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Fake Jades Jade Collecting Avoiding Fakes

Identifying Fake Jades

Description & eBay Examples

By Molly Kalafut


June 2009: Update - I've received a lot of wonderful feedback, including helpful constructive information, from viewers of this webpage, and I extend my appreciation to all of you. When I have time I hope to update this page with the information I've received, but it probably won't be anytime soon.

Also, just wanted to say, while I wish I could help reader email requests to identify their jade articles or potential buys, I don't have the expertise. I'm not an expert and it is difficult to judge from just photographs. This page is simply a hobby for me that I hope helps to steer others in the right direction. Please try to contact a commercial gem or jewelry expert. I hope you can understand, thank you.


Many merchants and antique dealers have a tendency to call any green-looking stone "jade", when it may really just be serpentine, glass or even plastic. Some confusion arises when the word "jade" is used misleadingly to describe something that is just "green". Sadly, a number of names for minerals are very misleading because they use the word "jade" but are not, in fact, either jadeite or nephrite. Listed here are a number of common fakes and fraud.

Here are a few ground rules and warnings about fake jades:

1. Just because something is green doesn't make it "jade".

2. Location names are almost a dead giveaway that something is not jadeite or nephrite.

Note About eBay: Be very careful when purchasing jade from sellers on eBay! As illustrated below in many examples, some dishonest or ignorant sellers are more than willing to use the word "jade" in many misleading ways. Try to make sure the seller specifies "jadeite" or "nephrite" and offers a guarantee. I even chose some of the good examples, like where it says "soapstone jade"...some confused or dishonest merchants might list their green soapstone as "jade" and not even say "soapstone". All examples were chosen from eBay on one day and are just a few chosen out of many examples. At any given time there are dozens to hundreds of fake jades for sale. Beware!


Afghanistan Jade

"Afghanistan jade" or "Afghan jade" is a variety of serpentine called bowenite, and sometimes called "sang-i-yashm". It can vary from white to light and dark green and can occur with black or pink.

"Afghanistan Jade" Example

Example of "Afghanistan Jade" falsely represented as jade on eBay

African Jade

"African jade" is actually a green variety of garnet called "grossular" and is not true jade.

"African Jade" Example

Example of "African Jade" falsely represented as jade on eBay

Agate Jade

Not surprisingly, "agate jade" is in fact agate and not jade. Sometimes the color varieties are misrepresented and called "red agate jade".

"Agate Jade" example

Example of "agate" falsely represented as jade on eBay
Even worse, this item's description very blatantly tries to give the impression that this is jade, when agate is not jade! "The ancient Chinese believed that jade was the essence of Heaven and Earth. Chinese people has a long history of wearing jade...This baby bangle is made of top Chinese red agate jade"

Alaska Jade

"Alaska jade" is actually pectolite. The name "Alaska" refers to the pectolite deposits found near Point Barrow, Alaska.

"Alaska Jade" Example


Albite Jade

"Albite Jade" is actually a combination white albite feldspar and green actinolite. It is said to be often made into bangles. Albite tends to give a white streaked look to the minerals that it is mixed with.


Amazon Jade

"Amazon jade" is actually a variety of green feldspar called "amazonite" and is not jade.

"Amazon Jade" Example

"Amazon Jade" is not true jade

American Jade

"American jade" is actually californite and not jade. Californite is a type of green vesuvianite that is also sometimes called green idocrase.

"American Jade" Example

"American Jade" is not true jade

Andesine Jade

"Andesine Jade" has nothing to do with jade and is just andesine.


Asian Jade

"Asian jade" is such a generic name that it can refer to a variety of fake jades, particularly serpentine.

"Asian Jade" Example

Example of "serpentine" falsely represented as jade on eBay

Australian Jade

"Australian Jade" is chrysoprase quartz and not jade.

"Australian Jade" Example


B. C. Jade

"B. C. Jade" refers to a nephrite jade found in British Columbia, Canada. The color moss-like medium green color.


Beijing Jade

"Beijing Jade" is sometimes glass misrepresented as jade.


Candy Jade

"Candy jade" refers to a hard white stone (not jade) that is dyed to various bright colors green, yellow, pink and purple. One website describes some as resembling saltwater taffy.

"Candy Jade" Example


Chalchihuitl

Be careful about this Aztec word! It is used in Mexico to refer to jade, butalso includes carvings of other green non-jade rocks; including marble, serpentine, smithsonite and turquoise.


