the Wielescha Salt Mines, and now a World Heritage Site. Most of the
carvings and statues are religiously based.
Thank you for the Jamie. Does anybody disagree that
Michaelangelo's carvings and statues would be as priceless today if
they were carved in salt rather than marble? Maybe more so since Sal
Sapientia (holy salt) is part of religious liturgy (p 7 of "Salt" by
That being so, the artistry which goes into cutting/carving/grinding
far outweighs the value of the minerals no matter how rare, durable
or aesthetic they may be. Make it more appealing to the eye and you
can add enormous value.
It is the same for other stones. Zoellner in "The Heartless Stone"
goes into considerable detail on how low the monetary value of
diamond in the rough can be and he spares no words to say how little
aesthetic value he considers the stone to have without enhancement.
Writing in his anthropology book on Ancient Mexico, Peterson says
that jade was the most valued stone to those people and only
aristocrats could lawfully own it with severe penalties to violators.
However, they considered raw jade to have zero value.
Giacomo at Torart has a block of my "low grade" nephrite (I have
higher grade samples as well). I have a huge amount of it under claim
and I wonder how to use all grades. I also have two other finds from
my field work which I am studying for possible claiming and the
natural patterning and grain of the stones is greatly different.
Nephrite jade (defined as actinolite/tremolite with artistry value)
is quite common in BC and it is our official emblem/stone since 1968.
Recently I ran some tests with thin cuts. Giacomo may wish to slice
the block he has for mosaic work (also with a long history in Italy).
I have 1 mm and 1/2 mm slices.
Put a bright light behind the slices (I used an ordinary flashlight)
and you see the excellent bright green colours. Mosaics in lamp
shades and various other works of art could be a use for this
product. Modern lighting technologies are advancing too with tiny LED
and laser lights having great power to illuminate. Why not mosaic 3D
works of art more generally with lighting to enhance the jade?
A number of postings on the "favorite stone" topic mentioned
lighting effects. Room lighting is highly variable. Lighting can be
used in artistry and craftsmanship to good effect as well. Is there
any jeweller with a display case who does not consider this?