Jade Jewelry

Wide Acceptance Of Dyed Jade

Jade is a pretty gemstone, it's visual beauty is enough to whip up demand for jade jewelry but, there is more to it. There is a significant market for jade gemstone jewelry in Asia, particularly in China and India. This demand is motivated by tradition and goes beyond the mere beauty of jade. Gems have been attributed special powers and properties for many centuries, the lack of scientific evidence has not resulted in any substantial shift in traditional beliefs. This buyer segment has two general requirements, the first is for the jade to be natural and not man made, the second is for the gemstone to directly be in touch with the skin. The second requirement is not a problem as design concepts and even custom cutting the jade can take care of that requirement. The truth is that, the jade being natural is no problem either but there is a slight twist here. The problem arises when buyers expect the jade jewelry to be moderately priced but, want the jade gemstones to look gorgeous with a fine even color and no surface blemishes. This buyer group now enters the mainstream of jade jewelry buyers who expect attractive prices and attractive gems. Gem manufacturers need to do a balancing act here and this report is all about that effort.

Jade includes two types of stone, jadeite and nephrite. The fine transluscent jade that you come across is generally jadeite, nephrite is generally quite opaque and is of a much darker shade of green. While green is not the only color in which natural jade is found, we will refer to green jade as it is the most sought after color for jade gemstone jewelry. Jade in it's natural form rarely has a fine color that is evenly spread all over the gemstone. This fact becomes even more apparent when you talk about larger jade gemstone sizes. Color blotches, mixed colors and portions of white color jade are often present in a single jade gemstone. Having said that we do neat mean that, fine color jade with even color spread is impossible to find. Miners ocassionally come across some very fine jade pieces but, their rarity allows them to wear a hefty price tag. This is surely note the nice colored jade gems that you see in medium priced jade jewelry, as the price point is too timid to pay for such high quality jade gems.

What gem manufacturers have worked on is to retain the natural factor of jade but, work on ways to enhance it's beauty. In most cases that implies improving the quality of color and keeping away color zoning from the gem. This has resulted in the development of dyed jade gemstones - they satisfy the requirement for the gemstone being natural, they are also more friendly in terms of pricing. The availabilty of uniformly dyed natural jade has worked to the benefit of jewelry manufacturers too. They can now produce larger volumes of jade gemstone jewelry where, gem requirements can be fulfilled by dyed jade that are fairly similar in terms of appearance and size. Going by volume of jade production you could assume that, more than 80% of the jade jewelry manufcatured uses treated jade gemstones. Without getting into technical details we would like to mention that, dyeing is not the only gem treatment applied to jade. Other methods like the fissure filling process or even simple surface waxing can also be applied to jade. However such jade gems are generally to be sold with specific disclosures of their treatment.

Now the interesting part, what should one do if the requirement is specifically for a natural jade that is untreated. Two broad options exist in this case, the first is for those lucky few who have a fairly big budget to make the purchase. If you fall in this category just find a jeweler who can get you one of those fine (and expensive) natural jade gems that habe not been treated. We would suggest that you insist on an authentication certificate from a reputed gemstone lab from the jeweler. The certificate needs to clearly specify that the jade is natural and has been left untreated. The jeweler might charge you for the cost of the cerfication but that, is money well spent. Since most of us would be working with a modest money resource, we could look at other possibility of getting a jade gem that is not enhanced (treated) in any way. If you are one of us, then be willing to make a compromise on quality, and the gem should then be quite affordable. Keep in mind that there are a few things that you do not want to compromise on when buying jade jewelry. Make sure that the gem is natural, the gem should not have surface pits that can be seen with the naked eye. While internal gem fissures might be quite common, surface reaching fissures could reduce the toughness of the jade.

We began this report discussing why dyed jade has gained wide acceptance. We ended up finding answers and went a step further to try and provide, solutions for jade jewelry buyers hoping to get natural jade that has not been manually enhanced, at a modest price. We do hope that you have enjoyed reading the report, it was a pleasure compiling it for you. 

Resources: Jade Jewelry.