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Bothyroidal Jade

Could you please give an opinion on what someone has called
"bothyroidal" Jade? I’m from Canada, British Columbia - and we have Jade
galore - but now some people are attempting to market this type of stone
at very highly inflated values, i.e. $$/gram, or $$/carat.

Most of the “bothyroidal” jade I’ve seen came from California with
the older material from the Big Sur coast area. I believe
there was a new find in the north-central(?) part of the state
but I have not seen it. The value of most of what I have seen
would be as specimens or a small piece used uncut (but polished)
in jewelry. From what I remember the Northern California material
was controlled by one person, or group of people. If this is still
true, they have it all and can set the price at what the market
will bare. I don’t know what it is selling for so I can’t
comment on the prices you are seeing.

BTW, Welcome to this list - we need a Jade expert!.

I read somewhere that an expert was someone who had read ONE book
on the subject ;-). If I have any expertise it is in cutting
and polishing, not in jade as a mineral.

Dick Friesen

Just to add a couple of personal insights to the topic of botryoidal
jade, discussed so well by Mr. Friesen:

In my opinion this material has high value for the usual reasons:
uniqueness and rarity. Production from the original discovery along
California’s Central Coast has always been very small. The upscale
boutiques in and around Cambria, CA (near the discovery site) often have
beautiful examples of this material crafted into one-of-a-kind jewelry
in high-karat gold. They sell at “upscale” prices, too.

As you all know, the word “botryoidal” means "like a bunch of grapes."
And some of the lighter green botryoidal jades, when skillfully
polished, have an uncanny resemblance to small bunches of green grapes.
I have not seen material from the other location mentioned by Mr.
Friesen but the coastal material is nephrite in the usual nephrite color
range from gray through many tones of green to near-black.

Rick Martin

I read somewhere that an expert was someone who had read ONE book
on the subject ;-). If I have any expertise it is in cutting
and polishing, not in jade as a mineral.


I heard that an exspurt is an old used drip under pressure. Needless to
say, I ALWAYS refuse being called and expert.


John and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/ Bloomin’ Wax Works. etc.

PO Bx 44, Philo
CA 95466
Ph 707-895-2635 FAX 707-895-9332

The playfulness of the Universe
is reflected in the dance of the stars!

Do look up the September 1987 issue of the National Geographic
issue which has a very informative article on JADE. Both the
British Columbia jade and California’s Big Sur jade deposits are
included in the write up which describes jade deposits worldwide
as well as a lot of technical stuff I had never found elsewhere.

Kelvin Mok (

Home: (403) 463-4099 | Home FAX: (403) 430-7120


I have this issue kicking around somewhere and a scanner if
anyone desperately needs to see it. I also re-call seeing an
arcticle on botryrodial jade in either Rock and Gem or Lapidary
Journal within the last couple of years - If anyone needs info I
will dig back.

Also our shop hints page has a section on working Jade (not that
anyone would want to cut up a nice piece of bothyrodial jade)
using standard lapidary methods ( and
check out our products page for a picture of BC jade
( follow the link to products). This
material is worked quite a bit in our area so the tips are time
tested. I prefer working Jade strickly on diamond gear. If
anyone has questions on working with BC (nephrite) Jade I may be
able to help.


Cameron Speedie
Island Gem and Rock