Burmese Jadeite Jade Bangles
Jadeite Jade is one of the most expensive in gemstone in the world and Jadeite Jade Bangles are the most expensive form of Jadeite. Exceptionally fine quality Imperial Green Jadeite Jade Bangles can fetch over 5 million dollars (AUD). Because only a small portion of a large Jadeite stone can we used to carve into a bangle. It’s consider a spiritual stone with deep meanings for the wearer in Chinese culture. Jade bangles are made by carving circular bands out of a piece of mineral rock unearthed from nature. This rock that people traditionally know as jade or Yu (玉) in Chinese, are actually two minerals that look very much like each other. There are Jadeite and Nephrite. Jadeite is rarer, more desirable, more valuable and the finest source of Jadeite comes from Myanmar (Burma). Nephrite Jade is often confused with Jadeite because of its similarity in appearance. It’s a different type of mineral with different chemical composition and commonly available through out the world which makes it less valuable. This type of jade is often called Chinese Jade. Sometimes dishonest shop owners will trick buyers into paying more by selling a Chinese jade bangle as Jadeite Jade bangle or treated Jadeite as natural Grade A Jade. Read this comprehensive guide before making a decision to buy your Jadeite Jade Bangle.
9 Facts you should know before buying Jadeite Jade Bangles
1. Jadeite or Nephrite
Firstly, know which type of Jade you are going to buy. Nephrite or Jadeite, they are both real, authentic Jade but with different physical properties. Although both looks similar in appearance, the mineral compositions are very different. Jadeite is also harder and more durable. Nephrite is commonly found in large deposits around the world and it’s generally used for carving because of its availability. Jadeite is a much rarer mineral and therefore is more valueable. It is only found in small deposits in Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Japan, Guatemala, and USA. Commercially jadeite is only available from Myanmar (Burma) and it’s also the finest source in the world.
2. Imitation Jade
An Imitation is mineral that looks alike but has completely different chemical compositions. As an example, Nephrite is often an imitation for Jadeite, if it is sold as Jadeite Jade. But, there are other minerals that looks like Jadeite that are not even in the Jade family. Some of these imitations are: Chalcedony variety Chrysoprase, Grossular Garnet, Aventurine Quartz, Prehnite, Serpentine, Dolomite Marble, and dyed Quartz. These can fool the most experienced of eyes, further testing must be conducted for an identification. Refer to the table below for a list of common names for these imitations.
3. Value of Jade Bangle
The value of a Jadeite Jade Bangle will depend on four factors: colour, translucency, texture and wether if it has any treatments. Bigger size jade bangles are also more valuable because large rocks of high quality jade are very rare.
Jadeite comes in many qualities and colours. Not all Jadeite Jade are green and not all are translucent. Lower quality Jadeite are opaque and of less desirable colour. In the market where the demand for high quality Jadeite is strong, industry experts artificially treat low quality Jadeite to enhance their transparency and colour. These treatments are sometimes not permanent and may affect its general durability. The good appearance can deteriorate over time. Colour dyed Jadeite usually loses its colour with long exposure to the sun. Depending on the level of treatment, the value of the Jadeite drops dramatically. Treated Jadeite will not gain value over time like untreated Jadeite. Beware of shops that pitch their products as “genuine fine quality Jadeite Jade” and fail to disclose any treatments.
5. Grades / Types
Jadeite is categorised into four Grades or Types depending on the level of treatment. Grade A is untreated Jadeite. This type of jade has not been subjected to any chemical treatments. Often they are washed with plum juice and waxed to give a fine polished appearance which a traditionally accepted method and not considered a treatment because it doesn’t alter the internal structure of the Jadeite Jade Bangle. Grade B Jadeite is treated with highly concentrated chemicals (usually bleach or acid) to remove impurities then impregnated with a polymer to enhance its translucency. These jade bangles will lose their lustre over time as the polymer deteriorates. Internally, the jadeite structure has been damaged and it looses durability and will not withstand heat and pressure. Grade C Jadeite is dyed with a colouring agent to enhance the colour. The dyed colour is not stable and will turn brown after exposure to sunlight. Grade B + C Jadeite is treated for translucency and colour at the same time. Grade D is imitation Jadeite.
Jadeite can come in many colours: green, lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, grey black and white. As you already probably know, the most sough after colour of Jadeite is called the imperial green which is an emerald like green colour. Next is lavender jade which has a purplish blue hue.
Like many other gemstones, the transparency of Jadeite Jade is a factor in determining the value. Jadeite’s transparency can range from near transparent to opaque. Opaque jadeite bangles are cheaper and more common.
When valuing jadeite, the texture of the material plays an important factor. High value jadeite is fine or smooth in texture and does not have a coarse granular look.
9. Jade Bangles in Chinese Culture
Jadeite Jade is a symbol of wealth, health and protection in Chinese culture. The Chinese have treasure this gemstone for centuries because it is believed to bring the wearer wealth and good fortune.
Where does our Jade come from?
All the jade that we stock comes from upper Myanmar (Burma).
Colour Change over time
There are reported cases of Type A Jadeite Jade bangles changing colour over time from wear. It’s important to note that colour change in treated jadeite is different topic. If the colour change from green to brownish colour, it is believed that the bangle has been drawing negative energy from your body. On the other hand, if the bangle turns greener, the bangle has been deposited with positive energy over time. The process may take years to notice. It’s recommended that you take a photo of the bangle when you first wear it to observe the change.
Misnomers – Alternative / Trade names for Jade
|Burmese, Yunnan, Imperial Jade||Jadeite|
|Maw Sit Sit (Chloromelanite)||Jadeite Family|
|Chinese, Russian, Wyoming Jade||Nephrite|
|New Zeland Greenstone||Nephrite|
|Indian, Amazon Jade||Aventurine|
|New Jade||Serpentine or Prehnite|
|Olive, Black Jade||Serpentine|
|New Zeland Jade||Bowenite|
|Manchurian, Shanghai, Fujian, Honan Jade||Green Talc|
|Transvaal Jade||Grossular Garnet|
|Mountain Jade||Opaque Dolomite Marble|
|California, American Jade||Vesuvianite|
|Chemical Formula||NaAlSi2O6 (Sodium aluminum silicate)|
|Hardness||6.5 – 7|
|Colour||Green, lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, grey black and white|
|Transparency||Near transparent – opaque|
|Specific Gravity||3.3 – 3.5|
|Reflective Index||1.654 – 1.673|
|Lustre||Vitreous – Waxy|
Measuring Fit Size
Refer to this sizing guide on how to measure to find the suitable Jade Bangle for you.