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Age and Quality of Jade (once more, improved)


#1

I always think I check my spelling carefully and then I see my
message of a few lines and I find several mistakes. So once more and
hopefully improved:

Is it possible to judge the age of jade sculptures by the amount of
white residue (calcification?) in the recesses and perhaps by the
pitting of the surface?

Can somebody recommend a good reference book on jade, the types and
the quality criteria?

Thanks,
Dietrich


#2

Detrich,

No…it is not possible to tell the age of a carving by the white
residue in the recesses or by piting on the surface. The white
residue (powdered jade) may well result from the use of modern
diamond tools but it can also result from other carving techniques as
well. It might also be residue from sitting on the shelf in a stone
factory. The surface pitting can come from being buried
(debateable), poor smoothing and polishing techniques/equipment, or
maybe the stone was just not of the highest quality to begin with.

Many years ago, I knew the owner of a jade carving factory in Taiwan
. Spent many hours in her factory watching master carvers working on
white Korean jade (nephrite/actinolite). Once she showed me a statue
in the catalog of a VERY prestegious auction gallary labled as a 500
year old carving valued at over $20,000. She recognized the statue
as having come from her factory because of a small dark blemish on
the neck of the statue. In reality, it was only a couple of years
old! Even the ‘experts’ were fooled. Once I looked at a beautifully
carved white jadeite belt buckle. It didn’t feel right to me and I
asked the owner if I might test it with my knife blade. It was not
jadeite…possibly a serpentine!? Even the owner was fooled…and he
had many years experience.

There are many excellent books on jade. One is Jade of the East by
Geoffrey Wills. Also try to get a hold of the jade editions from the
National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. These will get you started.
It takes many years to know and understand jade but we have to start
somewhere.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1