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December 18, 2017, 04:21:57 pm
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Saussurite - the great jade imitator

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Author Topic: Saussurite - the great jade imitator  (Read 116 times)
cshapiro
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« on: December 03, 2016, 12:04:29 am »

This is not a great bottle, but it is a great example of a sneaky jade imitator and now that I know what it looks like I have spotted several on auction sites. Here's one I think: https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/22683057_well-carved-chinese-green-and-white-jade-snuff-bottle
and another: https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/37007675_natural-jadeite-snuff-bottle-carved-lucky-beast

The key (to me) is in the color. Saussurite can be other colors but when imitating jade they seem to use a very opaque bright white with vibrant apple green mottling. The specific gravity ranges from 2.95-3.40 so if you only do a specific gravity test, you will think you have jade!

From wikipedia:
Saussurite is a mineral aggregate which is formed as a hydrothermal alteration product of plagioclase feldspar. It appears very similar to zoisite with a green or grayish-green color, it has been used as a substitute or simulant for jade.
Saussurite is not however recognized as a true mineral because it is a microscopic mixture of several other minerals, zoisite, epidote, sericite, albite or other sodium rich feldspar along with possibly scapolite. The use of microscopic refractive index data and X-ray diffraction patterns are needed to distinguish some saussurite simulants from true jade.
It was named after the Swiss explorer Horace Benedict de Saussure, who discovered it on the slopes of Mont Blanc.


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« Last Edit: December 03, 2016, 12:59:46 am by cshapiro » Report Spam   Logged

Cathy

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George
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2016, 12:49:52 am »

Now I can put a name to this !  Like you Cathy, have seen a lot of this. 

Thank you for putting a name to it for us !
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Pat - 查尚杰
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2016, 12:58:02 am »

One of the problems here is that Chinese people will categorize based on look and hardness (difficulty to carve ). They call many things Yu (spelling ? Chinese speakers ) which fits both categories. In turn this perpetuates the notion of things being jade.
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Pat
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cshapiro
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2016, 01:32:17 am »

Yes Pat the hardness on this is exactly the same as Nephrite 6%-7
In almost all respects you really can get away with calling it jade.
I stumbled upon it because my little bottle had a specific gravity of 3.1 so it fell right in between nephrite and jade. That plus the luster wasn't the same, and there was no translucency or grain so I knew it had to be something different.
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Cathy
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