Feature Gems & Gemology, Spring 1982, Vol. 18, No. 1

Some Observations on the Treatment of Lavender Jadeite

The separation of naturally colored lavender jadeite from color-treated material is a problem that has long plagued gemologists. One theory is that the dyeing agents being used are of an organic nature. If this is true, they should break down at elevated temperatures and lose their coloring ability. Naturally colored lavender jadeite, however, should retain its color and not bleach on heating. To investigate this theory, the author sawed 42 different specimens of lavender jadeite in half. One half of each specimen was heated while the other half was retained as a color control. Those stones that bleached on heating showed a strong orange fluorescence to long-wave ultraviolet radiation before heating and a moderate bluish-purple X-ray fluorescence both before and after heating. The control halves of those stones that retained their color when heated to as high as 1000°C fluoresced a very weak brownish red when exposed to long-wave ultraviolet radiation and a strong reddish purple to pink when exposed to X-ray radiation both before and after heating.