Monday, October 01, 2007

Jade Dragons

After the Great Wall, they took us to a jade carving factory, jade museum and jade mega store. We first had a short demonstration of how they go about carving and polishing the jade. Each craftsman is highly skilled.

We then had an overview of the different kinds of jade and how to distinguish real jade from imitations. The jade found locally in Beijing is white but jade can vary from white to green to brown with most of the coloration patterns being different shades of green.
Real jade has a very high pitch when struck with another rock such as agate. Glass imitations will sound flat. Real jade when held against a light will have a cloudy interior. Glass will have tiny air bubbles trapped inside. The final test should answer the question if the others were inconclusive. Real jade is hard like diamonds and should easily scratch the surface of glass. Imitations won't.
We were finally given some free time to walk around the museum and store. Real jade is expensive. It is by far the most expensive thing we found in China. They have a lot of beliefs in the connection of jade and medical practices and jade is very prized.
What precious stone do you prize the most?


Anonymous said...

I like rinestones my self! They are sparkly and make me happy! Pretty much amazing! Although they are not very valuable in $ but very valuable in the heart!:)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Jade. There's a little shop in Victoria on Vancouver Island that we visit. I try and buy a little piece of Jade jewelry whenever we're there.
Kathy L.

Anonymous said...

im all confused with the jade stuff. I went to the same jade factory in beijing as you (i recognize the jade horse and boat); i bought a bangle, came home, brought it to a jewerelly store and they said it might not be real jade or low quality. something about not trusting anything from china...the guy who said that is chinese. and that you can't even trust the government run shops, especially the ones where the tour guide takes you. So i'm sitting right here not knowing who to believe.