Nephrite jade bangle, repaired with 2 bronze pins in ancient times.
All the following jades date to around the ZHou period or earlier, and allegedly come from Yunnan.
These bangles are attributed to the Dong Son culture, by during this time southeast asia was working bronze.
Traces of plant roots from the jades burial can be seen at about 1-2 o'clock, earth encrustations (quite cemented on) are visable as well & some sort of deposit at 9-10 o'clock which I would loosely term 'calcination'.
The areas of whitening around jade are a feature of great age, and often faked on market forgeries to decieve..this is also reffered to loosely as 'calcination' althought I would consider when calcite or limestone fas affixed on the surface a better use of the term.
The whitening which most commonly occurs on archiac jade is also, and more correctly reffered to as 'crystal degradation' and should be understood as like the difference between ice & snow.
Snow is cloudy, but ice can be clear; even though both are H2o.
In the same way an ancient jade can alter to white, this includes what Chinese jade scholars call 'chickenbone white' or 'beancurd white' jade.
The whitening on the market forgery jades (when faked on jades to decieve a buyer) is primarily done by extreme heat which over a course of hours damages a jade to white...or a chemical fake jade where the chemical itself damages the jade and turns it white.
The primary difference commented on, and visible on these ancient jades and fakes, is between lustre (or natural reflective shine) of some real ancient jades.
Because a true whiteneing by age alone is just an alteration to the crystals (as snow and ice) of the nephrite jade without any minerological change the jade can be oiled or polished and still have 'lustre' return even if white.
A real 'chickenbone white' ancient jade can even be oiled and reveal the colour of the jade beneath...while a fake jade has been damaged to white and will not reveal its colour through the damaged layer. A fake can appear duller looking under light also, and oil and moisture will not lift the original colour of the jade again.
For instance..this jade here is a dark green like NZ nephrite 'greenstone', and it can be seen by wetting and putting a light behind the jade (via transmitted light).
The modern fakes do not reveal their colour in this way.
Edited by Kenneth, 07 July 2005 - 12:01 AM.