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.

No comments:

Post a Comment