How to tell Real Jade from Fake Jade


There are many other organic materials that are often mistaken for Jade (Jadeite or Nephrite). Serpentine (New or Olive Jade), Prehnite, Aventurine Quartz, Transvaal Jade (Grossular Garnet), and Australian Jade (Chrysoprase) are just some of them.
There are also resources that have been dyed to make them appear as if they are Jade. Quartz is one example which can be dyed red, yellow, and blue and is typically called Malaysia Jade. Mountain Jade is actually opaque Dolomite Marble which has been dyed in various colors.
Most quality jade comes from Myanmar (Burma), however small amounts have been found in Guatemala, Mexico, and Russia.


Here are some useful ways to find out if your jade is the real thing:

  • If you hold real jade up to a bright light, utilizing a loupe look at how the item looks internally. If you see what looks like tiny fibers that are intertwined and granular, then it’s most likely jade but could also be Nephrite.

  • If it looks layered it may be a thin layer of jade glued over another material.

  • If you toss the piece gently in the air and catch it and the weight of the piece is heavier than a stone of the same size that you have done the same too it is most likely real jade. Jade and Nephrite are both high density.

  • You can also tap the piece against another stone. If it sounds like plastic when it hits the stone it is most likely not real.

  • Hold the piece in your hand. It should feel cold, smooth, and like soap. If it takes a while to get warm it is most likely jade.

  • Authentic jade is very hard and will scratch glass. Jade is almost as hard as diamonds.

  • Nephrite is softer so may be damaged by a scratch test. Some forms of Quartz will scratch glass also so be careful since Quartz can be dyed to match various shades of Jade.

  • On a piece of the Jade that won’t be seen you can take scissors and make a scratch. If it makes a white line then wipe it off and if there is still a scratch then it is most likely not real Jade.

Even though just one of these may not tell you if the jade is real, by doing a few of these tests you may be able to make a logical decision. Of course nothing replaces the knowledge and expertise of a jeweler. However, if you are wondering if the jade you have is real, try these home tests and make your best judgment. If all else fails and you are just unsure, seek out your local pawn shop, reseller, or jeweler.


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