Mineral Composition of Jade
The composition of Jade is divided into two different minerals. One mineral is Amphibole, and the other is Pyroxene. These two kinds of jade are named Nephrite and Jadeitite individually. Jadeite belongs to Jadeitite and consists of silicon, acid, aluminium and sodium. It is produced in Metamorphic rock and forms crystal which is compact microcrystalline. Jadeite usually accompanies Glaucophane, Muscovite, Lawsonite, Aragonite and Quartz. Besides, the hardness of Jadeite on the Mohs scale is between 6.5 and 7.
History of Jadeite
Jadeite was extremely prevalent during Qing Dynasty. It was collected by the royals and nobles in the beginning and then gradually became popular among civilians. Most of Jadeite antiques that we see at the present time are passed down from Qing Dynasty. In the Chinese culture, people admire Jadeite very much and regard it as propitious jewelry, which leads it to high value. Jadeite is a kind of gemstone with high price in the traditional culture all over the world and also becomes a new favorite item in international auctions. Nowadays, Jadeite is still considered precious gemstone with cultural features in the region of East Asia.
The Enhancement and Treatment of Jadeite
NaturalThe ores of Jadeite are made into jewelry through the process of mechanical cutting, grinding and polishing. Its texture and color are natural without any enhancement or treatment.
HeatingJadeite can be heated to accelerate the oxidation process, which will change its original colors from yellow or brown to bright red. This may be a slight or huge change of color.
BleachingThe ores of Jadeite usually accompany other minerals which form stains or colored spots in green Jadeite. Bleaching is a traditional technique. People soak Jadeite into plum juice, fruit acid or hydrochloric acid to remove impurities and inclusions. After bleaching, only green color remains, and Jadeite looks purer and nicer.
Bleaching and WaxingJadeite is placed in mild acid liquid in a short time to remove impurities on the surface and enhance its appearance. In this process, internal structure still remains undamaged. Next, Jadeite is soaked with wax to make up small acid-etched marks on the surface.
Bleaching and Impregnating PolymerJadeite is placed in strong acid liquid for a long time to remove impurities on the surface and internal inclusions. As the result, Jadeite becomes more transparent. However, the internal structure of Jadeite is damaged and becomes fragile in this treatment. Therefore, it needs to be impregnated with polymer to strengthen its structure.
DyeingMost of Jadeite ores are white, and Jadeite can be dyed to produce more desirable color. In this process, Jadeite is soaked in chemical dye barrel, and liquid dyes can infiltrate the structure of Jadeite to color the stone artificially.
WaxingJadeite is placed into liquid wax formed by heating paraffin wax or insect wax and then wiped with a cloth, which can cover the slight marks on the surface and enhance the best luster of Jadeite.
- After Jadeite is polished, there are still some small pits remaining on the surface. These pits will lead to unevenness and can be discerned with magnifier. However, they can be filled with wax which makes the polished surface much smoother.
- Waxing can be also used to cover carved grooves which is difficult to polish on the Jadeite carvings.
- Through the bleaching process, there are acid-etched marks remaining on the surface. Waxing can be also used to cover these marks.