Friday, May 29, 2015

Why did my jade turn color? Why did my jade turn black!

A couple of days ago when I was adding new jade bangle bracelets to the web sites, I took off my everyday jade bangle, the one I wear all the time and set it on a table to keep it safe.  I like to put all the jade bangles that get listed on the web site on my wrist(s) to make sure they "feel" good: comfortably as well as energetically.   I touch them often while I write a description, and make sure that any abnormalities are described.  A few hours later, I went to the table to put my jade bangle on, and had to look twice to make sure that was really my jade bangle.  The afternoon sun had come through for a couple of hours and warmed up the glass on the table as well as my jadeite bangle, and the jade bangle had become more green all over.  That's not good.  Jade should never be exposed to direct sunlight for any period of time.  Jade likes the conditions that are in the jade mines: dark, cool and moist.
When I shop at the jade markets in China, the shops that have the best quality jade are kept dark.  The cases the jade are in have lights that turn off between customers viewing.  If the weather is hot, they often have fans blowing on them.  And there are bowls of water in the glass cases to provide moisture.  One of the methods for adding more color to gemstones is exposing it to heat. 

I put my jade bangle on my wrist even though it felt warm, and amazingly I could still feel the coolness of the jade stone.  Grade A jadeite cools quickly.  It appeared more green for awhile, but it often appears more green as I'm wearing it especially when the weather is hot.  Also, when I'm doing tai chi, yoga, my jade looks more vibrant, and glows from the qi energy, but that's a natural happening.   You may notice in some of the descriptions that jade will look more pretty as you wear it, and that's because of your body qi energy.   One of the reasons jade is so popular for centuries in China is because of the jade relation to body qi, and how the jade qi helps to balance the body.  You might get your jade bangle "all qi'd up", take it off and put it in a drawer, then weeks later when you get it, you have to look twice because it does lose the "glow" of your body qi when it's not worn.

But, what does it mean when your jade turns black?  If you take care of your jade, and it's good quality and natural color, it won't turn black.  In fact, true black is not a jade color.  It might be charcoal color, or deep deep green that looks black, but when you hold it to the light you can see some green hues around the edges. That's a method to check to know if your "black" jade is genuine jadeite or Chinese jade.

Exposing jade to sunlight and heat for extended period of time may cause the color to change. If you put your jade bangle in a drawer for several months, and it gets warm and dry, the jade stone gets compromised.  Wearing jade in chlorine water, for cleaning or swimming, may also affect the color.  Some Chinese jade sellers take good jade and bury it in the ground for months to make it look "antique" because of the way the color changes.  

Jadeite that has been bleached with acid to remove undesirable poor color, then treated with polymer or other coloring may eventually turn black because the acid will destroy the
jade stone.  More often, the acid and color treated jade loses its color.  When I'm not sure jade that was sold to me is really natural color, I keep it in storage, under the proper conditions, for 5 years or more prior to listing, and if the color remained stable, then it's probably the natural jade that is it supposed to be. 

Chinese people and Chinese healers often believe that if  you are very ill and have disease, or if the person wearing the jade is an evil person, the "bad qi" of the body will cause the jade to change color.  I tend to believe that, because when I had an illness that required a very powerful medicine that made me miserable, my jade bangle didn't look as good as it usually does.

Sometimes when I question a person whose jade bangle got black, or changed color, I learn that they bought their jade in a Chinatown.  I have been to many Chinatowns all over the world, and it's very rare to find the jade bangles in a seller's shop kept in the proper conditions.  They are often kept on glass shelves under strong light, air conditioning making the air very dry to dry out the jade stone.  And they are often handled roughly, not individually cased in a box which means they get chips, scratches and get worn out before it's even sold. If you see the jade bangles kept in these kind of conditions in a Chinatown, don't expect the seller to really know about jade.  Just because a jade seller is Chinese doesn't mean they know "all about jade"!

So there could be many reasons why your jade turns color.  Find out how the jade was cared for and stored before you purchased it.  And although it's not easy to know the truth about your jade without a gemology testing, it could be something other than jade, or poorly color treated.

Buy from a trusted jade seller.  Our best jade bangle bracelets and other jade is listed on the Jade Heaven web site.  Most of it is vintage, mined prior to the year 2000.  It is stored in dark, cool and moist conditions.  And most of it has been purchase many years before it is actually listed, to make sure there is no color change.

