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Clarity of Jadeite Jade: Inclusions and Chinese Significance

Clarity of Jadeite Jade: Inclusions and Chinese Significance

Clarity of jadeite varies due to its natural formation. Natural jade will have inclusions such as cracks and spots. The fewer inclusions present in the jade, the more it’s valued because not only will the lack of blemishes make the jade more transparent, but the jade will be more durable. Jade with heavy inclusion will be valued less as the cracks and blemishes within the jade will reduce its transparency and will also make the jade less durable. This is because the jade crystalline structures are interrupted by patches of less durable latices, making jade easier to break at these spots if handled incorrectly. Jade is also bound to cracking if not treated properly. Even a small bump to the Jade can cause a tiny crack in the gemstone. Finding jadeite without any blemishes is very scarce.

When jadeite pieces appear "perfect" they might have been treated for inclusions. The image shows different levels of inclusion in a jade bangle.

Blemishes in Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, jade is seen as a good luck charm. Many Chinese women believe that jade is tied with one's body and soul. As a result, many Chinese women wear jade jewelry for a  lifetime as they believe the jadeite jewelry to be a ward. However if their jade jewelry breaks, it is believed that the jade took the harm that would’ve been inflicted on the wearer, meaning that the jadeite jewelry protected its wearer from misfortune. Although this is merely a superstition and may be explained by the inclusions in the jadeite jewelry, jade is still worn and bought as a good luck charm and for protection against misfortune. 

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Read on to the next post to learn more about other jade qualities.

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