When I came to China in 2010, I remember going to a fancy jade store in Beijing. The store was huge and had very modern architecture. I remember looking at all of the jade animal figures, the earrings, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, and so on. There was so much jade, and so many different colours. There was green, pink, red, and even black jade. I bought a jade dolphin for my mom and a jade bangle for myself. However, I’ve never actually worn the bangle. It sits on my dresser at home in Nashville. The main reason I bought it was because growing up many, mainly older Chinese women, always had a jade bangle. I remember my Chinese teacher telling me how she was given her bangle when she was a young teenager and how it was so small it was very painful to get on her wrist. Due to this and the fact that she was told the bangle is supposed to protect her, she never took it off. At this point my friend, Jenny, said that her mother’s friend fell down a flight to stairs and was totally fine, but her jade bangle broke. Jenny says that this is a prime example of how a jade bangle protects a person. I was actually given a jade bangle when I was very young, but like the one I have now I didn’t wear it much. When I was younger I think I was more afraid of breaking it than anything else.

Skipping forward to the present time. Jade is still everywhere. There are fancy jewellery stores like the one I visited in 2010, but there are also street vendors and small shops that also sell a variety of jade products. With some of the jade it is very easy to tell what is fake. However, there are some jade items that look authentic even though you know they are fake. This is especially true if you are shopping at a small shop or vendor. In other words, don’t get your hopes up because there is a lot of fake jade in China. None the less, to me it doesn’t matter if the jade is actually real, all that matters is if it looks and feels real. My favourite kind of jade is a natural light green or a dark green colour. I also like the pink jade. However I strongly dislike the jade that is bright green. To me that jade looks even more fake than it already is. So far on this trip I’ve bought two dark green jade lions for my dad, a dark green jade pendent with my friend’s name engraved on it, another red jade pendent that doesn’t have any engravings, and a small green jade turtle which I gave to my friend for his birthday. I’ve been tempted to by another bangle, maybe in pink, but I know that this bangle is justing going to sit on my dresser and collect dust next to my other one.

With the amount of jade I see in stores I wonder how much of it is 100% pure jade and what kind of stone the fake jade is made out of. I also wonder if any of the jade is a mixture of real jade and another material. In addition, I wonder where manufacturers get all of this real jade and the material used to make fake jade. There are thousands of stores that sell jade and each store has hundreds, thousand, or many even ten thousand pieces of jade in various forms. Before writing this post I wasn’t interested in buying anymore jade products, but now after I’ve written it I want to go buy more jade.