What Are The Treatments Used To Enhance Jade Gemstones
It is not uncommon for us to receive queries related to jade gems at Directstones. With jade procured from mining sources, we do not have a problem fulfilling orders for custom cut jade gemstones but, that is not the topic of this report. We will like to bridge the severe gap in communication between jade gem providers and jade gem stone buyers on the issue of jade treatments. It is well known that an increasingly large number of gems are today treated to enhance their appearance, clarity, color or toughness. What is interesting is that, you do not hear much about the various treatments used to treat jade stones. Gem providers generally fear that clear disclosure of gem treatments will keep buyers away, this is a short sighted view and is not a valid reason for keeping buyers in the dark.
Almost all the jade available in the gem and jewelry markets is treated in some way or the other. Dyeing jade gems has been practised for several decades, and this treatment is very widespread. It is normally said that you can safely presume that the jade gem in your ring or other jade jewel has been dyed to enhance it's color. If you observe a piece of rough jade stone as it appears from the mine, some features related to the color become very apparent. Assuming that it was a piece of rough green jade, you will find that the color intensity (saturation) and also the green shade is not uniformly spread across the stone. For example, you might find a fine green color in one portion and an dark almost black portion, adjacent to the green. Similarly a darker shade of green could be right next to a portion that is practically colorless (white). When this rough gemstone is cut, you will end up with cut and polished pieces of jade that will also show these 'color zones'. Jade treatment using the dyeing process tries to bring a more uniform color to the piece of jade. In most commercially available qualities of jade, the dye treatment is combined with a bleach process. It is really quite easy to understand why the bleaching needs to be done prior to the jade being dyed. When you have a piece of jade that is a particular shade of green and combined with a contrast color (black, too dark or too light) - bleaching will bring the entire color to a pale shade. When this happens the dyes used to treat the jade stone will perform more effectively and give a uniform color spread to the stone.
We will remain on the jade dyeing treatment for a bit longer. We talked about green jade, most of us know jade to be green, but it is actually available in other colors too. Natural jade gems can be found in colors like yellow, lavendar, white, brown, black, bluish grey or even red - but the point is that such colors occuring in natural form is very rare. If you come across untreated jade that has these colors, the stone would carry a stiff price tag, something that puts it out of the reach of most gem and jewelry buyers. Dyeing of jade gemstones can provide such colored jade and at a modest price too. To give you an idea, if you were to go for an untreated red jade gem that was a 14x10mm oval stone with a moderatel good color - you could pay around 400 U.S$ to 800 U.S$ for just the gemstone. On the other hand a fine red jade gem of the same size and shape that was treated to get the color, would not cost you more than 15 U.S$ to 40 U.S$ for the piece.
Let us now move on to another form of jade gemstone treatment, this is technically referred to as impregnation. If you had to consider the effects of dyeing jade gems, you will agree that all that dyeing does is to enhance the color of the stone. But rough jade is often found with flaws that go beyond mere color zoning. Cracks, fissures and pits (holes) are found in most of the rough jade stone that is mined. In some cases these flaws or so severe that the jade has no practical use at all, a few decades ago this quality of jade was thrown away as garbage. Many gem manufacturers tried to find ways to bring life and use into this low quality jade, the treatment aimed to fill the cracks and fissures in the stone. It is for this reason that this form of jade treatment is sometimes referred to as fissure filling. In this case, resins, plastics or silica (glass) based compounds are used to fill the cracks and fissures in the jade. What actually happens is that, the jade and the filler reside side by side - they do not form a homogenous mass. If you are aware of the glass filling process used to treat low quality rubies, you would use the term 'composite' to describe a stone that is a combination of two or more materials. What you must know is that, fissure filled jade or impregnated jade is of a very low quality and should be priced very low too. In our above example of an oval 14x10mm jade stone, a jade treated with the impregnation process should not cost you more than 5 U.S$ for the piece.
Now let us talk about disclosures and assumptions related to the treatment of jade gem stones. Ideally it is expected that the gem provider disclose all details about the way his gems are treated but, reality is not so simple. When it comes to the jade gems, you can almost always presume that the stone has been dyed or bleached and dyed. Asking for a clarification from your gem or jewelry provider might be a good idea but, expect to know that it was dyed. The important thing is that, a seller should never try to sell a impregnated jade gem without informing (the treatment) to the buyer. Unfortunately this is once again not the case and buyers are often, sold such jade and at unfairly high prices too. There is no perfect solution to this problem of incomplete or non-disclosures, we would advise you to look for a reputed source and evaluate the provider before trying to evaluate the merchandise.
We have so far spoken about jade treatments and learnt that, most of the jade consumed by the gems and jewelry trade is treated. But what if you wanted a piece of jade gemstone that was not treated in any way, what would be your options. When you talk about untreated jade gems, they would fall into two broad categories. If you are blessed with a hefty budget, you could get a fine quality gorgeous jade gem that has not gone through any enhancing treatment. You could pay in the range of 200 U.S$ a carat to even 800 U.S$ per carat depending on the color, size and quality. Before you pick such a gemstone and prepare to pay the fancy price, make one thing very sure. Request for an authentication report from a reputed gem testing laboratory clearly stating that, the piece of jade has not been treated. The gem provider could charge you an additional 50 U.S$ to 100 U.S$ for the certificate but, it is worth the money. The reason we say this is because, a similar looking jade gem that has been treated to enhance color, might cost you just around 5 U.S$ to 10 U.S$ per carat.
Now an option for jade buyers who want an untreated jade gem but, do not have a big budget to spend. Many gem lovers believe in the special powers of gems, it is common for such believers to feel that an untreated gemstone has more powers. In this case, you might want to look for an untreated jade stone that is not of the finest quality, in terms of color and uniformity of color. You might be surprised to see that, a stark color zoning that for example, combines pale green and dark green colors in the same piece of jade can appear quite interesting and unique. You might have to pay around 10 U.S$ to 20 U.S$ per carat depending on the size and grade of the gem. On the topic of gem certification, it really is a personal decision that you will have to make. Remember that the 50 U.S$ to 100 U.S$ charge for the authenticiation test and report might, equal or even exceed the cost of the gemstone itself. A better way might be for you to take the time and find a reliable gem or jewelry provider, to buy this untreated jade gemstone from. We would however make an important suggestion here, do not choose jade piece that has surface reaching cracks or pits on the surface. Such gems might not appear very pretty and the cracks could expand and actually split the gemstone.
We do hope that this report on jade treatment proves to be useful to a broad range of jade gemstone buyers. Professional gem buyers are aware of most issues related to gems and gem treatments, it is the final consumer who is generally left stranded in the glitter and sales hype that is abundant in the gems and jewelry market. Directstones is not the only source for gemstones, we would suggest that you evaluate various options before choosing a gem and jewelry provider. Keep the above report in mind when making a buying decision, our experts at firstname.lastname@example.org will be glad to help with any questions that you have. There is no need to make a purchase from us to get the benefit of our expertise, we therefore encourge you to get in touch with our team.
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