Preliminary study on the impact of relative humidity on the conservation of jades

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Gong, Meng-Ting; Wang, Rong; Cheng, Huan-Sheng;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 58, Number 2, p.88-94 (2013)


This paper examines the impact of relative humidity on jades by enclosing the samples under constant relative humidity (RH) of 32, 49, 61.5, and 81.7% at the same temperature of 40 ± 0.1°C for 160 days. The simulated samples were pure and dense tremolite jade and serpentine jade, impure tremolite jade and serpentine jade containing some calcite, and serpentinized calcite, which are all common materials of ancient jade found in archaeological excavations. All samples were characterized through particle-induced X-ray emission and a glossmeter. The degree of deterioration proved to be greater in impure materials than in pure ones. The best RH to conserve various kinds of materials differs: for pure tremolite and serpentine, all of the RH levels are equal; for impure tremolite with some calcite, 61.5 and 81.7% were superior; for impure serpentine with some calcite, the highest RH (81.7%) was best; and as to the serpentinized calcite, there is no clear conclusion as yet and further research is needed.