Colorado Jade

"Colorado jade" is actually a green variety of feldspar called "amazonite". It is called "Colorado" because the Pikes Peaks region is a large source of amazonite discovered in 1876.


Dushan Jade

"Dushan jade" is comprised of saussurite, not true jade.

"Dushan Jade" Example

In August 2006 I received email from someone demanding to know my source for this information, and called my page a "misleading bunch of bull".  Setting the insults aside, the information on Dushan jade came fromR. V. Dietrich, Professor Emeritus from the College of Science and Technology, Central Michigan University. To quote:

Saussurite (also called Dushan jade, jade tenace, Nanyang jade, and Swiss jade) -This alteration product of some basaltic composition igneous rocks, or more particularly to their plagioclase feldspar component, consists largely of albite (sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar) and epidote and/or zoisite (both epidote group minerals) and commonly also includes lesser percentages of calcite and sericitic mica plus or minus one or more of the zeolite group minerals and/or prehnite.  Some saussurite appears macroscopically homogeneous -- indeed it was once considered to be a mineral species. - [Distinguishing saussurite from jade by macroscopic means can be difficult -- e.g., both its typical hardness and specific gravity fall within the range of those of jade;   thus, it is fortunate, and noteworthy, that saussurite is rarely found in pieces of desirable color that are large enough to be carved (etc.) so it has found little use as a jade substitute.].

Another website called "Chinese Jade Gifts" even states: "Nanyang jade: A kind of plagioclase rock with a hardness of 6-6.5 degree from Dushan, Nanyang, Henan province. So sometimes it is called Dushan jade."  Sorry to say, but "plagioclase rock" is a feldspar, not jadeite or nephrite.

If that isn't considered convincing enough, check out this page

This page is called "Jade Sage from Mt. DuShan" and clearly states "Dushan Chime (Saussurite)"!

Followup: The person writing in to complain is in fact...a seller from eBay. After I politely responded with this information about saussurite, plagioclase and feldspar, she responded with, quote: "It seems redicious(sic) to me..I don"t(sic) want to talk about this anymore i'm sure to get my point...It takes all kind and your(sic) one of those other kinds I surpose(sic)..Your(sic) so full of it that it makes me sick".  As I've said before, be very careful about purchasing jade on eBay!


Feather River Jade

"Feather River Jade" actually refers to californite, not jade.


Fire Jade

"Fire jade" is a poor quality opal and not jade. Interestingly enough, I've seen "fire jade" advertised on eBay actually representing what the seller described as "red jade glass pieces"...clearly glass, not jade in any sense of the word.

"Fire Jade" Example

"Fire Jade" in the eBay heading described further in the text as "red jade glass pieces". (Emphasis mine)

Fukien Jade

"Fukien jade" is made of soapstone, not jade.


Garnet Jade

"Garnet jade" are made of varieties of garnet and are not jade.

"Garnet Jade" Example

"Garnet Jade" Example

A picture of an item for sale called "NOBLEST GARNET JADE NECKLACE 4ROWS LONG" for $0.99 -- not only is it obviously garnet, but a true 4-row jade necklace with be 200 times that price.

Ghost Jade

Ghost jade is an interesting because while it is close to jade it isn't quite considered jade. It is a coarse-grained nephrite found in western Nevada. But it is too coarsely-grained to be considered true jade.


Happy Camp Jade

"Happy Camp Jade" is actually made of californite, not true jade. The name comes from californite deposits that were found at Happy Jack mine.

"Happy Camp Jade" Example


Honan Jade

"Honan Jade" is really soapstone, serpentine or steatite, not jade. It's even been described as bowenite.

"Honan Jade" Example

"Honan Jade" Example

Interestingly, this eBay ad for "Honan Jade heart-all natural" describes it as "Honan jade (bowenite) heart"

Imperial Mexican Jade

"Imperial Mexican Jade" is really just green-dyed calcite, not jade.


India Jade

The terms "India Jade" or "Indian Jade" usually means a green variety of quartz called aventurine and not true jade.

"India Jade" Example

"India jade" is not true jade

"India Jade" Example

This item is a refreshingly honest description of India Jade as Aventurine

Jade Tenace

"Jade Tenace" is really a white to light green mineral called saussurite.


Jade Matrix

Jade Matrix (also known as snowflake jade) is a greenish tremolite with some off-white albite feldspar. It is not true jade.

"Jade Matrix" Example


Jadeolite

"Jadeolite" is actually syenite, not jade.


