In case you have missed the latest fashion shows, jade jewelry has become an important trend for this season. Mysterious, elegant and vibrant, jade jewelry is great both for everyday wear and formal wear. But do you know what to look for when buying jade jewelry or semi precious gemstones? Read further to find out. We have created this shopping guide for you to help you pick the best jade pieces and wear them with style.

How many types of jade are there?

When it comes to jade jewelry, there are two types of jade to choose from: jadeite or nephrite. There are a lot of differences between those two types of jade. For instance, jadeite is more expensive because it is rarer. It also comes in more color variations, while nephrite is usually green, white, red or yellow. If you don’t get your jade jewelry from a reputable jewelry store, you may have the surprise to discover that the jeweler is trying to pass off nephrite as jadeite. You have to be very careful about this and ask which of these jade types you are buying.

Even if the two gemstones look the same, they have very different mineral compositions. This makes jadeite slightly harder on the Mohs hardness scale than nephrite. However, both of them have low hardness numbers.

Treatments for your jade jewelry

Besides distinguishing between jadeite and nephrite, you also have to distinguish between three different types you can find in jade jewelry.

Type A is the most expensive one and it is also almost natural jade. We say also because each jade gemstone receives a treatment. In the case of type A, it only receives a wax treatment to fill the stone’s irregularities and offer it a lustrous finish. However, the color of Type A jade is natural as the wax treatment doesn’t enhance or change it.

Type B jade in jade jewelry goes through bleaching by using sulfuric acid. After that, it receives a wax treatment. The problem with type B jade is that the acid makes the stone brittle sometimes and causes it to deteriorate over time. The advantage with type B jade jewelry is that it is more affordable than type A.

Alas, type C jade goes through the same treatment as type B with the exception that it also receives a dye treatment. The dye has the purpose to enhance the color but, unfortunately, it can wear off in time.

What to avoid when buying jade jewelry

Unfortunately, when it comes to jade, there are many jewelry shops where you can be scammed in buying something that is not jade. This happens because some types of gemstones wrongfully receive the name “jade”. Luckily for you, we are going to tell you what to look for so that you can always make an informed choice.

If you see the name “African jade” or “Garnet jade”, know that the stone is actually green grossularite garnet and has nothing to do with jade. If you are buying jade jewelry named “Amazon jade”, you are, in fact, buying amazonite. “American jade”, on the other hand, is vesuvianite, while “Bowenite jade” or “Serpentine jade” is serpentine. But read further because the list doesn’t stop here. “Honan jade” is nothing but a substitute which can sometimes be quartz, and “Mexican jade” is calcite that they dyed in green.

Besides those names, there is also “Indian jade” (aventurine quartz, in fact), “Korean jade” (simple glass) and “Manchurian jade” (soapstone). Last, but not least, be aware of “Oregon jade”, which is green jasper, “Soochow jade”, “South African jade”, and Transvaal jade” which are all varieties of the above stones.

We know that it sounds like a lot to remember, but just bookmark this page and use it when you want to buy jade jewelry. And now for the more pleasant part…

Which metals look best with jade jewelry?

Here’s some good news. Because of its vivid color and delicate luster, jade looks great with both silver and gold. A silver jade jewelry piece will have a contemporary polished look, while a gold one will always resemble vintage jewelry.

These are the most common metals for jade jewelry but, of course, you can also find jade set in platinum or even white gold.

One last thing that you need to remember before buying jade jewelry is to always ask for a certificate. This way you will make sure that you are buying natural jade (whether jadeite or nephrite) and not a dyed variety of quartz.

If you found this article useful, support us by sharing it with your friends. To learn more about jewelry and access more buying guides, read our other articles as well. If you want to see our designer jewelry collection with limited-edition creations, visit Ana Luisa online jewelry store.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.