Monday, June 22, 2015

Guatemala Jadeite

Burmese jadeite is not the only gemology acknowledged "real" jadeite in the world.  The other jadeite is mined in Guatemala.  A couple of years ago, we went on a cruise through the Panama Canal, and I anxiously anticipated our port at Guatemala.  It was more than an hour bus trip to the jade city.  There were jade stores and street vendors everywhere. I had researched where to shop for the best jadeite and the first shop I went to had a certificate of being registered and legitimate.  There was an educational area complete with lecture and jade carvers.  Then the shopping began!

All of the jadeite was properly displayed in a comfortable temperature that jadeite likes.  The pieces were spread out and not piled together so pieces weren't damaged from handling. The best pieces were in display cases.  And some of the carved pieces were so original, so awesome.  Not Chinese culture style, but some were more the style of the country.  And so expensive.  And no "bargaining".  That's not Guatemala way.

Most of the jade bangle bracelets were large.  Not "Chinese size" because that's not what Guatemala jade is all about!  So I didn't buy a jade bangle, and regret that to this day because even I couldn't buy one my size, I should have had one anyway.

The jadeite I purchased was a mixture of the kind of jadeite that was most common.  

The round "bi" pendant was accented with sterling silver bail and small jadeite bead in the silver flower.  The size of the bi is 53mm (my jade bangle size) so it's a big and bold pendant.  The stretch bracelets has light and dark jadeite, and the dark jadeite is a solid, almost black color.  The pieces are 23x12,8mm, so a nice chunky bracelet for my wrist. 
The small carving I chose to keep on my desk is a turtle with the head peeking out of the shell.   It has a unique cut in the shell that looks like it's supposed to be a crack, and shows the shell pattern.  The size is 62x43x45mm high. All the jadeite is very highly polished.  I think Guatemala jadeite polishes higher than Burmese jadeite.  And it feels heavier, although gemologically it is almost the same. 

Yes, my desk looks like a jade museum with all the special pieces I keep for myself and display because I enjoy playing with them every day.

Because the jadeite that is mined in Burma today is not as nice quality as it was prior to the year 2000, I think the Guatemala jadeite is really more pretty for jewelry. If I had not been on a tour bus, I would have stayed all day, shopped the markets and returned with as much as I could possibly carry.  When I wear my Guatemala jade, I want to go back and learn more, see more.  But since I buy and sell Chinese jade and Burmese jadeite,  the trip would be only for my personal enjoyment.

 None of the Guatemala jadeite is sold on the web sites.  But today I'm listing some 20th century jadeite pendants from Burma, the are collector's pieces and an investment as the jadeite is rare, not mined any more, the carving is very detailed, and would be extremely rare to find anywhere....except on Jade Heaven.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Perils of Buying and Selling Online

Running a successful web business requires daily work.  I work at least 50 hours per week. One of the important tasks is learning the internet search terms people are looking for. 
I have been wondering about the search term I see every day that brings people to Ying Yu Jade and Jade Heaven:   AAA+++ grade jade.   My face screws up into a question mark: what the heck is that!!!  Then last week a first time customer requested to return the jade bangle she had purchased for refund.  She told me she found a jade bangle "just like it"
on ebay AND it is grade "AAA"  jade and only  $28.

I decided to take a look at the kind of  jade that's  selling on ebay.  I buy my shipping supplies on ebay, and some other small things but from USA sellers only.  A couple of years ago I saw a jade seller on ebay who had nice jade items,  and I asked to purchase several of the jade necklaces she (he) sold. He gave me a price, I paid with paypal.  Instead of jade necklaces, I received fake jade "objects".  And paypal didn't "protect" me because I purchased outside of ebay. 

So I searched for "AAA"  grade jade on ebay.  AAA grade jade doesn't really exist.  Jade is graded A, B and C.    But there sure is a lot of  "AAA"  grade jades on ebay.   And it's cheap!   So you can make your own assumptions about what it really is.

