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?