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California Jade


#1
     Farther north, the Trinity River has been known to produce
Jade, but is probably better known for it's deposits of "California
Jade" which is not Jade at all. It is an intimate mixture of Idocrase
and white garnet which is actually harder than jade and takes a fine
polish.

I have collected quite an amount of the California Jade over the
years (being a Californian) such as at the deposits at Pulga. It has
always been my understanding however that this material was massive
vesuvianite. Is that not correct?

Also, on the California Jade thread, I have collected quite a bit of
material from the beaches including popular areas like Jade Cove and
Willow Creek. I have found that a considerable amount of this
material is quite unstable, and cracks apart when slabbed or ground.
Also, most of the material that I have collected is a very dark green
(with or without mottling) to black. The pieces that I have been able
to cut however have taken a very good polish and was worth the
collecting effort. In some localities in Northern California, you can
litterally view entire BOULDERS of solid jade just sitting alone in
fields in the middle of no where. I have always wondered why some
enterprising persons have not collected these and slabbed them for
table tops, etc.

Best wishes,
Paul Ahlstedt / Moderator
The Gemking Daily Faceter
http://www.gemking.com/digest/


#2

Dear Paul, Idocrase and Vesuvianite are the same. Calfornite is the
name that was coined by the pioneer American Gemologist, G.F. Kunz,
back around the turn of the century, to apply to the Idocrase that
occurred in Califonia that resembled Jade. I have collected beautiful
small crystals of brown Vesuvianite from the tactites that occur in
the Bishop, CA. area. The Pulga material is quite unusual and I would
like to have a piece of it for my collection. If you have any you
might part with, I would like to buy a representative sample from
you. Please contact me offline. Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


#3
 Dear Paul, Idocrase and Vesuvianite are the same. Calfornite is
the name that was coined by the pioneer American Gemologist, G.F.
Kunz, back around the turn of the century, to apply to the Idocrase
that occurred in Califonia that resembled Jade. I have collected
beautiful small crystals of brown Vesuvianite from the tactites that
occur in the Bishop, CA. area. The Pulga material is quite unusual
and I would like to have a piece of it for my collection. If you
have any you might part with, I would like to buy a representative
sample from you. Please contact me offline.   Ron at Mills Gem, Los
Osos, CA. 

Hi Ron, sorry - just the mineralogist in me talking - we generally
speak of “varieties” in mineralogy. :slight_smile: For example, if I wanted to
speak to you about tourmaline, I would specify which variety -
elbaite, rubellite, schorl, etc. At any rate, what I was getting at
was that it was my understanding that California Jade was massive
vesuvianite, and not a mixture of idocrase and garnet. I would like
to know which is correct because I had not heard of that before.

On the California Jade (vesuvianite?), I have collected quite a bit
of it with a beautiful apple green color which makes great cabachons -
although I have to admit that I have never been able to collect
anything sizable enough to cut something large like a belt buckle.
Some of the material also has a dark green mottling in it which is
very unusual and looks nice polished. The material is fairly easy to
cut and polish, and I use all diamond media for the work that I do
finishing with 100,000 mesh. It takes a very high luster. The
material does not seem to be heat sensitive at all, and I have always
used normal dopping techniques. Probably the best known locality for
this material is at Pulga, California, which in itself is truly in
the middle of “God’s Country.” A trip there would be worth the
scenery alone. Oh, and I almost forgot - I don’t have any that I can
part with at the moment - tis lost in a box somewhere…
hehehe…

Paul Ahlstedt


#4
   I would bet it is not Jadite, probably Nephrite, Serpentine,
Bowenite or something else. but usually Jade is only called Jade,
and any other (korean, california, whatever jade) is just a
misnomer. 

I don’t know about Korean jade, but California is indeed a source
for true jade. There are actually two distinct species of stone,
jadite and nephrite, that can be correctly called jade. The reasons
for this lie in Chinese history. The Chinese venerated neprite jade
for millenia before finding the jadite deposits in Burma in the 18th
century. They identified this (without benefit of modern
minerological analysis) as another form of the same stone, and prized
it accordingly.

Most California jade is nephrite, and not of great quality, but
there are sources of very nice jadite, as well as nephrite, in the
Eel river basin of Mendocino county. Ron of Mill’s Gems wrote about
this on Orchid previously:
http://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/archive/200105/msg00237.htm . I’ve
cut some of it myself, and it’s really pretty material, which
polishes well.

Andrew Werby
www.unitedartworks.com


#5

There are even recently de activated “mines” in Mendocino County and
jade can be found in areas of the Russian river basin and other
rivers and creeks and land areas. A local fellow has a claim deep
somewhere in N. CA that he copters out material now and then. He
has a Rock Shop in Navarro, in the Anderson Valley in Mendocion Co.
Also “Jade Cove” in Montery County, where divers have and can (?)
find jade while diving. Not sure if removal is still allowed today
or not. There is Apple Jade in the Feather River too. We have found
jade gravel on the Navarro River Beach as well as other water ways
in this area. I even found a small Poppy Jasper hunk on the Navarro
Beach. Many parts of N. CA are loaded with HUGE Serpentine
"deposits", the precursor to Jade, if proper geological actions take
place.

John Dach


#6
    Many parts of N. CA are loaded with HUGE Serpentine
"deposits", the precursor to Jade, if proper geological actions
takes place. 

John, my question to you: if I were to buy some property with a
deposit of serpentine, HOW LONG would I have to wait to make a
fortune selling Jade? David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157