I have experienced disappointment, loss and frustration buying online, and I am committed to treating customers the way I want to be treated.  Jade is such a special, sacred gem stone.  In China, it used to be an honor to be a jade seller, a prestigious position.  I am sad to see how this has changed, especially on ebay, the site  where I started selling jade in the year 2000.

 It has become more risky to sell online.  When someone uses a stolen credit card to make a purchase, guess who pays the price?  I lose my merchandise, the money is removed from my bank account, along with a hefty "chargeback" fee.
I love Guan Yin  jadeite pendants.   Guan Yin is the Buddha of Compassion.  I have a small jade Guan Yin carving on my desk and I feel compassion in my heart when I touch Her.  Handling jade over the years has made me more compassionate especially regarding selling jade.  There is so much "drama" about jade that comes from inaccurate information and fraudulence of some jade sellers. If you ask me about buying your first jade bangle bracelet, and I know you are nervous about buying jade and buying online, you can know that my dealing with you will come from the good qi energy I get from my jade Guan Yin, and all the other jade that surrounds me.  If it weren't genuine, natural grade A jade, I wouldn't have survived 15 years of selling jade.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Making Jewelry from Jade

A customer who purchased dragon and  phoenix jade pendants used her jewelry making skills to make this gorgeous necklace and earrings set.

Last week a customer who chooses her jade carefully for the energy purchased a jadeite pendant and took it to a jeweler to attach a 14k gold bail so she could wear it on her gold chain.  I have the option to add a silver bail to your pendant purchase, but don't have gold.  She has labeled her attempt to get a gold bail through a jeweler an "adventure" because he's making a simple bail attachment into a complex undertaking.  If she knew someone who made jewelry and had the findings, it would take a couple of hours instead of the days the the jeweler needs.  There is a woman in my neighborhood who makes jewelry and I have been consulting with her about bails and options and I am getting inspired.   Every time I clean up the office, I find odds and ends of jade pieces.  When you see a Daily Special for "free gift with purchase", it's often one of these special pieces.  I don't know if customers would have an interest in purchasing jewelry made craft style.  Most of the jade jewelry online has been made in our shop in China, or designed and made up while we wait at one of the many Chinese jade markets when we shop in China.  There are a couple of necklaces made by my friend here on the web site.  They feature the jade pendant, jade beads and other accents, and the wire and other findings needed to make them.  It's time consuming to make them because they are often taken apart several times to get them to look just right for selling.

Working with jade is very pleasurable, touching the pieces, feeling the carving on the jade and trying to figure out what the symbols are and what they mean.  The Daily Special today is the beginning of our efforts to hand make the traditional jade into something more unique. Jewelry making friend wire wrapped small jade pendants of Guan Yin and Buddha onto the traditional classic bead bracelet.  I saw an item made similar in Sundance catalog selling for more than $100, and it wasn't jade.  Your feedback about "jade jewelry making" will be

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happiness in Seven Minutes

When I'm feeling not happy, I take a walk around my community.  99% chance of running into someone to chat with, a resident who is outside working and needs a helping hand, someone walking their dog who offers to "share" a dog moment.  All of these interactions with other people cheer me up.  Did you know that if you make eye-to-eye contact with a dog, the endorphins in both dog and human are stimulated and you both feel happier.

I read an article in CNN news 'Be Happier with 7 minutes of Yoga".  It's unfortunate that people often think that if they do yoga, they have to do a regular 2-3 times a week hour session to get benefits.  Not true!  It never ceases to amaze me how much better I feel when I do just two minutes of yoga pose while I'm waiting for a task to be completed, like the spin cycle to finish on the washing machine, or the water to come to a boil so I can put in pasta.

The article focuses on three warrior poses, each held for approximately 30 seconds.   Warrior pose opens the chest to facilitate breathing.  Inhale deep to the abdomen, hold 5 seconds, then slowly release.  Inhaling deeply brings in more oxygen that usual shallow breathing to give the body a much needed oxygen boost.  You do each warrior yoga pose, 30 seconds on each side.  You are stretching, getting oxygen in your body, being mindful and this raises your endorphin levels, the "happiness" hormones in your body.

