamonds and gold. For centuries, nephrite jade and jadeite were considered one and the same. It was not until 1863 that they were identified as different minerals with a similar appearance and properties.

Jadeite Polished
Jadeite Classification
Common Name Jadeite
Species Jadeite
Jadeite Optical Properties
Transparency Semitransparent - Opaque
Dispersion Strength: None
Refractive Index 1.654-1.693 Tolerance: (+0.008/-0.008)
Birefringence 0.013- 20.000
Polariscope Reaction Aggregate (AGG)
Fluorescence SWUV: Variable
LWUV: Variable
CCF Reaction Red if dyed; Green untreated
Pleochroism None
Jadeite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7
Streak White
Specific Gravity 3.250-3.400 Typical:3.340
Toughness Excellent
Inclusions Jadeite is made up tightly packed crystals and you might see the crystals sparkle on areas that have not been polished on larger-grained items. Stone often are unevenly colored with root like mottling. If the item is dyed it might be possible to see dye concentrations. Dyed jadeite is usually unevenly colored but sometimes you might be able to see dye concentrations under magnification. You might observe the orange peel effect on older pieces due to differential hardness of the stone. The use of modern polishing compounds has all but eliminated the orange peel problem.
Luster Vitreous, Greasy
Stability Good
Fracture Splintery, Granular, Subconchodial, Uneven
Cleavage None
Jadeite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name sodium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula Na(Al, Fe) Si2O6
Crystal System Monoclinic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Jadeite Colors

  • Purple Jadeite Purple
  • Blue Jadeite Blue
  • Bi-color Jadeite Bi-color
  • Black Jadeite Black
  • Brown Jadeite Brown
  • Gray Jadeite Gray
  • Green Jadeite Green
  • Orange Jadeite Orange
  • Red Jadeite Red
  • Pink Jadeite Pink
  • White Jadeite White
  • Yellow Jadeite Yellow

Jadeite Spectra

Jadeite Spectra
GREEN JADEITE

Color due to iron and chromium. An intense light source is necessary to transmit sufficient light through most jadeite specimens unless they are fairly thin sections. There is a strong absorption line at 437nm. due to iron with the narrower one alongside at 433nm. The remainder of the spectrum is freely transmitted except for the strong narrow band centered at 691nm. due to chromium

Jewelry Television acknowledges the significant scientific contributions of John S Harris, FGA to the study of gemstone spectra and with deep appreciation to him, acknowledges the use of his images and related notes about gemstones and their spectra in the educational materials on this website.

Alternate Names

Jade

Countries of Origin

Myanmar; Kazakhstan; Oman; Greece; China; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Guatemala; Poland; Slovakia; France; Colombia; United States of America (the); Japan; Dominican Republic (the); Uzbekistan; Switzerland; India; Spain; Canada; Cuba; Turkey; Norway; Italy; Lao People's Democratic Republic (the); Mexico; Antarctica; Germany; Indonesia

Care

Normal care is fine for untreated material. Treated material avoid strong light, heat, chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaners.

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Species/Variety

Maw-Sit-Sit

Maw-sit-sit is a rock composed primarily of kosmochlor with varying combinations and amounts of other minerals. Due to its close resemblance to jade, it was believed to be a variety of jade up until the 1960s. This gem is opaque saturated green with dark green to black veining or mottling.

Maw-Sit-Sit Jadeite
Maw-Sit-Sit Classification
Common Name Maw-Sit-Sit
Maw-Sit-Sit Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 2.460
Toughness Good

Enhancement

Type "B" Jade Bleached and Stabilized

The term, "type-B jade," refers to the enhancement that a jadeite jade gem has undergone. In This case, the jadeite has been bleached to remove unattractive brown staining, then stabilized with polymer resin. Untreated jadeite, that may or not have had wax applied to its surface, is called, "type-A."

Type
Type "B" Jade Bleached and Stabilized Classification
Common Name Type "B" Jade Bleached and Stabilized
Type "B" Jade Bleached and Stabilized Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 3.25
Toughness Good
Inclusions Type B jadeite has been bleached in acid to remove staining and then it has been impregnated with wax or polymers. It will show etch boundaries between the individual crystal grains.Advanced lab testing is usually required to detect polymer impregnation. 1.666 1.680 False (+0.008/-0.008) 1.666-1.68
Tolerance:(+0.008/-0.008) Appearance, RI, spectrum, SG and magnification.

Type-C Jade

The term, "type-C jade," refers to the enhancement that a jadeite jade gem has undergone. In This case, the jadeite has been bleached to remove unattractive brown staining, then stabilized with polymer resin, and finally dyed to improve or change its color.

Type-C Jade Jadeite
Type-C Jade Classification
Common Name Type-C Jade
Type-C Jade Optical Properties
Refractive Index 1.666-1.68
Tolerance:(+0.008/-0.008)
Pleochroism Unobservable
Type-C Jade Characteristic Physical properties
Specific Gravity 3.25
Toughness Good
Inclusions Dyed jadeite is usually unevenly colored but sometimes you might be able to see dye concentrations under magnification. Type C jadeite has been bleached with acid to remove staining then dyed and often been impregnated with wax or polymers. Hopefully the dye is apparent in surface reaching cracks. Be careful not to confuse this with the color streaks in natural jadeite. It will show etch boundaries between the individual crystal grains.Advanced lab testing is usually required to detect polymer impregnation.
Tim Matthews

Author

Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.