If you’ve ever purchased a set of vintage Jadeite kitchenware from your local thrift store, you might be wondering how to tell if the kitchenware is authentic vintage Jadeite and not fake Jadeite, or a contemporary reproduction. Evaluating the authenticity of vintage Jadeite is a legitimate concern for many collectors who would like to ensure the authenticity of the pieces in their collection. This article will show you how to tell if your vintage Jadeite is real.
There are a variety of ways a collector can evaluate the authenticity of vintage Jadeite. One can easily identify the authenticity of vintage Jadeite by checking the markings that indicate the piece’s manufacturer. Three companies: Mckee, Jeanette, and Anchor Hocking-Fire King, produced Jadeite during the 1930’s and 1940’s, and imprinted initials onto their Jadeite pieces.
For unmarked pieces, many collectors may opt to perform at home tests. However, the best way to authenticate vintage Jadeite that is unmarked, is to have it professionally tested in a laboratory. Read on to learn how to tell if the vintage Jadeite you’ve purchased is real.
What Is Vintage Jadeite?
For many antique dealers, collectibles that are 20-99 years old can be considered vintage, while collectibles over a century old would be considered antique. The term “vintage” can be a bit vague. It can be used to describe a piece that is 40-50 years old, as well as any piece that is older than 20 years old.
How Can You Identify Vintage Jadeite?
There are a variety of ways to identify vintage Jadeite. For many serious collectors, authentic vintage Jadeite must be produced by one of three primary companies: Mckee, Jeannette or Anchor Hocking- Fire King.
In order to identify whether your piece has been created by any of these manufacturers, look for the company initials imprinted on the piece. Vintage Jadeite produced by McKee will often have the letters McK imprinted onto the bottom of the glassware. Vintage Jadeite produced by Jeanette will often have the letter J imprinted (in a triangle) on the glassware. Vintage Jadeite produced by Anchor Hocking will often have Fire King Oven Glass imprinted onto the glassware.
If you have purchased any form of vintage Jadeite produced by these companies (verified by the company initials imprinted on the glass) you can be assured that it is authentic vintage Jadeite, with the exception of the contemporary Fire King Oven Glass Jadeite, which is marked with a 2000 on the piece.
However, not all vintage Jadeite produced by these companies will have the company letters imprinted into the glass.
An additional way to test the authenticity of vintage Jadeite is to view it under a black light. Jadeite that was produced prior to WWII was made with uranium, and will therefore glow under a black light. This can assure the collector that the piece is indeed vintage. Source
How Can You Tell If Jadeite Glass Is Real?
Jadeite can be categorized into three groups: Type A, B and C Jadeite.
Type A Jadeite, or “Natural Jadeite,” is the most authentic variation of Jadeite. This type of Jade often has small brown or yellow inclusions.
Type B Jadeite originated in the 1980s, and is a variation of Jade that has been bleached to remove the yellowish brown inclusions. This bleaching process injects polymer which increases the gem’s transparency, and polishes its appearance, while simultaneously disrupting the structure of the gem, and lowering its overall quality.
Type C Jadeite has been bleached and dyed to emphasize its color. The color of Type C Jadeite has been described as somewhat bluish green. It often shows regions where the piece has been dipped into the dye.
There are a variety of tests that might indicate the authenticity of Jadeite glass: The Toss Test, The Scratch Test, The Temperature Test, and The Sound (or Clicking) Test.
The Toss Test is achieved by tossing a small piece of Jadeite into the air, and catching it in the palm of your hand. Because Jade is often unusually heavy relative to its size, collectors may be
able to identify fake Jadeite due to its lightness. At the same time, it is necessary to note that this method is not the most reliable when it comes to identifying authentic Jadeite, due to the ambiguity of the test results for collectors unsure of what to look for.
The Temperature Test is easily completed when simply feeling the temperature of the Jadeite piece. Authentic Jade is often cool to the touch and does not warm easily.
The Scratch Test can be accomplished by scratching a piece of Jadeite with a small knife.
If the surface is noticeably indented after wiping any excess residue, you likely have Nephrite or even fake Jade. Unfortunately, some items listed as “Jadeite,” may in fact be made from Quartz, which may not leave a scratch, as it is close to Jadeite in hardness (on the Mohs Scale). This means that The Scratch Test might be a good indicator of authenticity, but it does not guarantee accuracy.
Additionally, The Clicking Test, may indicate whether or not your Jadeite is authentic.
Tapping a piece of genuine Jade against the piece that is being tested should result in a bell-like “click” sound. If the Jade is inauthentic it may produce a hollow sound. However, some gems, such as Quartz, may also produce a seemingly bell-like “click” sound, which means this test is helpful though not one hundred percent effective.
In order to be fully certain of the authenticity of your Jadeite glassware, it is advised to have your product evaluated at a laboratory. Mason Kay, and the Gemological Institution of America offer gem analysis services. Using any of these laboratory evaluations will guarantee that your Jadeite is authentic.
Is Jadeite A Milk Glass?
Yes, Jadeite milk glass is a type of milk glass. Milk glass is not quite translucent, and it is not quite opaque. It can come in a variety of colors and can be hand blown or molded into different shapes. Jadeite milk glass is a type of glassware made of Jade-green opaque milk glass.