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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…

Paul Ahlstedt