Jadine

"Jadine" is really Australian chrysoprase and not true jade.


Japanese Jade

"Japanese jade" is really just white agate speckled with spinach-green.

"Japanese Jade" Example


Jasper Jade

"Jasper jade" is really just jasper or serpentine, not jade at all.

"Jasper Jade" Example


Jiuquan Jade

"Jiuquan jade" is a type of serpentine, not jade. It is green and can have black spots. It comes from the Qilian mountains of Gansu. The hardness is 4.5-5 and density is 2.44-3.18g/cm3.


Korea Jade

The so-called "Korea Jade" is usually serpentine, bowenite, steatite or many other types of green stone, not jade. Occasionally it can refer to impure jade. Sometimes it's even just paste.

"Korean Jade" Example

"Korea Jade" is not true jade

"Korea Jade" Example


Lantian Jade

Lantian jade is really a form of serpentine called tremolite, and is not jade. It is generally yellow and light blue and is much softer than true jade. It comes from Lantian, Shanxi...hence the name.

"Lantian Jade" Example


Lemon Jade

"Lemon jade" is a bright yellow variety of serpentine that is often misrepresented as jade. It is especially confusing because it is conceivable that someone could legitimately describe yellow jade as lemony for descriptive purposes. My suggestion is to thoroughly question the seller about whether it is serpentine or jadeite.

"Lemon Jade" Example


Longxi Jade

"Longxi jade" is really tremolite, not jade. It is usually found from the Sichuan Province in China.


Malaysian Jade

"Malaysian jade" is actually quartzite that has been dyed green or other colors.

"Malaysian Jade"


Manchurian Jade

"Manchurian jade" is just soapstone, not true jade.


Marble Jade

"Marble jade" or "Jade marble" is a misleading way to describe green-colored marble that is definitely not jade.

"Marble Jade" Example

These so-called "jade marble nugget beads" are actually made of plastic & acrylic, not jade!

Meta-Jade

"Meta-jade" is a Japanese glass jade simulant, not true jade. It is described as a "partially devitrified apatite-composition glass" and also "Iimori glass". It isn't as hard as true jade and can have a distinctive conchoidal fracture.


Mexican Jade

"Mexican Jade" or "Imperial Mexican Jade" is usually just dyed onyx or calcite that is dyed green. It is sometimes called "dyed stalagmitic calcite".

"Mexican Jade" Example

"Mexican Jade" is not true jade

Mihuang Jade

"Mihuang jade" is a light to dark yellow color.


Mountain Jade

"Mountain Jade" has been a misleading name for dolomite.


Nanyang Jade

"Nanyang jade" is really a white to light green mineral called saussurite, not jade.

"Nanyang jade" is a form of feldspar called plagioclase, and is not jade. It is said to have hardness of 5.5-6.5 and density 2.44-3.18g/cm3. It is produced in Nanyang, Henan and is also called "Dushan Jade".

"Nanyang Jade" Example


New Jade

The so-called "new jade" is usually just serpentine or a variety of serpentine called bowenite. It is a pale green color that some describe as "celery-like".

"New Jade" Example


Oregon Jade or Oregon Jade Jasper

"Oregon Jade" is used to refer to dark green jasper or green garnet found in Oregon and California.

"Oregon Jade" Example


Pectolite Jade

"Pectolite jade" is made of pectolite, not true jade.


Peking Jade

While "Peking jade" sometimes legitimately refers to nephrite jade, sometimes it is only green glass or an apple-green colored serpentine.

"Peking Jade" Example

Peking glass is just glass, not jade

"Peking Jade" Carving Example

The eBay comment for this item is: "Buddha head carving measuring approximately 12cm tall and 7.5cm in width carved from apple green serpentine sometimes referred to as "Peking Jade" by the jewelry trade"

Pulga Jade

"Pulga jade" is made of californite, not true jade. It received it's name for the deposits of californite found near Pulga, California.

"Pulga Jade is also known as Californite and is from Pulga, California which is on the Feather River where the main Pulga Jade - Californite was originally mined"

"Pulga Jade" Example

Pulga Jade is actually californite, not jade

Queensland Jade

"Queensland jade" is made of a variety of quartz called chrysoprase chalcedony.


Regal Jade

"Regal jade" is a variety of quartz called aventurine, not true jade.