That's it!  7 minutes of yoga to feel more relaxed, get healthier and be happier.

Warrior pose is easy to do.  Women over 50 with bone decreased bone density can do warrior pose without risk of damaging bone.  Frail people can use one hand to hold a chair to keep balance.  Almost anyone can do warrior pose.

Changing your relationship with gravity also takes noticeable
physical stress off your body

The article is about Dana Santas yoga training, on the CNN web site.

So....what does this have to do with jade?   If your body's qi energy is flowing smoothly, it will combine with your jade qi and your jade will have more energy and look prettier.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

New "Old" Jade Bangles added to Jade Heaven

Most of the  jadeite bangle bracelets I added to the Jade Heaven web site today are the fine grained old mine "lao pit" jadeite, mined prior to the year 2000.  They are part of the collection I purchased while I was still working a "real" job and spent every extra dollar I had buying jade when I went to China each year.  I didn't know that an embargo was in the USA government works, and I didn't know that jadeite was going to increase so much in price because of politics, and the jadeite getting more rare.  

If you have been looking at jade since the turn of century, you have probably noticed the changes.  The color started looking "too good" as color treatments were used more for commercial quality jadeite.  Then the last few years, you see the deeper colors, or very little color on grade A jadeite bangles with certificates. This newer jadeite is really grade A, because the government is trying to stop the fraud of B and C grade being sold with fake certificates as A grade.  The color has more deeper dark green veins and less translucence.  It is sometimes referred to by Chinese people as "modern" jade, the kind of jade younger women in China wear because it's not like their grandmother's jade.  By washing the deep yang color out with acid, and sometimes adding color, the jade would look "prettier", more translucent with a more delicate color like the older jade.  The photos below are of newly listed jade bangles from the older jade collection:

The photo below is an example of the new jadeite with certificates

Since jade bangle bracelets were worn mostly by women, the softer more yin colors were favored by Chinese women and are more traditional.  And modern women like the yang deeper colors of the newer jade because they work and/or seek fortune and fame and prefer to have more yang, if they even want to wear jade bangle bracelets.  These newer jade bangles are also wider, and have more jade inside to outside so they are more sturdy for every day wearing in the lifestyle of modern Chinese women.

The older jadeite has a higher value and are collector's items.  I had the boxes of these older jades in storage since 2003 when I saw how jadeite was changing.  And by keeping jade for several years, I could also see if the colors remained true, another indicator of really being natural color. 

So, yes, the prices of the old mine jadeite is higher than the "modern" jade.  But my jade advisor/consultant in China tells me I have them prices considerably lower than they are worth.  So if you buy the old mine jade, you are not only getting a traditional fine quality jadeite stone, you are also investing in jadeite that is getting more rare every day.

You can view these and purchase on the Jade Heaven web site.  More are also available on Ying Yu Jade.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Jade for June that's NOT a jade bangle bracelet, but is a jade bangle!

I received emails from Blog readers who cannot wear jade bangle bracelets because of arthritis or other medical issues with their wrists.  They love jade bangle bracelets, they want to wear jade "as medicine" during June, and are looking for something different that has the honey color for balancing the Spleen meridian and keeping healthy.

I gave them a link to this lovely jade necklace that includes a green jade bangle and has a nicely carved honey jade "nut" in the middle.

Custom made for Jade Heaven.  "Bi" jade bangle pendant is 56mm, classic round and lovely translucent green Chinese jade, natural color. A carved natural honey color jade  25mm ball hangs in the middle of the bangle.  The adjustable silk card has 16mm tube carved jadeite beads and tiny green and honey accent beads with a 12mm round "river jade" right above the bangle.  Lots of jade, lots of detail, and lots of auspicious luck with the two round "bi" shapes of the bangle and ball.

There are a few remaining, and they are reduced in price for the Daily Special through June 9 or until they sell out.  Click for a link.

When I'm not wearing the one I kept for myself, it hangs off one of the bamboo bars on my altar, where I can see it and touch it whenever I pass it.  Heavenly!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Jade for June

If you wear jade for health, and use jade as "medicine", here's some information about the kind of jade to wear for the month of June.

