Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Nephrite Qing Pitcher

Nephrite Qing Pitcher, Qing (Ching) Dynasty, 1644-1911. There are two officially accepted types of jade: Jaedite, also called Burmese Jade and Nephrite. Typically, Jaedite is used for jewelry while most common large carvings are out of the more common, less expensive Nephrite. Jade is known for being a durable stone that is amenable to carving, being somewhat resistant to fractures. Nephrite has been found in large boulders on the Western Coast of Canada and the NW US among other place. There is rumored to be a recently rediscovered yellow jaedite (rare) mine which was the source of the Jade used by the Incas in South America.

If you're wondering, I have a small mineral collection but this pretty pitcher was in the Field Museum in Chicago. If you like Jade, I vaguely recall the De Young in SF and the Stanford Museum as having decent collections...or you could go visit the Jade Factory in Beijing which is totally amazing! Note, however, that the Chinese call all sorts of stones Jade, most of which aren't. This is especially true if you're shopping in the street markets or at low tier jewelers. So, Jade Shopper beware!

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