Thank you for the feedback which I will summarize since Orchid
understandably edits such a large volume of mail for brevity. Just
say so if any of this precis is in error.
re "the common definition of jade" (your expression):
The assays I posted to Orchid were from the business which is as far
as I know BC’s leading jade firm, supplying to Canadian and
international markets. They also state the mine source.
-> and “your assays dont prove the presence or absence of
I do not think this jeweller wants to pack up a multi-million dollar
business which has been here for decades so I will take their word
for it that this is jade. I will not say the same for “jade” in some
gift shops. The assays prove that the actinolite-tremolite
amphiboles cannot be present in amounts exceeding 10%.
Given that, I predicted that jade would assay as a rock rather than
a mineral and the results confirm my prediction but I did not expect
it to be so dramatic. I gave the atomic mass numbers and put my
calculations online. They prove that well over 90% of that jade is
Your continued reference to superjade and increases in hardness
are meaningless unless you have a reference point.
Leaming’s book refers repeatedly to attempts by researchers to
enhance jade. Colour and hardness seem to be the main variables of
enhancement. But why not patterning as well? Toughness?
“Carvability”? Transparency-translucency? Other? Given that “junk
jade” is very common in BC and Washington State, enhancement
research is worth the effort IMO. Leaming has a lot to say about
The reference point most broadly is THE DEFINITION OF JADE. I will
put one forward. You or others are invited to improve it.
Jade is a ROCK which carries actinolite-tremolite and also has an
aesthetics making it valuable to stone cutters.
Now as far as aesthetics are concerned, Rock 9 and I share an
interest with Leaming et al in enhancing jade without having to sell
the farm and buy a $100,000 press. One question then is whether the
definition of jade above holds up if you partially melt jade in a
kiln. If yes, the partial melting may enhance pattern or
transparency. What is that >90% in my jade rock? Quartz? Feldpar?
Aluminum oxide? All three are readily available, cheap and one could
experiment with them in jade mixes for many years. And then there
are other minerals which could be added to the 90%+ in the mix.
Another Orchid thread is on low-cost kiln-making. Google on
"Inproheat" in Vancouver, They sell high temperature mortar mix
(just add water) which will do up to 2500 F at about $1/lb. I am
getting some to make a “sagger” (a kiln within a kiln) for my
I would guess that for less than $100 one could also make a small
free-standing kiln maybe one cu ft and put a torch through a bottom
hole with a small gas escape at top but that depends on how
insulating the mortar is. There are also insulating fabrics on the
market. A smaller chamber inside the one cu ft kiln would hold a
sample of pottery or metal or glass. Russian doll model?
I am interested in anyone else’s kiln experiments with jade. Given
that actinolite-tremolite is one of the asbestos minerals and the
subject of an even bigger mass action law suit than tobacco though,
let’s be aware of the health issues in this research.