What is jade?
Jade consists of a microcrystalline, fibrous, interlocking matrix of the calcium Magnesium-Iron rich amphibole mineral group of Tremolite & Actinolite.
To me, Jade is special due to its innate beauty, strength and history. Seeking and finding Jade is a spiritual and intimate experience, as is co-creating with the stone as it is carved. It is a process that cannot be forced or hurried; the stone must be first understood and respected.
Where does jade come from?
Jade is found in Alaska, Australia, Canada, California, China, Italy, New Zealand, Oregon, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Taiwan, Washington State, Wyoming,and a few other undisclosed areas.
Jade can be found "in-situ," meaning it is still in contact with the mountain or hillside, surrounded by other mineral layers. These types of formations must be broken or sawn out of their location.
Jade can also be found in "alluvial" deposits, in the forms of boulders near the bases of mountains, in rivers and streams. These boulders have been broken off by the forces of nature and history, and then tumbled around in the waters for years until an oxidized skin forms on the stone, which we call the "rind."
Is jade delicate?
Jade has been coined to be the toughest mineral on Earth - not to be confused with the "hardest".
Due to its interlocking, fibrous crystal structure, it allows the artist to achieve fantastic intricacy for sculpture and jewelry.
The forms created by the artist are what usually account for Jade's occasional "delicacy". By nature's design, Nephrite (true Jade, as opposed to Jadeite) has a cleavage, or grain, like wood. To keep the strength and integrity, Jade should be cut with the grain. When cut properly into thin cross sections, Jade will bend before it breaks - Incredible!
This is one of the reasons why many ancient cultures used it for specifically for tools, weapons and ceremony.
why are handmade jade carvings so valuable?
Jade is extremely hard and thus takes an extremely long time to carve - especially by hand.
Many carvings we have been exposed to are pieces of Jade that have been bought for the cheapest price, exported to be carved for the cheapest price (mostly by machine), and then bought and resold to the consumer for the cheapest price.
These include Jades we have seen all over the world, including New Zealand, China, Canada and the United States to name few. Many carvings that have been sold to us in these places as "Jade" are not Jade at all, making them far more affordable than a piece made of true Jade.
Our buyers and collectors appreciate:
• the time & labor we spend finding our Jades out in nature,
• the careful stewardship in our hunt & transportation of the stone,
• the artistic design & execution of carving skills in hard stone,
• as well as, the keystone price of the Jade in its un-carved form.
The price of rough jade varies by location, rarity and purity. Some jades can cost more than the price of gold. For example, the pure white Jade that is found in China, is said to be pure Tremolite with absolutely no other minerals to add color.
What are the properties of jade?
There have been many interesting properties of Jade reported by different cultures throughout history.
In South America, it was known to cure kidney issues.
In New Zealand, it is known as the stone of fertility.
In China, it has been their most prized possession said to reduce negativity, strengthen the heart, improve physical understanding of dreams, and beam love, courage and wisdom.
It is safe to say that the power of Jade is to be interpreted by its wearer or steward.
For us, Jade has been introduced and nurtured through family and friendly connections. It is a stone to be gifted in the carved physical form, as well as in the form of knowledge and appreciation. We continue to pass on both.
Jade is a powerful & awesome stone!