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What is Jade: Jade Gemstone vs Jade Imitations

What is Jade: Jade Gemstone vs Jade Imitations

When most people think of jade, they think of China because of the cultural and traditional artistry of jade in the country. Even though it has been used outside of Imperial China for ornamental objects, tools, and weapons, jade has a much higher importance in China. Jadeite was first discovered in China from Burma (now Myanmar) in the late 1700s. The Chinese believe that jade helps with the clarity of the mind and purity of the spirit. Jade was used by workers frequently as a stone for mining thanks to its hardness. Ancient cultures with jade artifacts used it independently as an important stone, with no necessary contact or trading of jade with one another.


Many people get tricked by merchants who claim that any green stone is genuine jade since green is such a well-known characteristic about jade. It’s important to note real jade is categorized as jadeite or nephrite, the only two types of jade.


Faux Jade

Jade is a lovely stone that comes in a variety of colors, including green, orange, and white. The majority of us usually think of green jade. However, because authentic jade is a very popular and expensive stone, there are many fakes, imitations, or treated jades on the market. According to historical records, the Chinese began dyeing jade to improve its color in the 13th century.

Hydrogrossular             Serpentine Jade  


Piles of different types of green stones called prehnite, chrysoprase, aventurine, and serpentine

When we talk about authentic jade, we are referring to the gemstone. There are often many misconceptions about what real jade is since there are many imitations. These are not genuine jades, but rather other minerals that resemble them in appearance.


Serpentine jade, chalcedony jade, mountain jade, and grossular are some examples of faux and imitation jade. These false jade are frequently softer and will fail the common scratch test used to verify the authenticity of genuine jade where you use a steel knife to try to scratch the “jade” you are testing. Furthermore, while many people regard jade as a precious gem, these stones are only semi-precious. While these substitutes may appear similar, there are only two true types of jade: jadeite and nephrite. Many vendors will also identify their imitations using the word “jade” in the name such as “African jade'' or “Amazon jade''. These are faux jade and are all varieties of the stones, but not jade. 


Now that you have learned more about what fake jade is, come check out 100% certified grade A jade jewelry at Dahlia. Dahlia jade is guaranteed to be genuine jade. If you are still curious about how to tell real and natural jadeite, we have some methods in our other blog post.


Curious for more information on jade? Interested in purchasing your own jadeite jade jewelry? Visit us at 

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  • Angela Hu