The jade samples from a Vancouver jewelry shop which I had assayed
prove beyond any doubt that jade is a rock.
Hopefully an Orchid chemist will correct me if I am in error, but
here are my calculations. First I took the standard chemical formula
given for actinolite-tremolite. Then I went to the link for Peridioc
Table at http://www.ausetute.com.au/empirical.html
to look up Ca, Mg and Fe. and find the relative atomic mass for
each. The ratios of these elements in the actinolite-tremolite
formula were multiplied by their respective ram.
Ca: 2 x 40 = 80; Mg 5 x 24 = 120; Fe 5 x 56 = 280. The sum is 480.
Doing the same for O, H and Si and we find that the ram total of one
mineral molecule is 1090.
Since the sum of the assay values I posted earlier for Ca, Mg and Fe
add up to only about 2.5% that means the actinolite-tremolite in the
samples is less than 6%.
Given that over 90% of these jade carvings was not
actinolite-tremolite, they fit the definition of rock carvings and
not mineral carvings. Jade is a rock.
Also I was asked off-list about how to get these assays done. I have
no vested interest in Acme Assayers in Vancouver but I can recommend
their work highly. Google on Acme. You can mail in one gram samples
of jade or _____ and be sure to specify if you want assayed samples
returned, stored or destroyed.
If Orchid jewellers et al pool their assays they can share the
up-front (fixed) batch fee. Acme will send the assay results to
contributors by email.
I had predicted the finding that jade is a rock. I did not predict
the magnitude. It amazes me that less than 10% of a rock’s
composition by weight can bind the rest of the rock with mineral
fibres/strands/needles so powerfully. What if the % was higher or
lower? What would that do to the value of the stone? What if GE lab
is able to produce 100% pure actinolite-tremolite jade with mineral
fibres intertwined to the maximum? What kind of gem would that be?
Another “jade variable” which is highlighted by these assays is the
role of other minerals in the mix. The values of Cr, Ni, Al, Hg etc.
are significant. What do these elements and their minerals do to
jade durability and beauty? What would “GE super-jade” be like?
Perhaps it will surpass anything we have yet seen in nature.
Since Cr in even tiny amounts is regarded as a jade and jadeite
colorant, perhaps the “emerald green” in the highest value jadeite
gems (which can fetch emerald-like prices) can be surpassed by
I have also found stunning green crystal samples in my prospecting
of a jade ore body in the field. I had hypothesized that these were
green garnets (Cr garnets) but the assay is so surprising that I
have to wonder if this is a new mineral. Can anyone explain a Se
value > 10,000 x the Earth Crust Average? With dozens of other Se
assays here nothing comes even close. In any case, one implication
is that superjade colorants in a GE lab could match or surpass
Also consider that the Audubon field guide to minerals gives the
same chemical formula for actinolite and tremolite but says that Fe
content may vary. Leaming gives the same formula but says Mg and Ca
may vary. Leaming also refers to variation in the OH bonds.
It is not clear to me what Leaming means by “semi-jade” in his
book.Perhaps what he is getting at is that chemical variation in
jade may cause it to shade off into another kind of rock or mineral.
What would happen in a GE lab if various amphibole family minerals
were mixed with various pyroxene family minerals?
Finally a health note. If you do a lot of this work remember that
the biggest class action law suit is not for tobacco but for
asbestos family minerals which includes actinolite-tremolite. Not
only do they clog the lungs like silica but they are also