How to judge the Bleached and Polymer impregnated Jadeite

Comparing the features of bleached and polymer impregnated jadeite (BPJ) and untreated jadeite, the refraction rate and spectrum will not present a notable difference, but they are quite different in terms of specific gravity, UV radiation fluorigenic reaction, melting point and high amplification. There are few methods to identify the fake ones.

  1. Apply a drop of pure hydrochloric acid and observe for few (1-20) minutes. If you find many small bubble beads surrounding the drop, then it is untreated. If you can’t see any or only a few beads, then it is the BPJ. The reason is that the nature jade will have poles however the BPJ has been stuffed with fillings so you wont see the bubble beads. Nevertheless, the ambient temperature and humidity are very important to the result.  If it is too hot, cold, or dry, then the hydrochloric acid drop might evaporate before you find the result.
  2. Using a microscope to observe the reflex. You might observe the filling on the surface of the BPJ.
  3. A UV radiation fluorigenic reaction. Most untreated jade won’t react to short wave UV. However the BPJ will have the florigenic reaction under the long wave UV. The blue white or Kelly color fluorescence is the result of the filling.
  4. Striking. The echo from the BPJ is more dull and uneven due to the artificial filling.
  5. Infrared spectrometer.

Usually, most jewelry labs will be equipped with these instruments.  Infrared spectrometers can easily identify the polymers which are used as filling, such as wax, phthalate and opticon.

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