If you do want natural "black" jade, especially jade bangle bracelets, our Chinese jade, and the carved "Dynasty" Chinese jade bangle bracelets on Ying Yu Jade are the best quality you can buy anywhere.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trade Offs

After much thought and customer feedback, I decided to continue the "Clearance" section on the Ying Yu Jade web site.  I haven't added the clearance jade to the new web site when it was developed earlier this month.   The clearance jade items include pieces that have been around for awhile and need a jade loving home, or have "imperfections".   Jade often has "something" that keeps it from being "perfect", but true jade lovers know that things like clarification lines, small chips or scrapes from the jade carver, all show off that is is real and natural jade.  For example, clarification lines might look like cracks but they are part of the stone formation that might define change in minerals that create the color, pattern of the stone in the jade.  They aren't damage, and don't affect the durability.  Some of the clearance jade has cracks in them.  For example, the JHBB281 has a small crack that goes  up and down, so a true crack and not a clarification line that goes through the width.  It's not easily seen, and may have been caused by the color changes in the jadeite stone.

This jade bangle is the fine grained old mine "lao pit" probably mined prior to the year 2000. It has very soft hues of lavender and a deep mossy vein.  It has fine grain, high chime, and is much more pretty than the photo shows. If perfect, it would be valued at $1500-1800. 
Unfortunately, it has a crack.  So it's listed on the Jade Heaven site as a Daily Special with a very very low price.

I won't admit to you how many jade bangles I have in my personal collection.   I am a real hoarder of these.  And part of the reason I keep them for myself is they are the fine quality lao pit jadeite that shows a crack.  I have only three jade bangles in my personal collection that are "perfect".  The rest all have something not perfect, usually cracks.  I have never broken a jade bangle while wearing it that has a crack in it.  But I've broken "perfect" ones.  My theory is that a crack takes the stress off the rounded-ness of the bangle shape.  When you whack a jade bangle "just right" (actually just wrong", it can shatter, or break in pieces.  But jade bangles with cracks, that I wear all the time while gardening, cleaning, doing yoga, physical activity, get whacked and I am sure I broke or cracked it more, but amazingly it didn't get damaged.  I can't prove the crack keeps the bangle more durable, but that's my experience from 17 years of wearing jade bangle bracelets.

When customers express interest in a clearance jade bangle with a crack, I tell them that if they are wearing it and it does break within 30 days, I will give them store credit for another purchase.  I haven't had a customer tell me their clearance jade bangle broke.

The Clearance collection will soon be added to Ying Yu Jade.  The reason for clearance will be described.  And remember my pledge about selling jade:  I sell only the kind of jade I would personally wear. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Down Memory Lane via Train

My office needs updating.  So I'm sorting through boxes, shelves, cupboards to organize all this jade I have, getting some ready for photographing and listing, and setting some aside for later.  I always come across pieces I completely forgot I had.  This sorting out of the jade is very pleasurable, and very time consuming because it's a trip down memory lane.  As you know from previous blogs over the years, most of the jade I sell didn't come from standard jade market purchases.   I traveled deep into the jade carving cities in the south of China near the Burma border, and that travel was an adventure as well as a shopping trip.  But some of the jade buying opportunities came about because I was a tall, blonde "white American" woman wearing a good quality jade bangle wandering around China.  Some Chinese people are very clever, and 10-15 years ago when I was in China, speaking a little Chinese language, I attracted jade sellers.  Chinese people would "pop up" out of nowhere, and then I would have an opportunity to buy jade that wasn't available for public sale. But other opportunities "popped up", too.  And one of the jade bangle bracelets I found in my sorting process reminded me of some of my travel and jade experiences.

I had friends who lived in Tianjin, and when I went to China I would take the train from Beijing to Tianjin once or twice to visit them.  I truly enjoyed riding the train, and chose "hard seat" tickets to ride with the regular Chinese people.  In 2001 on a train trip to Tianjin, I had a small satchel with clothes and personal items because I was spending the night there. I had noticed that Chinese women at that time were always interested about what was in my handbag, and when I went to the restrooms, were not subtle about taking a peek inside.  I had learned to carry small samples of personal care items, like the samples you get at the department store cosmetic and fragrance counters, and give them to snoopy women.  Which thrilled them!  So when a women across from me on the train took interest in my satchel,  she made the excuse that she "dropped something and it fell in the bag", so I opened it.  She wanted some of my personal products, and took a jade bangle off her wrist and offered to trade it for them.  I agreed.  Then more women came over, and soon I had traded all my clothes and my handbag for various Chinese "things".  I often left China with none of the clothes I took with me. 

