Whether you are looking for Monarch jade or Empress jade, it pays to know what real jade looks and feels like. Fake jade might fool the eyes, but it won’t pass other tests that correspond to the real jade’s physical properties. Today’s blog will teach you how to differentiate real jade from a fake jade, so you will be confident in buying jade from the department store or jewelry store.
Table of Contents
The Color Test
Genuine jade is forever beautiful, and when light strikes the surface of jade, you will see a reflection that is almost like water. This type of clarity cannot be faked with glass and other low-cost materials. Glass has a somewhat harsh reflection of light, with no character and gentleness. Real jade will reflect light with all the beauty it could muster from nature.
Genuine jade will feature both transparency and opaqueness. When gemstones are formed in nature, they are not ‘created’ literally, but rather, they are outcomes of geological and chemical activity that depend on a variety of factors. The inconsistency in the formation of gemstones produces gemstones with interesting facets and properties that are not uniform per sample.
Some jade can produce a mostly opaque visual effect, and this type of jade is real but is considered of lesser value than jade with higher clarity and fire. If you notice any gas bubbles or the phenomenon of bubbling inside the jade, it likely is a fake jade because, in nature, jade doesn’t develop any visible bubbling inside.
The Consistency Test
Like other gemstones, genuine jade is not perfect. Even the most perfect-looking specimens will have small percentages of inclusions when you observe the jade with a magnifying glass. This being said, you have to develop a keen eye for tracing the color saturation of jade.
You will notice minor changes in the color saturation when you track the color saturation of the jade. The color may suddenly lighten, before darkening briefly. These changes in the color quality will be subtle and are indicative that you are holding the real thing.
Fake gemstones (not just fake jades) will typically show flawless or perfect coloration, which is ultra-rare.
With genuine jade, inclusions like webbing or streaks inside the gem will be consistent, while with fake jade, there will be a monotonous consistency throughout the gem. We recommend examining a jade piece under intense artificial light or against natural light so you can see the inclusions and coloration better.
The Surface Test
Just as the insides of a gem may have an imperfection, its surface will show some minor imperfections. Fake gems will be super shiny and perfect on the outside – genuine gems will show things like rough areas, pits, and so on.
Take a look at the overall shape as well – if there are minor imbalances in the stone, then it is likely to be the real deal. Otherwise, it was likely created in a mold that will always yield the same consistent shape and angles when melted glass or other substances are poured.
The Density Test
While other gems are dipped in salt water or plain water, jade is often thrown and caught with one hand to check its density. Jade has a high density as a gemstone, which means it will be more substantial than it looks. So throw the gemstones lightly to the air and catch it with the palm of your hand.
Does it feel more substantial than expected? If it does, then it has a higher density than plastic or glass, and it might be a genuine gemstone. However, other gemstones may be passed off as jade, so use other tests to countercheck the realness of the stone you are examining.
The Touch Test
Jade is one of the most relaxed and most heat-resistant stones around. Of course, it might crack in a forge, but under normal circumstances, it will not heat up with just the ambient temperature of a room. To use the touch test on jade, hold the stone to your cheek, and check its temperature.
Does it feel somewhat warm, like the room? If it does, then the stone you are holding may be a fake jade. Real jade will stay fresh in most instances, and even if you place on your skin, it won’t absorb heat quickly. It will take far more than thirty-six plus degrees Celsius to heat a stone-like jade.
An alternate touch test would be close to your hand over the gem or stone and hold it for two minutes. After two minutes with just your body temperature, the jade should remain as fresh as ever. Again, if the opposite happened, be suspicious because the stone warmed so quickly.
The Tap Test
This test requires a verified, genuine piece of jade. Since jade stones have high density, they produce a deep reverb when they are stuck together. Jade stones have the same density, and if you clap two together, you should hear the deep sound that we just mentioned.
However, if you hear something like a dull tap, then you may be holding another material altogether, like glass or plastic. Keenly listen to the sound and see if the density of the two pieces is the same. If one has a lower density, the deep sound will not occur.
The Scratch Test
This is a physical test that might damage the piece you are holding, so make sure you own the piece before performing it. Hold the stone to best tested and try to scratch the surface with your fingernails.
Next, grab a pair of scissors and scratch the jade with the tip of the blade. If you were able to scratch the stone both times, then it’s a fake, guaranteed. Jade is harder than kitchen knives and should not scratch easily. Sure, it can chip if you drop it from a height repeatedly, but it will easily hold against softer materials in a scratch test.