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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-04-2010

Zi Pao "Jade" warning

Hi all,

Items being sold on Ebay listed as Zi Pao jade are NOT jadeite or nephrite at all, but instead are composed of the mineral called Illite. Illite is one of the mica minerals . It is a common mineral found in clay soils and mudstone rocks. It is much, much softer than jade.

To create the illusion of jade's waxy sheen, these inexpensive shale carvings are soaked in oil, some kinds of light machine or mineral oil. Often the pieces arrive drenched in this oil. Of course the oil will get on and stain clothing.

The Chinese do make beautiful art carvings out of this illite material, using the different tones of the mudstone to advantage. But remember, you get what you pay for. If it costs $0.01-0.99, you know you are getting a carved piece made out of mudrock, NOT jade!! :smileyhappy:)

Don't be fooled by the use of the term "jade". This material is definately not any kind of jade as it is defined mineralogically.
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allopapallo
Community Member
Posts: 776
Registered: ‎11-30-2009

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4
As a general rule that knows only very few exceptions, I'd say avoid buying from china and chinese seller alltogether. Not only jade, but also everything else.
Their antique items are newly made sloppy replicas, their silver is iron, their solid gold is gold plated (when it's not just brass), their amber is plastic, their turquoise is plastic (dyed howlite if you are lucky), their natural gemstones are glass, and so on. The list is long.

To skip their listings, you can either choose to browse only the US (or the EU if you select ebay.co.uk, for instance), or you can exclude from the search items lower than 5$. Many chinese sellers list under 5$ so you'll skip the majority.
Unfortunately there is no way in ebay to filter out china and hong kong without excluding also all non-US countries. :-(

Daniel
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Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎04-23-2009

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4
Agreed! The "Zip-Jade" is worth zip. There are a couple of good reliable HK jade vendors on eBay. Gojade comes to mind. They sell their jade at bargan (but no give-away) prices.
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Community Member
Posts: 264
Registered: ‎11-12-2007

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4
Agreed! The "Zip-Jade" is worth zip. There are a couple of good reliable HK jade vendors on eBay. Gojade comes to mind. They sell their jade at bargan (but no give-away) prices.


Hmmm... I was looking at jade on Ebay a month or so ago but most of the listings made me uncomfortable-for example, by not disclosing whether it is nephrite or jadeite.

None of the items I saw had descriptions which disclosed which was listed, in either Asia or the US. This made me think either the sellers don't really know what they have-or aren't saying. IMHO, a good gemstone/jewelry dealer would be able to do so.

Since the loophole on importing jade and rubies from Burma was closed, it seems that the jade market has shriveled a bit.

But if you can vouch for this seller, I will check them out at your recommendation. :-)

I seem to have good luck with sellers in HK.

Thank you, kelliekrop.
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-09-2012

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4
Hi do u know of any other reliable hetian jade sellers? Some come with certificates but they are either not stated hetian jade on the cert or I can't find the company name of the gem tester on the website
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-12-2011

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4

The two pieces I bought came clean dry and conformed to zipao standards.  I am confused.  Besides the oil residue is there a way to test for a false nephrite or clay mineral in these samples?

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judith727cat
Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-08-2013

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4

To take this further, there is little if any authentic jade available via eBay.  The natural (undyed) stones which range in color from opaque to nearly transparent are varities of Jasper and Chalcedony --often Serpentine and Aventurine - but including onyx, sardonyx, quartzite and more.  While there are an abundance of misleading fake names such as "New Jade", "Hetian Jade (the real thing will not be found on eBay, it will be in estate sales and museum quality rarities), "Sinkiang Jade (Serpentine)" and "Afghan Jade (white Quartz and pale Chalcedony)", none of them are Jade.  This does NOT take away from the fact that many hand-carved pieces from China are exquisite and painstakingly hand-made; I take exception with the misconception that everything for sale from Chinese sellers is fake or sub-standard.  On the contrary, much of it is very beautiful. China has a tradition of hand-carved stones that goes back 5,000 years, and many stone carvers are experts who spend days or weeks on a piece that eBay makes it possible to purchase very affordably.

 

The real question is whether you buy on eBay for the opportunity to purchase something beautiful and lasting, or if you are looking for a cheap opportunity to buy something more valuable than its sale or intrinsic price.  There are excellent dealers in China who sell gorgeous hand-carved Serpentine, Chalcedony, Soapstone, Quartz and Jaspers: they are likely called Jade because most people respond to that name and the beautiful carved stone they see, the result of not being familiar with carved minerals and their names/classifications.  In addition, sellers don't all have use a homogenous American English vocabulary, and may prefer to use the term "Jade" because it's widely recognized. The same thing is true of authentic Turquoise vs. dyed Howlite, "stabilized" (glued/resin-reinforced) Turquoise and Jasper ("African Turquoise") that people are misled into believing is "authentic" Turquoise.  

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pre1840lorraine
Community Member
Posts: 1,949
Registered: ‎12-11-2007

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to judith727cat
The original post is over 3 years old. Having said that, Anyone calling something Jade when it is not, it a thief I don't care how good their carving is, they are misrepresenting the item they are selling.
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-13-2012

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to benren4

Regarding JADE - For the WESTERN WORLD... Jade is Jadeite & Nephrite.  China considers two other minerals "Jade".  I think the best thing to remember is:  THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH - So if ot looks TOO GOOD to be true, it probably is.  But as another responder said, many of these items are quite beautiful and skillfully made!  And enjoyable to own!

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natural-diamond-solitaires
Community Member
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎06-24-2005

Re: Zi Pao "Jade" warning

in reply to allopapallo
Daniel is spot on with the Chinese sellers. Never throw caution to the wind when it comes from buying international.
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