Jade-Collection offers Chinese archaic jade pieces dating from the Neolithic period to the Qing Dynasty. We take great care to ensure the authenticity of all jade pieces by carefully studying the relevant literature of Chinese cultural objects and modern archaeological procedures. At Jade-Collection, we use the following methods to date our jades.

First, we understand that there are no truly objective, nor scientific tests capable of dating the jade. To avoid fake and copy pieces, we apply technical analysis which could be less subjective than stylistic, art-historical methods. We believe, a careful study of the tooling methods which used to produce the carved jades is the most reliable way of dating ancient jades.

People always saying “jade carving”, however, jades are not really“carved”like woods. They were always worked through a laborious process of abrasion. The abrasives used by the ancients were barely harder than the jade itself. In the beginning, the ancients used quartz sand and crushed garnets as well as powdered corundum, while in the pre-metal period string-cutting and stone files were used, and holes were bored by bamboo charged with sand. By the Shang dynasty (roughly 1600 to 1100 BC), bronze tools became available to drive the abrasive powders. In the Warring States period (475 to 221 BC), small iron tools allowed magnificent detailed work. We make a careful study of the cutting, carving, and hole-drilling techniques used in different periods. We also examine the museum samples to find out the difference between authentic jades and the modern machine made ones.

Apart from the tooling consideration, the materials of jade pieces also give us technical clues. Since each period has its typical types and colors of jade, the other types would rarely be seen in that particular era. There are chemical analyses which can even identify the sources of the raw materials, and help us to narrow down the period it was from.

In addition to these procedures, we examine the extent of weathering as well as the alteration caused by weathering. This aids us to estimate the storage environment and the roughly age of the jade pieces.

Lastly, we compared our jades with those shown in the recognized publications. We examine the shape, form, design, pattern and style of the jade. We keep in mind that each period always has its own style of design. Besides, we reference the characteristics of the jade pieces to other types of art, such as paintings, bronze, pottery, wood and stone carvings. All these relative information from the archaeological community helps us in determining the time period of our jades.

Although there are no dating techniques which could give absolute certainty, we are still confident of our dating method. It is not only because of the great effort we have put in, but more importantly are the accumulated field knowledge and experiences from the four generations of our family. While all our experiences are based on real trading with antique dealers, we must say that these valuable experiences are the best dating method in the Jade-Collection.