I had forgotten about the jade bangle bracelet.  It's a little too big for me, 54.5mm inside diameter, and 53mm is the largest size I comfortable wear.  But the carving around it makes it fit like a mm smaller, so I've been wearing it to keep wandering down memory lane.  It's nicely carved, very well polished, Burmese jadeite and moderately translucent. I was told by a jade expert in China it is Qing Dynasty era jadeite.  There are some Qing Dynasty jade bangles in the Ying Yu Jade Vintage collection,  and one is a nephrite "swirl" carving that seems similar in style. 

It has some signs of wear, either a small crack on the top of one of the round areas, or part of the jade, usually a crack is up and down and this line is across.  The qi energy is very calming, pleasurable, and is that classic green jade color with properties of qi for happiness, good health and wellness, and luck and fortune.  I will consider offers but I am getting attached to it!  And the memories bring a big smile to my face. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Jade Bi Pendants -Symbol of Heaven

Today we listed more of the jadeite Bi, Symbol of Heaven pendants.  There are a few more remaining, but we are reaching the end of the inventory on these vintage jade pendants.  They include certificates of Chinese gemology testing, grade A.  Listing is often "work", but touching jade is very pleasurable.  It was tempting for me to keep most of them for myself, even though I have an extensive jade collection.  One of the jadeite bi pendants was almost perfect, very good, almost imperial green with high silky smooth polish.  The jade carver was probably very happy with his work and added a fine silk cord with jade beads for accents.

One of the other bi pendants had a clarification line it that shows how the minerals in the jade stone make the change of the color pattern.  People who don't "know" jade might think this is a crack, and an imperfection, but jade lovers will cherish seeing this specialty jadeite pattern.

They will look their best if they are attached to one of the "dragon whisker" silk cords.
Get one while they are available, and the biggest offender of making them disappear is "me" who just has to keep it!

If you are a Blogger reader, and order one of the new listings on the "New Listings" section, you can request a "dragon whiskers" cord FREE.  I will choose one that looks good with it and attach it for you.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tantra and the Jade Egg

I was recently contacted by a yoga teacher who is also a tantra teacher, and has a "Seven Day Jade Egg Tantra Secrets" class next week.  It looks like she is still taking reservations over the weekend, and I told her Monday is the last day I can mail the jade egg to be sure the participants would receive it by the day of the class.  If you are interested in learning more about the jade egg and how to improve sexuality using it, contact Psalm Isadora for more information about the class.

The jade egg is considered to be sacred, and I learned about using the jade egg during my trips to China to learn about Chinese medicine and wellness.  We also sell the eggs in sets of three sizes, and there is a Daoist form of "vaginal kung fu", using the egg to weight lift to improve the strength of the vagina.  It's basically kegel exercise, but you can do much more with the single jade egg, or set of three. You can purchased either undrilled eggs, or eggs drilled with a hole, you can attach a string, or unwaxed dental floss, for techniques.  When you purchase the jade egg(s) through Ying Yu Jade or Jade Heaven, you receive basic kegel exercise instruction, and how to care for your sacred jade egg.  But if you look on YouTube or surf the internet, there's so much more to learn.

I personally use the medium size 30mm undrilled jade egg.   I prefer the intact egg, with no hole drilled in it, and do basic kegel exercise with it.  It helps me in so many way, including keeping moist (no more vaginal dryness), I can sleep all night without having to get up to urinate, and don't have that "gotta go" urge during the day, and doing the kegel exercise also keeps my stomach flatter and tighter. 

If you purchased only one item from Ying Yu Jade, I would recommend the jade egg. 

We also sell the jade ben wa balls, which are interesting and fun to use, and use with a partner.  There are a variety of options and you can check them out on Ying Yu Jade,
and Jade Heaven

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rewards Update

By the end of the week, the Rewards program will be available on Jade Heaven, too.
I was trying to figure out how it works, as it is completely new to me, too.  It looks like it runs by itself, and I don't, and can't, do anything to it manually.  So you, the customer, get the updates, and I don't know anything about it!

But, the rewards run separately on each site.  That means you can't combine the rewards, and each reward point is for the site on which you make the purchase.  There's no way I can adjust that option.

Some customers prefer to pay by money order, or check if they are repeat, long standing customers.  There is a cash / alternative payment option that can be added to check out, but I have had too much trouble with it already, so if you want to pay cash, contact me.  Cash customers have learned they get "personal rewards" with their purchase, like discounts, free shipping.  Cash is still an available option for USA addresses through our personal contact.

