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What is the Difference Between Jade and Jadeite?

June 05, 2016 JBB Blog

People often ask what is the difference between jade and jadeite.

They are two different minerals and test differently on refraction, Moh's hardness, and density.  

Chinese jade can be nephrite or serpentine.  The most common jade in China is referred to "China's National Jade".  Most mines are owned by the China government.  Chinese jade has a lower chance of being color enhanced because there is a lot of variation in the natural color, and it is so beautiful it doesn't need color treatments.  Some Chinese jade is near rivers and gets great variation in color from the minerals in the water.  Chinese doctors and healers often use jade and the colored jade for balancing the body meridians so the qi energy flows smoothly for good health.

Jadeite is found mostly in Burma, Myanmar, and often referred to as Burma Jade, or Burmese.  The other country that mines jadeite is Guatamala, and it has a different appearance from Burmese jadeite.  Burmese jadeite is the jade that is surrounded by "drama": being color treated, coated.  Most gems like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, tanzanite, are color treated to make them look deeper and more pretty.  Jadeite is often bleached with acid and color treated because the jade that is now available in Burma is not very green, has lots of dark spots and has no commercial value because it doesn't even look like jade.  That's why it is color treated.  Color treating does not make it "fake", it is still "real jade".  And some jadeite is coated to make it look more green. There is so much incorrect information about jadeite online, and it is very confusing for people to understand about jadeite.

 The only way to really know if jade and jadeite is "real" is to get a gemology testing.  And if you visit China, you can't wear your jade bangle and have a person in a jade shop "test" it for you.  They will always tell you your jade is fake, or color treated, and try to sell you "real jade".  

More about color treating jadeite in future blog.  


JBB Jadeite Bangle Bracelet JBB715 with Certificate of Gemology Testing

 

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