Most Jade Gems Are Treated

Treatments For Jade Gems

We will like to bridge the severe gap in communication between jade gem providers and jade gem stone buyers on the issue of jade treatments. It is well known that an increasingly large number of gems are today treated to enhance their appearance, clarity, color or toughness. What is interesting is that, you do not hear much about the various treatments used to treat jade stones. Gem providers generally fear that clear disclosure of gem treatments will keep buyers away, this is a short sighted view and is not a valid reason for keeping buyers in the dark.

Almost all the jade available in the gem and jewelry markets is treated in some way or the other. Dyeing jade gems has been practised for several decades, and this treatment is very widespread. It is normally said that you can safely presume that the jade gem in your ring or other jade jewel has been dyed to enhance it's color. If you observe a piece of rough jade stone as it appears from the mine, some features related to the color become very apparent. Assuming that it was a piece of rough green jade, you will find that the color intensity (saturation) and also the green shade is not uniformly spread across the stone. For example, you might find a fine green color in one portion and an dark almost black portion, adjacent to the green. Similarly a darker shade of green could be right next to a portion that is practically colorless (white). When this rough gemstone is cut, you will end up with cut and polished pieces of jade that will also show these 'color zones'. Jade treatment using the dyeing process tries to bring a more uniform color to the piece of jade. In most commercially available qualities of jade, the dye treatment is combined with a bleach process. It is really quite easy to understand why the bleaching needs to be done prior to the jade being dyed. When you have a piece of jade that is a particular shade of green and combined with a contrast color (black, too dark or too light) - bleaching will bring the entire color to a pale shade. When this happens the dyes used to treat the jade stone will perform more effectively and give a uniform color spread to the stone.

We talked about green jade, most of us know jade to be green, but it is actually available in other colors too. Natural jade gems can be found in colors like yellow, lavendar, white, brown, black, bluish grey or even red - but the point is that such colors occuring in natural form is very rare. If you come across untreated jade that has these colors, the stone would carry a stiff price tag, something that puts it out of the reach of most gem and jewelry buyers. Dyeing of jade gemstones can provide such colored jade at a modest price.

Let us now move on to another form of jade gemstone treatment, this is technically referred to as impregnation. If you had to consider the effects of dyeing jade gems, you will agree that all that dyeing does is to enhance the color of the stone. But rough jade is often found with flaws that go beyond mere color zoning. Cracks, fissures and pits (holes) are found in most of the rough jade stone that is mined. In some cases these flaws or so severe that the jade has no practical use at all, a few decades ago this quality of jade was thrown away as garbage. Many gem manufacturers tried to find ways to bring value to these stones and use them. Impregnation aims to fill the cracks and fissures in the stone. This form of jade treatment is sometimes referred to as fissure filling. In this case, resins, plastics or silica (glass) based compounds are used to fill the cracks and fissures in the jade. What actually happens is that, the jade and the filler reside side by side - they do not form a homogenous mass. If you are aware of the glass filling process used to treat low quality rubies, you would use the term 'composite' to describe a stone that is a combination of two or more materials.