Pulling back the curtains on jade treatments and imitations
According to the Canadian Jewellers Association’s (CJA’s) guidelines, it is unethical to sell undisclosed treated gems. It is also improper to misrepresent a lower value gem as a more expensive one. Somewhere in the world right now, a retail jeweller may be offering Chinese dyed quartzite as authentic Canadian jade, which is factually and ethically wrong. This type of deception only serves to hurt legitimate Canadian jade dealers and also the consumer.
Fifteen years ago, improper disclosure of oiled emeralds caused a stir and impacted emerald prices. Ten years ago, beryllium-treated sapphires undermined this particular market, and five years ago, undisclosed lead glass-filled rubies surfaced and still continue to affect consumer confidence in coloured gemstones. A jeweller may read this article and think “It’s only jade,” but consider this: your gemstone products could be next. No gemstone is immune to tampering, making disclosure of the utmost importance.
The author would like to thank Kirk Makepeace of Jade West, Robert James of the World Gem Society (WGS), and Bill Vermeulen of the Canadian Gemological Laboratory (CGL) for their contribution to this article.
Branko Deljanin, B.Sc., GG, FGA, DUG is head gemmologist and president of Canadian Gemological Laboratory (CGL) in Vancouver. He is a regular contributor to trade and gemmological magazines and has presented reports at a number of research conferences. Deljanin is an instructor of standard and advanced gemmology programs on diamonds and coloured stones in Canada and internationally. He can be reached at email@example.com.