Small purchases add up to give you a reward
Small purchases add up to rewards for you

Saturday, May 9, 2015

"The Jade Bracelet"

I was looking at referrals to the Ying Yu Jade web site today, and one of them came from  "Literature My Faithful Teacher".   I went to the web site, and found a story from a book named "Twenty Two Malaysian Stories", and the focus was on one of the stories, "The Jade Bracelet". 

There are 8 pages of the story you can read at that link. 

I noticed there were several photos of jade bangle bracelets, all borrowed from Ying Yu Jade web site.  It bothered me that some of the photos were enhanced (just like real jade!) and it makes the photos look like color treated jade bangles.  But I was impressed that the photos she used were Ying Yu Jade's, because they depict what her image of a really good and classic jade bangle bracelet looks like.

Then I searched online for more information.  It's not easy to find more about the book and story. 

Here's one of the pages in the search.  Check out the jade bangle.  It's Ying Yu Jade classic Chinese round style jade bangle bracelet. 

I spent way too much time continuing the search, curious about the grandmother was wearing.  It's the kind of jade Chinese people wore for centuries before Burmese jadeite was introduced in the 19th century.  And you can still get a jade bangle like that today. 

If you want one, I suggest getting one now because I can't get this good quality of green, natural color Chinese jade anymore.  It's getting scarce, and the jade carvers are starting to color treat.  They never had to color treat the Chinese jade, but now there is very little green, translucent color available.   And I think that's very sad.  


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Make a purchase, get reward points

I'm trying out a customer rewards program on Ying Yu Jade.  Now you can earn 1 point per dollar spend and then redeem your points for a coupon when you reach $5-10-25-50 thresholds. 

There's a pop up sign up box on the left, lower corner.  You can sign up there.  Then you can get notifications of the points you earn with your credit card payment. 

This is new for me, too, and I'm hoping it works good.  I plan to add it to Jade Heaven, too.

Here's a suggestion for your first purchase to earn rewards

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Jade Drama

There's more drama around jade than any other gemstone.  People rarely question of their diamonds, rubies, emeralds and other gems are "color treated" or "real".  But when it comes to jade, it's different.  Perhaps the reason is because of the qi energy of the jade stone that makes it so personal to us.

When I was at the gem show last week, I was surprised at how much Burmese jadeite was available for sale.  Since the Lantos embargo, jadeite has become more rare because it's not legal for Americans to import jadeite, even if it's carved in China.  If the origin is Burma, than jadeite and rubies have had a stiff fine and penalties attached to it.  That Lantos Law is also all about drama if you want to research.

I asked the sellers how they were able to purchase so much jadeite to resell.  Most sellers turned their back to me, because they probably imported it illegally.  But one seller told me that since the US changed most of the sanctions against Burma (Myanmar) except jadeite and rubies, they allow Myanmar business people to bring their jadeite to US trade shows to sell. That makes the Lantos Law a joke.  I could go to China, or Burma, and buy jadeite, then arrange to have a Burmese person take it to the US to sell, but I couldn't pack it in suitcases like I used to do.  If you wanted to see drama, you could have seen it in my face when we were discussing that Burmese people can bring it to US, but not US citizens.

One of the vendors had a case full of jadeite bangle bracelets, something  I haven't seen at a gem show for years.  I noticed them because there was a noisy argument going on at the booth between several Chinese people.  The jadeite bangle bracelets were very obviously color treated and she was selling them starting at $120 each.  These are the same kind of jade bangles you might see in a Chinatown for $10-30, really poor color treatment.  The argument was about it not being "real" jade.  There were several people who wanted to buy the jade bangles, and of course I had to make my opinion heard, that it was "real" jadeite, it would test as jadeite by refraction, but they were being sold fraudulently as grade A.  Security eventually intervened, but I left.  Only to go to a vendor two rows over where the same argument was happening.  This time it was a "white American" male who was being bombarded by both Chinese and American buyers about the different kinds of jade he was selling, and the main topic was that his Chinese jade was not "real" jade. 

There were some wonderful gems at the show, but the only drama was about the jade. 

