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Alaskan jade


I live in Alaska and constantly get asked if I sell any jewelry with
stonesmined instate.

I know there is a material that is called “Alaskan Jade” though
every credible gemology book and website I can find states this is a
misnomer. “Alaskan Jade” according to all credible sources is
actually Pectolite, the same mineral as Larimar but much uglier.

Does anyone know of any reputable Alaskan Jade source that can stand
up to testing? I accurately represent every piece I offer and nothing
short of this will do.

Thanks and all the best, Sarah Eclipse Designs Sitka, AK

Does anyone know of any reputable Alaskan Jade source that can
stand up to testing? I accurately represent every piece I offer and
nothing short of this will do. 

I think you got to the heart of the matter right there. Who can
fault you if you state clearly what your stone is? Do the testing of
petrograpic analysis, assays etc. as necessary and put that on the
label. I made it sort of a hobby to collect jewelry ads and flyers,
in part because some of them are works of pictorial art in
themselves. I study the word smithing. If a stone is sold as “real
diamond” and has a footnote beside it like (1) then the buyer is
required to read (1) which may say this is lab-made diamond and as
long as no statute law prohibits using the wording real diamond in
this context there is no deception.

If there is no statute law proscribing the Alaska Jade wording, put
(1) beside your ads and footnote the analysis. Advertising hoopla is
another matter - Diamonds are a girl’s best friend? Diamonds are
forever? Do you sell Alaska Black Diamond as well?


Jade is the state gem of Alaska. You have a Jade mountain made of
"dark green" jade in the remote Seward peninsula. Alaskan Jade is
generally found in the Dall, Shungnak and Kobuk rivers.

I collect Nephrite Jade, which is what is found in Alaska. Please
google images of Pectolite and Alaskan Nephrite. Nephrite Jade is
found in Alaska, British Columbia (Canada), California (google Big
Sur Jade) and Wyoming. There is an article on Alaska Jade in “Gems
and Gemology” in the late 1980s’. The GIA may still have some copies
available for sale. I have never received pectolite when I have
bought Alaskan Jade. While Pectolite and Nephrite have overlapping
refractive index readings(pectolite 1.59 to 1.64 nephrite 1.60 to
1.63) there are several differences (besides visual) Pectolite is
flourescent, nephrite jade is not. Pectolite has perfect cleavage,
Nephrite does not -it has a characteristic splintery break. Nephrite
is denser than pectolite (Nephrite Specific gravity 2.90 to 3.02 and
Pectolite SG of 2.62 to 2.87).Last but not least Nephrite jade is
affected by warm acids (would need repolishing) while Pectolite will
be dissolved by Hydrochloric acid.(Hydrochloric- Muriatic acid the
same, Hydrocloric acid is part of gold testing acids.). Any
competent Graduate Gemologist should be able to verify what you have
is Nephrite Jade VS Pectolite. I am not sure what “credible gemology
and websites” you refer to.

May I recommend “Handbook of Gem Identification” by Richard T.
Liddicoat. This book is invaluable to beginning Gemologists and old
ones’ too!

Best Regards,
Cecelia Gettemy, Graduate Gemologist (1995)


Douglas, True Alaska jade is nephrite. It’s best known source is
Jade Mountain in the Kobuk region. I bought some jade rough several
times years ago from Stewart Photo in Anchorage. The Stewarts had a
claim up there. The shop is still there but I don’t know if they
still handle the jade. You might give them a call.

Jerry in Kodiak


Oh no!!! This could start another thread like “what is fine
jewelry”? I will begin by asking a question… I have casting resin
which I use in making photographic jewelry (one of the ways I make
photographic jewelry).

I admit this isn’t “fine” jewelry - let’s not get into that again.
But people actually do like wearing a pendant or a bracelet of their
grandchild’s pictures or their pet’s pictures. So… I ask

is that casting resin “real”? And if not, what is it? Can "real"
diamonds (or other gems for that matter) be made two ways? One way
being nature-made and one way being lab-made? I’m just asking…

Barbara, who is beginning to be snowed in for the second time in two
weeks, a “real” wood fire crackling in the woodstove.