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Is this jadeite or nephrite?
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alfredo
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PostPosted: Aug 05, 2017 09:57    Post subject: Re: Is this jadeite or nephrite?  

With regard to white rind on jadeite, that is a weathering phenomenon on jadeite from mines. It is not so often seen on jadeite from beaches, because the rind is getting constantly ground away in the actively abrasive environment.
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PostPosted: Aug 07, 2017 18:01    Post subject: Re: Is this jadeite or nephrite?  

Still waiting on my diamond-coated lapidary saw blade to come, so can't share what the inside looks like yet, but just thought I'd update that I've gone back to that same beach a couple times looking for additional specimens and have come up empty-handed. Plenty of other greenish looking stones but nothing that has this same appearance and I haven't found anything else even close to this dense (just over 3.0).

The closest I've found is this chunk of some stone (photo attached) that's got a mixture of green and white in it, but its density is more like 2.65 and it looks quite a bit different to me, I'm guessing something quartz-based? Too bad that beach isn't just littered with undiscovered jade stones, huh?



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PostPosted: Aug 08, 2017 13:45    Post subject: Re: Is this jadeite or nephrite?  

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good durable tool for cutting stones? I thought a lapidary hand saw + diamond-coated wire blade would be an economical option but even using cut lube liberally, this is as far as the wire cut before all the diamonds had been worn off. At ~$10 per blade, I think it might be more economical just to buy some kind of power tool. What do the pros use?


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PostPosted: Aug 10, 2017 14:20    Post subject: Re: Is this jadeite or nephrite?  

So just another update -- I figured out that I was wrong about the diamonds wearing off the saw blade, it had simply clogged up, so once I switched from dry cut lube to just using water, that kept it clean. A few hours of manual labor later, and it's cut in half. Nothing terribly surprising/different about the interior, but a photo is attached.

I have also now attempted a fusibility test (at least as I understand it), and the sliver I used did *not* appear to melt at all, even though it did begin to glow slightly from heating. My understanding is nephrite is generally very difficult to melt, though, so I'm not sure that this does anything other than eliminate jadeite (which had already been somewhat eliminated by the 3.05-ish SG). Here's a clip of my attempt at a fusibility test:




Can anyone else think of any tests I could do to eliminate any non-nephrite minerals that are look-a-likes with a hardness greater than steel and a density of about 3.0?



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alfredo
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PostPosted: Aug 11, 2017 19:08    Post subject: Re: Is this jadeite or nephrite?  

Your fusibility test looked good. Based on that, and your specific gravity tests, and the general appearance, I think it's quite likely that you found nephrite.
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