There was even a seller who had the jadeite bangle bracelets that are grade A with certificates that we sell, and are have become "the jade" to buy and sell now.  It's that heavier, thicker and sometimes darker jadeite stone like in our "China's Favorite" category.   It's "modern" China's favorite, but not the good quality of the older jadeite on Jade Heaven and Ying Yu Jade that we purchased prior to the Lantos embargo.  More about THAT in future blogs!

"Overcoming Adversity" Yin and Yang Green Jadeite Bangle Bracelet

I have many of these kind of jade bangle bracelets, some listed but most in inventory.  And a pile of them on my desk that I like so much, I'm hoarding them for myself.  Like the one in the photo.  I really want to keep this one for myself.  I'm offering a $50 discount on it for Blog readers today and tomorrow, May 6 and 7, with coupon code NEW50.  It's in the "What's New" category on Jade Heaven,  "Overcoming Adversity" is the title.  I love the deeper green veins on the lighter, peaceful green.  It's icy cold, silky smooth, and one of my favorites on the Jade Heaven web site.  If it doesn't sell, it will probably wind up on my wrist!

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Fun Jade Item and Chance for You to Win One!

I went to a gem show this weekend.  I will write about my experiences there in some of the following blogs, but couldn't wait to show off one of the jades I found there. I was digging around a corner of odds and ends of beads and suddenly came across a small bag of these round hollow carved with holes jadeite beads approximately 18".

 My first thought was it would look great on a chain, by itself.  Then I thought about my Pandora bracelet, and wondered if the hole would be large enough to fit on the bracelet.  I purchased the entire bag of these beads.  As soon as I got home, I tried to put the bead on both my Pandora and Chamilia bracelets, and it fit on both. 

And it sure did look good on a chain by itself.

I'm torn between my urge to hoard, and my excitement about sharing, so decided to add most of them to the Ying Yu Jade web site.  They will be at a Daily Special price on Tuesday May 5.  AND the other part of the Daily Special is that I will give away one of these beads on a silver chain necklace to one lucky winner.  Everyone who orders anything Tuesday will be entered in the contest for the drawing.  Be sure to write "Drawing" in the comments box when you place an order.

You will notice some other jade beads on the Chamilia bracelet.  I like Pandora bracelets, but liked the smaller size of the Chamilia bracelet and they way it wrapped around my wrist for a closer fit.  The other beads include some of the hollow carved beads we sell, and there's still one more lavender bead like the one in the photo.  The barrel shaped bead in the middle is also jadeite, purchased many years ago.  It is accented with sterling silver, and looks great on the bracelet as well as on a chain.   That was the first jade bead of that style I ever purchased and I have always been on the lookout for more hollow tube beads.

So Tuesday May 5, you get a discount on the new hollow carved jadeite bead and a chance to win one on a chain.  I might even start the Daily Special before midnight tonight!  Limited quantity, get one while you can.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Chinese Wellness and Jade For May

The month of May is related to the Wood element in Chinese medicine.  Wood is related to the liver and gallbladder meridians. 

The Wood element has to do with growing, living entities, such as trees, plants, and human bodies. The Wood element also governs the Liver and Gall Bladder. The Liver has to do with planning and decision-making, so you may feel a new sparkle and vitality in the spring. You may even be inspired to act upon new ideas. The essence of spring and the Wood element is birth and new beginnings. The Wood element governs your mental clarity and your ability to focus, plan, and make judgments. When a person has a Wood imbalance, it is much tooeasy to make poor decisions and become disorganized. When the Liver is out of balance, it can direct energy upwards to create headaches, neck and upper back tension, or even rage and depression. That’s right – the Liver not only spreads Qi (energy) to your other organs like a distributor, but it is also in charge of the smooth flow of your emotions.

The emotions of anger and frustration are related to the Wood element, and many people don’t know how to release their emotions in a safe way. Suppressed emotions can cause serious health problems, and suppressed frustration and anger specifically injures the liver and gall bladder. Did you know that acupuncture works for emotional problems too?
The beauty of Chinese medicine is that it perfectly integrates the mind-body-spirit connection. In fact, did you know there is no distinction between the mind and the body in the Chinese language? In Asian culture, they were always assumed to be connected

If you wear jade to balance your body qi, this is the time to wear your "spring green " color jades. This pattern is visually beautiful, fresh green balances the body, mind and spirit during May.The colors of this jade correspond to the organ qi, and balance you as look at it visually, and wear it. 

Jade is one of the gem stones for May, as is emerald.  If you are a "May Baby", a combination of both green jade and green emeralds is not only beautiful, but is also healthy and healing to wear.  

Jade Heaven