Safety of Buying Jade in Singapore

One of the most frequently raised questions online regarding jade or jadeite is: How do you know if the jade is real?

Jade comprises of 2 kinds of minerals, jadeite, and nephrite. Both minerals can be crafted into various types of jade jewellery in a vast range of quality. Unlike gemstones where there are specific telling signs in chemical enhancements, identifying chemical treatments performed on jade is a tough ask without any proper laboratory equipment. In purchasing quality or fine jade jewellery, the prerequisite is for the jade material to be free of any chemical enhancements and thus Type A.

In all our jadeite products on New Jade, we do make it a point to highlight this distinction clearly every chance possible. The reason is, chemical enhancements while improving certain qualities of the jadeite material, degrade other aspects of the jade. In certain treatments, the jadeite material is made brittle and can chip more easily thus, the jadeite material appears duller and has a reduced lustre while having improved colour intensities. There are numerous methods devised to enhance jade so that more amounts of jade which are not as desirable can be made commercially viable to be sold to the public. Fine quality jadeite or nephrite materials are hard and rare to come by and thus much costlier to use in jewellery. The amount of fine jade available is finite and becoming increasingly difficult to acquire, resulting in increases in prices of finest grades of jade in the market.

All the pressure of finding fine jade material increases the desire to chemically enhance poorer quality jade to be able to be more easily sold in the market. With the demand of fine jade jewellery, many chemically enhanced jade jewellery have also been passed off as Type A natural jade and sold to unaware customers. Due to the high desire for quality jade jewellery and the inability to safely examine chemical treatments performed on jade, numerous cases of fraudulent sellers of enhanced jade have been reported over the decades. All these also led to the main question raised at the start of the article.

To safely determine whether a piece of jade jewellery has been chemically enhanced requires laboratory testing. In many places, there are reports that can be produced to certify the authenticity of the natural jade claim. However, the accuracy of reports and their test results depends greatly on the types of tests performed and the availability of equipment used. One other important factor is the credibility of the laboratory too. In an ideal world, the laboratory remains a neutral party in all tests and should remain as such without dabbling in the business of jewellery trading as well.

As the title of the article goes, the safety of buying jade jewellery in Singapore is primarily due to the availability of laboratories in Singapore which help to perform laboratory testing of jade jewellery before any purchase is made. Being relatively small geographically, jade jewellery can be sent in for testing easily and very quickly to expedite any purchases. At New Jade, we provide a guarantee that all our jade jewellery is natural and Type A. And to help in that guarantee, jade jewellery purchased, above 1,500 SGD, through our online store will be accompanied with a complimentary laboratory report. The laboratory we use, Nan Yang Gemological Institute, is conveniently situated in the middle of Singapore near Orchard Road. Their website can be found here, for more information. More information of our Type A jade guarantee can be found here.

If there are any queries about jade testing or reports, do reach out to us at any time and we will get back to you as soon as possible.