Jewelry - Big Sur Jade Company

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Things you need to know:

Above Jade Cove is a flat sea terrace or meadow that extends to the highway. Somewhere around 100,000 years ago, the terrace and the ocean were at the same level. In other words, it is an old beach, which over the years has been covered by alluvial dirt from the mountains above. The Jade that has been buried for all these years has been stained various shades of red, brown and gold by the iron that is already in most Jade(iron causes the green in Jade) and the iron rich soil which had covered it. It is not legal to collect the Jade from above the mean high-tide mark but over the years pieces have eroded out of the cliffs and fallen back into the surf. The color or rind is usually not over a fraction of an inch thick and soon wears away by the action of the surf and sand. The stain will last longest in the fractures. Pieces which are total "Vulcan"are very rare. The name "Vulcan" was given to this Jade by Leon Markham of Monterey, probably back in the 1950's.

"Chatoyant" — The dictionary says: chatoyant is changing in luster or color: chatoyant silk. I say, you get a shimmering effect as you move the Jade back and forth under good light. Chatoyancy can be caused by parallel fibers reflecting light differently and also by an under the surface fracture which also will reflect the light differently. I don't have a theory on why the deep-water pieces are sometimes chatoyant. Many of the Indian cooking stones or burnt Jade are chatoyant but that is another story and I do not sell those.

"Natural" is a beautiful piece of Jade that is untouched by tools or sandpaper because they are perfect when you find them! There will be fine" etchings" left by the constant movementof sand and surf of the Pacific Ocean. Specimens like this are getting very rare and are also known as "Big Sur Jewels".

Once a month you should apply a light coat of mineral oil with a toothbrush and wipe off the excess. This will keep your piece glowing and satisfy the stone's love for oil. After a year or so, the salt of the ocean will have been carried away and the oil will have penetrated deep into the stone. You will be able to see further and further into the stone as time goes by!

"Deep-water rind" happens when a piece sits long enough in quiet deep water and does not get scrubbed clean by the sand and surf. The salt-water begins to stain the Jade with a silvery-grey rind that is sometimes somewhat chatoyant.

"Coraline algae" is my catch-all term for any plant growth still left on the jade.

The idea of these pieces is for you to bring a part of Big Sur into your room: to look at, to remember, and to remind you of the strength and the serenity of this magic coast!

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