Rhode Island Jade

"Rhode Island jade" is a variety of light-green serpentine called bowenite that is misrepresented as jade. It occurs in Rhode Island inside small bits of limestone. Bowenite was discovered in 1822 and named after George T. Bowen, a Rhode Island geologist. It was in fact made the official state mineral in 1966. Reportedly there isn't much limestone left in Rhode Island so it's not found too often. Two of the most known quarries are called Harris and Conklin Lime Quarries.


Rhodesian Jade

"Rhodesian jade" is made of verite, not jade.


Russian Jade

"Russian Jade" is usually serpentine, not jade.

"Russian Jade" Example


Serpentine Jade

"Serpentine Jade" is usually serpentine or bowenite, not jade.

"Serpentine Jade" Example


Shanghai Jade

"Shanghai Jade is steatite or talc, and not true jade.

"Shanghai Jade" Example


Shoushan Jade

"Shoushan Jade" (also called "Shoushan Stone") is sometimes called "jade". It is mined and quarried from a village called Shoushan, and is actually comprised of lava and crystalline ore. It does come in a wide range of colors but is not nearly as tough as true jade. These are most often faked as very elaborate 3-D sculptures.

"Shoushan Jade" Example

Example of "ShouShan Stone" falsely represented as jade on eBay

Silver Peak Jade

"Silver Peak Jade" is a misleading term used (reportedly in Nevada) for malachite. It's not nearly as hard as jade (3.5-4 compared to jade's 6-7). It is usually easily visibly different.


Siberian Jade

"Siberian Jade" is occasionally described as nephrite, but in many places it appears with "Russian Jade" and described as serpentine, not jade.

"Siberian blue nephrite (also called dianite) - a massive blue (diverse hues) quartz, tremolite, magnesio-arfvedsonite rock, the texture of which resembles nephrite jade from an unspecified location, in Siberia (Johnson et al., 2000). Dianite - name used, especially in Russia, for the material listed here as Siberian blue nephrite (Johnson et al., 2000, p.66-67)."

"Siberian Jade" Example

Siberian or Russian jade is not true jade

Soochow Jade

"Soochow jade" is actually a soapstone, serpentine, bowenite or steatite...definitely not jade. The color is usually green, blue-green to grey-green. The name comes from the city of Soochow.

"Soochow Jade" Example

SooChow Jade is not true jade

South African Jade

"South African Jade" is actually a green variety of garnet called "grossular".


Styrian Jade

"Stryrian jade" from is a variety of serpentine found in Austria.

"Styrian jade - rock consisting largely of an aluminous serpentine (sometimes incorrectly called pseudophite), plus pinite (name sometimes applied to massive fine grained mica, typically muscovite) and clinochlore (a chlorite). Much, if not all, of this rock that has been carved into ornaments and marketed as a jade substitute has come from east of Graz, Styria State, Austria - [inferior hardness]. Pseudophite - see Styrian jade."

"Styrian jade - an aluminous serpentine (sometimes incorrectly called pseudophite) plus pinite (a designation frequently applied to massive, fine-grained mica, typically muscovite) and clinochlore (a chlorite) that has been carved into ornaments and marketed as a jade substitute. A well known locality is east of Graz, Styria State, Austria. "


Swiss Jade

"Swiss Jade" is actually just a dyed-green jasper or a white-to-green material called saussurite.


Timber-Veined Jade

"Timber-Veined Jade" is actually comprised of calcite with some iron and received it's name from the vein stripes.

This may be a poor translation to English, but one website warns that this "this kind of jade will lose its polish right after contacting beer."


Transvaal Jade

"Transvaal jade" is actually a green variety of garnet called "massive green grossular" and is not jade. It has also been called "hydrogrossular from Bufflesfontein".

"Transvaal Jade" Example


Turkish Jade

Turkish Jade or Turkish Jadeite is a purple rock from Turkey that may have some jadeite content, but less than 80%.

"Turkish Jade" Example

"Turkish Jade" Example


Vesuvianite Jade

"Vesuvianite jade" is another term for californite and is not true jade. The term "Vesuvianite" comes from deposits that were found near Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

"Vesuvianite Jade" Example


Virginia Jade

"Virginia jade" is a green variety of feldspar called "amazonite" and is not jade.


Xiuyan Jade

"Xiuyan jade" is a form of serpentine -Mg6[Si4O10](OH)8- and is not jade. The rigidity is 3.5-5.5, density is 2.44-3.18g/cm3. It comes from Xiuyan of Liaoning.


Fake Jades Jade Collecting Avoiding Fakes

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