Can more than one type of stone be identified as Jade?
The jewelry industry is currently dealing with a flood of serpentine, and other materials, which are often being sold as Jade. Much of the material is being sold through bead and stone suppliers. Some are revealing what the material really is, and some are not.
There are two different minerals which you may sell as jade. One is Jadeite, the other is Nephrite.
Jadeite is a semitransparent to opaque material. It is a relatively rare stone, primarily coming from Burma. Jadeite occurs naturally in white, green, yellow to reddish orange, brown, gray, black, and light purple (lavender). It often has a mottled appearance. Its’ appearance and color are often altered by the use of dyes (sometimes detectable), treatments with wax (detectable), and heating (undetectable). Natural discolorations can also be removed with bleaching processes or acid. Polymer resins are also used in treatments to appearance. Stones may be subjected to combination's of different treatments. Shop owners are required to disclose any detectable treatments. Chemical bleaching and polymer resin treatments actually damage the long term structural integrity of the stone. Dye treatments are seldom permanent and will often fade with time.
Nephrite is the other mineral which may be sold as Jade. Nephrite is transparent to opaque and occurs naturally in green, yellow, brown, white, gray, and black. It also can have a mottled appearance. It is found in many worldwide localities. Its’ appearance and color may be altered by dyeing (sometimes detectable), treatment with wax (detectable), and heating (undetectable). Stones can be subjected to combination's of different kinds of treatment.
These treatments have been in use for a long time, possibly centuries in some cases. Age alone does not mean a piece has not been treated.
A number of other minerals are often incorrectly sold as Jade, including Serpentine, Hydrogrossular, Idocrase, Chalcedony, Saussurite, and Maw-sit-sit. It can also be imitated by Soapstone, ceramic, and glass materials. The intense yellows and “candy” hot pinks we are seeing these days are often Serpentine, dyed to this color, then sold as Jade. A Jasper-like variety of Quartz is also being treated and sold as Jade.
All sellers engaged in the retail sale or resale of jewelry should be aware of what the Federal Trade Commission says about gemstone treatment:
It is unfair or deceptive to fail to disclose that a gemstone has been treated if:
(a) the treatment is not permanent. The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated and that the treatment is or may not be permanent;
(b) the treatment creates special care requirements for the gemstone. The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated and has special care requirements. It is also recommended that the seller disclose the special care requirements to the purchaser;
(c) the treatment has a significant effect on the stone’s value. The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated.
The disclosures outlined in this section are applicable to sellers at every level of trade, as defined in § 23.0(b) of these Guides, and they may be made at the point of sale prior to sale; except that where a jewelry product can be purchased without personally viewing the product, (e.g., direct mail catalogs, online services, televised shopping programs) disclosure should be made in the solicitation for or description of the product.
The entire text of the FTC guide in respect to advertisement of jewelry and the disclosures necessary for same can be found here:
As a seller, you are responsible for what you are selling. The burden of proof is on you. Your description should be based on what you know to be true. This may mean you have to describe beads in a necklace only as “stone beads with enhanced color” even though the beads were originally sold to you as “Yellow Jade”. As outlined in the FTC guide above, any misrepresentation of gems or jewelry at point of sale is serious business. It isn’t necessary that you intended to deceive in order for a problem to exist. Even if a misleading description was innocently created at the outset, the end result for the buyer can be the same. They will have purchased something that is not the thing that was advertised, nor what they expected to own.
Click Here to View all the questions in Jewelry Requirements & Guidelines
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