Cambria California

Gems of Cambria. Nephrite Jade, Chalcedony, and Obsidian.

Jeffrey Appling GJG (GIA)

Gems of Cambria


Hidden in an undisturbed area along the California coast is a semi-precious and precious shoreline gem collection.

The 45-foot radius along the shoreline is one giant gemstone tumbling machine. As the ocean crashes against the shoreline, new polished gems are revealed daily.

Nephrite Jade, Chalcedony, Obsidian, and more.

The above collected rocks from Cambria will be used for art and jewelry.

A small sample follows.

My favorite find was this Nephrite I named “Jewel of Cambria” it’s an ocean polished globular Nephrite, Jade (pictured above at lower left and pictured below).

Globular Nephrite Jade

The bumpy globular formation of this Nephrite is often called botryoidal or bubble gum among some jade dealers.

Nephrite on Jasper

The above Nephrite Jade rests upon a sliced Jasper, Chalcedony.

Chalcedony is pronounced  (Kal-seh-duh-nee).

Agate and Jasper are the same, a microcrystalline silicate called Chalcedony.

Chalcedony having band lines are called Agate, whereas the absence of lines is called Jasper.  

Below showing large Jasper (no lines) and a smaller Agate (lines).

Both Jasper and Agate and are considered semi-precious.

The above white agate from Cambria is sometimes called Moonstone because it resembles a separate mineral called Moonstone- Orthoclase- Feldspar.

In the gem world 3 factors influence value: Beauty, rarity, and durability.

Jade is considered precious. Below are ocean polished globular nuggets of Nephrite Jade displayed upon Jasper bases. All from Cambria.

You don’t need a rock tumbler or a cabbing Machine to make Cambria rock art.

 Nature preforms everything and often polishes it too.

However, I spayed these with a Lacquer to seal and protect the beauty.

Above are 2 Jasper pebbles made into pendants.  The star holes are created by sound technology.

Living organisms once lived within mudstone and sandstone sediment rock.

The calcareous tubes (homes) are now abandoned. This calcified tube left over is called Serpula.

  The black stone below with white lines is Obsidian, a natural volcanic glass.

The white inclusions within black Obsidian is the mineral Cristobalite, often called snow flake Obsidian.

 If cut thin enough the Obsidian has a beautiful orange translucent sunset orange hue that rivals the beautiful orange California sunsets.

Obsidian has a shell-like fracture (similar to a broken beer bottle’s fracture). The primitive chipping called Knapping produces uneven sharp edges.

Natives used deer antler and hard stones to chip/ knap the natural black glass into sharp tools and weapons.

Above arrowhead is created by chipping.

The geometric star holes created in the above Obsidian arrowhead and the star holes below were created using sound technology.

(Below) Cambria natural glass necklaces, sonically cored.

(below) Ocean polished Nephrite Jade with iron staining

(below) Iron staining on exterior skin of Nephrite

Vulcan Jade is iron stained Jade.

Large bluish-greeen Neprhite (pictured below).

I sprayed the fractured Jade with a lacquer coating to give a water on rock appearance.

Nephrite Jade is the toughest natural substance on Earth (extremely tough to break).  The Jade’s resistance to scratching (hardness) is similar to Chalcedony at 6.5 on the Mohs scale. This Nephrite Jade cannot be scratched by steel (5.5) but can be scratched by Quartz (7).

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