Subject:What is the meaning of those gold glitter found on your jade pieces?
Posted By: Bill Tue, May 15, 2007 IP: 22.214.171.124
In the book "Hongshan Yuqi Tujian" (The Apprisal of Hongshan Jades with pictures" by Mr. Yat-man Chan and Ms. Ying Chan, the criteria they use to appriase Hongshan jades are as follow: (see front cover of book shown on pic 2)
1. Jade material - list 7 types.
2. Shell (outside layer)
2.1 Color diffusion
2.2 Soil diffusion
2.4 Diffusion spot and diffusion patch
2.5 Diffusion capillary and vein
2.6 Metail diffusion (stain)
2.8 Jade skin and orange peel wrinkle
2.9 Bao-jiang (outside protective layer)
3. Forms and Styles - list 5 types
4. Carvings - list five types
5. Methods or Skills - list six types
6. Other physical phenomena - list five
The one I would like to discuss here is 2.6 Metal Diffusion or metal stain.
I would like to clarify that I do not know whether the above phenomenon described by the authors is valid or not. I just bring it up here to solicit some responses from all the jade collectors especially those who collect Hongshan or Hongshan style pieces. The authors seem to believe such phenomenon limits to authentic Hongshan jades only. I believe they apply to all archaic jades. However, one of the Chicochai jade pal believes this is a very common phenomenon and can be found on many nephrite pieces and I will elaborate more in later section.
First of all, if you look at the first picture posted here. The description for pic 154 on p. 128 of the book is "Metal Diffusion Spots. These types of metal shinning spots or shinning patches appear either on the surface of the jade or deep inside the jade."
The description of such phenomenon on the book is as follow:
2 (6) Metial Diffusion (stain)
Metal stain may be the most special kind of diffusion found in authentic Hongshan jades, it is similar to those metal spots or metal patches discussed in the previous paragraph. On many Hongshan jade pieces, very often such sparkling metal spots or metal streaks can be found, this is especially true on some very "Black Skin" jades. Some of these metal glitters can be readily been seen on the jade surface, but some are contained deep inside the jades (under the shell). Therefore if one want to see such metal glitter on some BLACK Hongshan jades, one must polish off the top layer before such metal spots or metal streaks can be visible.
In section 2.4, the authors mention if you ever get a chance to go to visit the Shanghai museum, a celadon Hongshan Cloud Pei was displayed there(on loan), you can see such metal glitter on its jade surface when it is dispalyed under the light, even between display glass. If you can hold such jade piece on your hand and move it back and forth under the light, you will be able to see such metal spots and metal streaks easily.
They believe these metal spots (gold glitter) are oxidized iron (Fe2O3) formed on the jades and one time by accident they put such a piece in water for one month, they found all those metal glitter had turned into "iron rust" when it was examined under the light.
My jade pal believe these authors do not know what they are talking about because he believes such "iron pyrite" (also known as fool's gold) are very common and can be found in many nephrite jade pieces.
However, between my jade friend, B, and I, we have examined over 300 pieces of jade pieces, many of them were made of nephrite. However, he only found such metal gold) spots (glitter) on one Han-style Dancer piece that was made of Qing jade. Among my jades, I only found them in two pieces: one is a Hongshan Fish that is made of very high quality dark green nephrite with gold glitter on both sides when examine under the light, the piece may be a Sung dynasty copy. Another piece is a jade bird made of either crystal or some kind of white jade-like material. It has a hardness of 6.0 but a denisty of only 2.65 It may be Bowenite but the color is more white than yellow. It has very good soil stain on the surface and my friend believes it is made of crystal. I see these metal spots all over the surface on both sides. They are very difficult to see in regular photos. You must examine them under a bright light or you may miss them.
I have read in another source that any jade pieces that shows such metal glitter on their surfaces have to be at least one thousand years old. I do not remember where I read it at this time.
However, what I am asking all jade friends who have read this message is to:
(1) Look at all your jade pieces and see if you can see such metal spots or streaks (gold glitter)on your jades. On how many pieces out of how many total pieces do you see these types of metal spots? What type of materials were such pieces made of? Are these old jades? Can you post their pictures here (enlarged the metal spots if possible).?
(2) Do you agree with what the theory that these type of metal spots prove the authenticity of the Hongshan jades or it really shows that these type of jades (with gold glitter) are truly old?
(3) Do you have explanation for this phenomenon? Do you have articles or books discuss this phenomenon?
Of course, if you are like a few jade pals who believe that the only important criterion to authenticate any archaic jades is their "carving" or artistic value, then you are probably reading the wrong thread and please do not bother to reply. You should just to ahead to establish your own thread in discussing your own "art pieces". You will probably have more funs. No offense intended.