What is False Jade or Fake Jade?

What is False Jade or Fake Jade?

The image above is of a cheap false jade roller found in a discount shop. Notice how porous the crystal is even in an image such as this.

These stones have caused a lot of confusion recently. Confusingly the term jade actually refers to 2 distinct types of crystal, nephrite jade and jadeite jade. Both are genuine types of jade.

Jadeite jade is a very hard and extremely rare type of jade 70% of which comes from Myanmar (Burma). Nephrite jade is common to 4 main regions of China and is the jade which has traditionally been used to create jade rollers.

False jade is neither of these 2 genuine types of jade.

Most false jade comes from the northern Punjab region in India which was known for centuries for its intricate carvings of a very pure form of green serpentine crystal (false jade) obtained from mines in Afghanistan.

False jade is considered far less valuable than either nephrite or jadeite.

This false jade is also known as, Styrian jade, New jade and Teton Jade.

It is worth noting that false jade does not weather well and is very susceptible to acid . Sculptures of false jade have always been confined to indoor settings as they can leech and lose colour . This trait of false jade of leeching colour caused embarrassing problems when some groups tried to pass off false jade yoni eggs as genuine jade.

Determining true jade from false jade is quite hard for anyone untrained in the differences. Below we have added some geological pointers for anyone interested in the technical differences.

For everyone else the best way to avoid purchasing false jade is to buy any jade products such as jade rollers and Gua Sha from a reputable supplier who works closely with the sources of true jade.

To learn more about quality Jade Rollers orJade Gua Sha please follow the links


Geological Information

False Jade is a serpentine stone group from a common rock forming hydrous magnesium iron phillosilicate minerals. They are generally greenish, brownish or spotted in colour . It is believed the name serpentine comes from the association of the greenish colour with that of a serpent.

Perhaps some of the confusion between false and real jade occurs as they can form in similar geological areas . Most nephrite jade (genuine jade) occurs along fault contacts between serpentinite and mafic to felsic igneous rock.

In some cases false jade crystals can actually be mined in similar locations to nephrite jade and appear similar leading to more confusion and can only be correctly identified by analysis, usually of density.

Traditionally false jade has been used as a source of magnesium and asbestos as well as hand carved ornaments.

False Jade Serpentines are polymorphous meaning that although they have the same chemical formula the atoms are arranged into different structures . This dramatically affects how hard the stones are with hardness varying between 2.5 and 4 . This makes them much softer and easier to carve than either forms of true jade.

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