Arroyo Seco California. River Jade.

Jeffrey Appling GJG (GIA)

Over the mountain and west of Big Sur is the Arroyo Seco river. 

I do not know of any documented Jadeite or Nephrite Jade in Arroyo Seco so I will share my findings.

When I first picked up some iron stained boulders from the river, I thought they were Jadeite Jade.

Today, Iron stained Jadeite boulders are picked out of a river in Myanmar (formally Burma) and I was hoping for the same here in Arroyo Seco.

 I thought it was Jadeite for months until I did my gemological testing and found it to be Nephrite, Jade.

First lets slice it up like a potato.

Ready for sawing.

Diamond saw grinding a thin slice
Some Nephrite is translucent in thin cut slices.

Sawing like this was done in ancient times.

Below are saw cuts in Granite from Egypt.

(Below) Sliced iron stained Nephrite, Jade small boulder (cobble).

I did a hardness test and I came out with 6.5 on MOHs scale. (high end of Nephrite).

I used a thin slice to get a refractive index reading. All stones bend light at different degrees and the refractometer measures the degree it bends light.

RI (spot) reading of 1.62 refractive index + – . Same as Nephrite.

Jadeite has a spot reading of 1.66.

The specific gravity is 2.95 plus or minus .05. (same as Nephrite)

Jadeite has a specific gravity of 3.3 and Nephrite is 2.95.

(Below) Under a microscope using fluorescent light a mottled yellowish apple green color is evident.

(Below) Switching to darkfield illumination an orange hue is observed along with typical black inclusions commonly found in Nephrite Jade.

The thinnest part of this Nephrite slice is 1.22mm thick.

Nephrite Jade cut this thin would be difficult to drill with precision.

(Below) Jade carvers today use a round core drill to make a round holes in stone.

The friction of high speed diamond drills would skip all over the Jade slice and would be difficult to keep tightly placed holes.

(Above) Sonic technology used by our ancient ancestors can make perfect holes as was done in Egypt long ago.

How about some triangle holes?

Got em’

Now we got some Triangle holes in jade, lets do some star holes using a star metal tube on a metal horn.

I will put 2 star holes in the vacant spot of the Nephrite slice shown above.

Round, Triangle, and star holes in Nephrite, Jade.

(below) Under the microscope with reflected light (10x)

Sonic technology used thousands of years ago supersedes our diamond drills today.

Nephrite Jade is tough to break but would be impossible to make closely placed holes using spinning diamond abrasive technology.

(Below) Look how close the circle hole is to the star hole. This is created using sound technology.

Sound amplification creates geometrics in stone.


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