June is considered to be early summer.  In Chinese medicine, the gut needs special care in early summer.  During the winter, you probably had a heavier diet and ate more fat.  Now the body needs to cleanse naturally before summer.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking mint tea and cutting back on fats and meat help.  The gut is is part of the Spleen meridian.  The color associated with the spleen meridian is yellow, so jade with yellow, or honey color can help balance the spleen meridian.  When the spleen meridian is not balanced, your body might feel heavy, you may have more fat on your body.  That's why you read all the articles now about getting ready for wearing your bikini in summer!  And you may experience feelings of anxiety, impatience,  more cynicism and brooding.  Your spleen needs more of the yin balancing associated with yellow jade.

Honey/yellow hues jadeite bangle bracelet #625 Jade Heaven

Jadeite pendant #33 Jade Heaven

Soft yin green color jade is also balancing to the entire body qi during June. Take a look through Jade Heaven and Ying Yu Jade web sites.  There are search boxes on both sites you can enter the word "honey" or "yellow" and view the healing and beautiful natural jade colors to balance your body, mind and spirit during June.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Mindful" Jade Carving

I'm listing some old mine lao pit jadeite pendants that I purchased directly from the jade carvers on a trip to China in 2003.   I've kept them for all these years because they are so unique, and of course I think I will wear them all!

I appreciate and love them so much because they are made from the older jadeite stone, but it's the actual carving that is special.  The stone is a very good, genuine grade A jadeite stone, for which the jade carver paid a premium price for in the auctions, so he would want to use the stone to get the most out of it,  not only for the quantity but for the quality of the carving.  The jade carvers I met always talk about how they study the jadeite rough for days, weeks, sometimes months and years until it "speaks" to them.  Then they get an idea of how they want to use the color, all the soft hues, the veins, the clarification lines, the texture  and take advantage of these variations in the carving.  They design the carving, often drawing pictures of what they want to do.  Then they choose an auspicious day to start their work.  As they work and come across the reality of the variations in the stone, they might stop to meditate on how they want to continue.  This kind of carving is considered to be "mindful" because of their focus. 

The soft lavender hues jadeite pendant with pixiu, peaches and lucky coin by pixiu's mouth is a good example of this mindfullness in jade carving.  Pixiue is symbol of protection, peaches are symbol of women and the coin is symbol of fortune.  The lavender color of jade has qi energy for wisdom, healing, spirituality.  A man wearing this jade pendant would be perceived as being a protector of women while providing not only wealth for her but also taking care of the spiritual side of the relationship. Some of the carving is minimally polished not only for texture, but symbolic of continuing progress in life.   The carving is raised off the flat backing, very detailed and 3-D.  And the backing has some cracking from the carving, symbolic of struggle to reach your goals.  Only mindfullness could contribute to all the symbolism of this vintage, precious jadeite pendant on the Jade Heaven web site.

If you purchase the pendant and mention that you read about it on the blog, write a note in the comments box and I will add a "dragon whiskers" adjustable silk cord to it for you at no additional charge.

I hope a true "jade lover" purchases this jade pendant, because it's so tempting to keep for myself (and you have seen me write that before!).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mailing List Problems Fixed

I apologize if you signed up for the mailing list on Jade Heaven and JadeBangleBracelets and haven't received a newsletter.  It took me awhile to get the correct code into the signup form.  So if  you signed up, your request was not received.  The Ying Yu Jade email sign up has been working correctly. 

I think it's fixed now, so if you would like to be on the mailing list for coupons and special offers, please sign up again. We want all of our customer email addresses to be secure, so when you sign up, a confirmation is sent to your email for you to accept.  That method insures that we send our news to only people who want it.

So, sign up! Everyone who signs up this week will get a special coupon next weekend in your first news letter from me.

And as a special thank you, you can use coupon code MAIL today and tomorrow, June 1 and 2, to take 10% off your purchase on any of the web sites.

Jade Heaven Vintage Carved Pendant