Why Did My Jade Bangle Bracelet Change Color?

I often receive emails from people who ask "why did my jade bangle bracelet change color?". Some people describe their jade getting darker, or spotty.  Sometimes a jade bangle  that had varied color veins turns all the same color.  And sometimes it changes to clear with spots.

There are several reasons.

If the jade piece is natural color and genuine, and it changes color, it could be because of the way it was stored.  Jade should be stored in a dark place, with moisture.  If you go shopping in a jade store, and the jade is on a counter in bright light, that's not good for the jade.  The bright light, especially if it is dry, like air conditioned, will make jade fragile and destroy the color.  In fact, many gemstones also lose their beautiful natural color if they are not handled properly.

A woman told me she put her jade bangle in her jewelry cleaner while she was cleaning her diamonds, and it has never looked the same.  The chemicals in jewelry cleaner will damage the jade.  Use only warm water and soap to clean your jade.  You can wear your jade in the shower, in the pool, that's OK.  But never let your jade be exposed to the direct sunlight.

In China, the best jade shops are dark when you enter. When you start shopping, a soft light is on.  And you see bowls of water in every space to keep the humidity up for the jade. 

Another reason jade may change color is because it is already color treated, making it B or C grade.  Color treating is usually first washing with acids, then adding color, like polymer color.  Over time, the acid that stays in the jade eats away at the color.  In fact, the acid can burn your skin over time. 

Color treated B and C grade jade is still "real jade", but sometimes the color is not stable. 

Chinese jade is almost always kept natural and not color treated.  That may be changing as the good green Chinese jade is becoming less available, but most of it is natural.

I keep my jade bangle bracelets in a drawer in a chest or jewelry amoire.  The weather in Florida is humid so there's enough moisture in the air for the jade. 

You might notice in some of the descriptions that the jade bangle on this web site is older than 10 years.  I have kept the jade bangle bracelets that I really like but not sure if they are natural color in storage for a long time before putting them online.  If the color doesn't change in 8-10 years, that indicates it is natural color.

Take care of your jade for it to keep looking good.  If you wear your jade bangle all the time, and you treat yourself well, you are probably taking good care of your jade, too.

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