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Fake Jade Bangles of Etsy & eBay

A GEmMOLOGIST REVIEW

Written by: Wai Yan
5 May 2019

Background

Every week we scan the internet for jade bangle pricing by various vendors so that we can provide our customers with the best price on our products. Lately, many listings have appeared on marketplaces like Etsy and eBay. After looking through the prices and the individual products, we found many fake jade bangles described as genuine. Because of the nature of the trade with imitations and misleading tradenames, a layman may not notice the subtle clues that can reveal  the true description of a product on these marketplaces. In this article, we will point out a few of these false listings and why it's important to buy from a trusted business that has expert knowledge in the industry.

Method Used in Assessing the Bangles

As the products are displayed online, we can only use the information and photographs provided by a seller to any potential buyers. First step is to visually assess the product through the photos, just as any trained professional would in person, then any technical information provided will be interpreted for everyone to understand. Any conclusion given is solely based on the information available. 

Certified Jade Bangles

Some buyers maybe fooled by the words certified. There are three ways a mistake can be made by a buyer. One, the certificate itself is fake and does not accurately describe the product. Two, the certificate is mostly in Chinese and the buyer does not understand the language or is mislead by tradenames of imitations. Three, the buyer does not understand the technical terms on the certificate. All of these points must be taken into consideration to verify the validity of a certificate. A jade bangle that comes with a certificate doesn't necessarily proof anything unless is accurate and trustworthy.

Marketplace Seller VS. Genuine Business

It's very important to choose the right seller when buying Jadeite. Any person can setup an online shop and start selling jade bangles but not everyone is a trained gemmologist. The untrained seller may or may not know their own products, and can possibly pass on inaccurate information without even knowing it. That's the main difference between an individual seller on an online marketplace and a genuine business like us with full knowledge backed up behind our products.

Live Examples

Below are screenshots of live listings on online marketplaces as of the writing of this article. Seller names are withheld for privacy reasons. Many sellers may not have an understanding of the product themselves but some have clear intentions to scam.

"Certified White Jade Bangle Bracelet "

1. The title promotes trust with the words 'Certified' and describes the bangle material as white jade.
2. The pricing is within the accurate range for a genuine jadeite bangle of this quality although it's on the very high end of the price range.
3. The detailed description explains the history of Nephrite jade which is one of the two types of jade. Nephrite is usually less valuable than Jadeite.
4. Photo of a certificate is provided. Detailed examination below.

Examining the certificate, it reveals that this White Jade Bangle is indeed not Nephrite jade as described. In fact, is not even jade. Quartzite is not any type of jade, its an imitation of jade. The refractive index figure of 1.54 and the Density of 2.60 is consistent with the findings in the certificate for Quartz. A Quartzite bangle like this is worth no more than $10AUD hence, the pricing indicates a clear intent to fool the unsuspecting buyer.

"Superior white jade Bangle "

Not much information is given in this lisiting about the type of jade but based on the photos and the price, it's most likely the same material as the previous examined product, Quartzite. 

"Jadeite bangle certified grade A Lavender and Imperial green "

This particular listing features a fake certificate that misrepresents the nature of the jade bangle. The certificate identified this bangle as Type A Jadeite. The material appears to Jadeite, however, it's not Grade / Type A. There are clear indications in this photo that this jadeite bangle has been treated (Type B + C Jadeite). It has been bleached then injected with dyed resin to enhance it's colour and translucency. The writer had personally encountered similar fake certificates in person which are much more convincing than this example. The pricing indicates a clear scam. These treated bangles are worth less than $50AUD. 

" Jadeite Bangle Certified Grade A "

The previous seller also has this bangle listed as Grade A Jadeite with a certificate as well. It's not as obvious as before but this bangle also show signs of treatment and is not worth $524.

"Certificated Jadeite Jade "

Titled as Jadeite Jade Bangle with an spelling error, this is a "Guizhou Jade Bangle" as described further down under the product condition section. The certificate also reveals properties that are not of Jadeite. Guizhou Jade is an imitation and is actually Quartzite.  

About the Author

Wai Yan

Wai was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). Trained by the Gemmological Association of Australia, he is a qualified Gemmologist. Throughout his life, he has been in constant contact with gemstones and jewellery through the family business and has been fascinated by the beauty and rarity of them all. He is now operating a branch of the business in Australia, supplying all kinds of gemstones especially of Burmese origin to international markets. 

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