Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Endings and Beginnings

You know you have lived the right kind of life when you can count your regrets on one hand.  And learn from them.  A new year gives us a chance to start over, using our learning experience and wisdom to have a better life.

When I hold jade mindfully, I think about how many years and minerals are in each precious piece.  And the relative short work of the jade carver add the polish and final touches to turn it from a rock to a precious gem to hold and wear. 

This year was a new year for the jade web sites.  They moved to a new format that is more user friendly, mobile friendly, more secure for customers.  It took tremendous time and work to get each piece listed in the new format.  There are still many pieces of jade bangles and pendants that haven't made the transition, as well as boxes in storage that have items that are truly new.  They are actually "old", purchased between the years 2000-2006, and have grown in value.  If you are looking for genuine, natural jade, 2016 will offer you some of our best.

And, the Year of the Fire Monkey is coming in February!   So you will want some auspicious jade to celebrate this "spunky monkey" year.  I've been adding new pendants with monkey.   More information about the Year of the Monkey will be written in January. 

Fu Lu Shou Three Color Auspicious Monkey and Peach Jadeite Pendant JHP85
Natural color red, imperial green veins, one of Jade Heaven's Best

Enjoy the end of 2015. and beginning of 2016.  Best wishes to you.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Updates about Burmese Jadeite, Embargoes and Reasons Why Genuine Jadeite is Scarce and Expensive

I listed a few new grade A genuine old mine "lao pit" jadeite bangle bracelets on the Ying Yu Jade web site today.  I'm getting some criticism from my jade mentor in China about pricing them so low, although people who look at them will probably think they are priced high and wonder why.   Sometimes customers buy a clearance discounted jadeite bangle on the JadeBangleBracelets web site in the "Chinatown Collection" that is genuine jadeite, but probably color treated, and to get them sold I greatly reduced the prices, mostly under $100. Sometimes they complain that it doesn't look like natural color.  And it's not, as stated in the product description.  They claim they can get grade A jadeite for the same price.

Real, genuine jadeite bangle bracelets are not cheap.  The newer jadeite is not as expensive as the old mine lao pit jadeite, but it's not as high quality, either.  It's usually not translucent, and often with clarification lines that can be felt.  When the US and other western countries put an embargo on jadeite around the year 2008, the reasons were because of the military involvement in the jadeite.  Most jade mines are owned by the military.  They often made the miners slaves to mine the jadeite, and many lives were lost because of unsafe conditions.  The military doesn't do as good a job with carving as the traditional old style jade carvers, so jadeite isn't as good.  The nicer jade available often is from pieces scavenged around the mines by locals trying to make a few dollars. If you live in USA and are buying jadeite from China,  you are buying illegally. I read an update about the embargoes in Burma (Myanmar), and although many sanctions have been lifted, the embargo of jadeite and rubies is still in place.  There are options to get around it, like allowing Burma people to take jadeite to USA and sell at trade shows.  But in general,  jadeite, even if it's carved and polished in China or other countries, is still not legal to import to USA. 

Here's an article about a landslide in Burma (Myanmar) that gives some insight into this issue. And ttoday this article appeared in USA Today: Why Myanmar's Massive Jade Industry  is So Deadly

You will see in most of the descriptions the year the jadeite listed on the web sites was purchased, all prior to 2008.  That's when I was going to China at every opportunity I could and taking all my extra cash to buy jadeite.  Not because I knew an embargo was in process, but because I saw prices rising, and quality decreasing.

I truly love the jadeite bangles I listed today. I keep them in boxes in a cool, dark closet and look at them, touch them, often.  The prices are often below what they sell them in China, which is why I am getting flack from my jade mentor.  But, they need a wrist, not a box.

Jadeite Bangle 55mm inside diameter BB606

Jadeite Bangle BB2790 64mm inside diameter

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wear Your Intention Word Jade Bead Bracelet

This morning I was watching CBS morning news.  I like some of the features CBS shows on their weekend morning news channel.  I've been busy with all the Christmas activities, both personally and business, and was getting ready to shut off the television and get on with my day, when I saw a feature about a man who makes and sells  intention word bracelets, and all the celebrities who have been buying them and wearing them.  They are a single word on a metal piece and simple string bracelet.

Guess what...Ying Yu Jade has been selling intention word jade bead bracelets for months!

Jade Bead Intention Word Bracelets - Wear Your Word

Ying Yu Jade's intention word bead bracelets aren't famous yet, but the inventory is very low now, only one remaining of each of about 12 words.  I personally  chose "simplify" when we first got them made by one of my jade loving jewelry makers.  And I have been working on simplifying my life.  I wear it when I go to yard sales, and when my head gets full of all the things I would like to do.

These intention word jade bead bracelets are one of those "jade things" I like to hoard, give as special gifts and wear myself.  To "simplify"  jade business, they are on the Daily Special today.  If they sell out,  the jewelry maker can make more.

Sounds simple, right?   It's also "artful", "inspired" and "cherished".  More inspiration words  you can wear.

And you can use the number as a special auspicious number for yourself.  Need a password code?  This is it.

Jade Goddess Woman Inspiration Words Pendant Necklace

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Coupon Codes for Jade Bangle Bracelets, Bead Jewelry and More

Counting down to December 16, the last day you can order and be sure to get your jade gift by Christmas Eve.

Today I printed out a USPS mail label for priority mail that usually takes two days.  But today it printed as three days.  So it looks like USPS is getting behind with their volume of mail.

And Friday I mailed a jade bangle bracelet by USPS express mail, that guaranteed delivery the following day, Saturday.  The jade loving customer stayed home waiting for the mail to sign for it. I ship items more than $200 with signature during the holiday season.  Her mail carrier came and left, without delivering her package.  She tracked her package, and it showed there was an attempt to deliver at at a different ZIP code, with no one available to sign for it.  We can't get any explanation from USPS for that error, but if it had not required signature, it would have been left "somewhere else".   And she didn't get the premium service by USPS she paid for.

So don't wait too long, because USPS, UPS and FedEx are all behind in delivery.

If you want a good deal on jade now, check out the Sale section on Jade Heaven, or the Daily Special on Ying Yu Jade.  Generous discounts with coupon codes this week.

And there's still a few of the hand knit fashion scarves available.  One of my customers sent me a photo of how she wrapped a small jade bangle bracelet through it, very cute.  But I've been wrapping and shipping my own personal holiday gifts, and didn't have time to find it and include it.  If you would like one, write a note in the comments box on the order form.  Friends and I make them in our knitting therapy group, a relaxing, mindful activity that ends with a result:  pretty scarf.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

UPDATE: Countdown to Holidays-Christmas Eve Jade Sales, Coupons and Discounts

If you are on Jade Heaven or Ying Yu Jade mailing lists, you will receive an email about counting down to Christmas Eve: sales, discounts coupons.  Christmas Eve is only two weeks away!  That means if you are purchasing online, you have one week to get your order placed to get it by Christmas Eve.  My USPS postal carrier told me today they are working hard to keep up to date, but might be a day behind.  UPS and Fedex are already three days behind.  So now is the time to order if you want a wonderful jade for Christmas.

There will be sales, coupons for the next week on both web sites.  Check the Sale page on each site.  And will keep you updated on this blog.

UPDATE December 11

Weekend Sale on Jade Heaven: 20% discount with coupon China's Favorite Grade A Burmese Jadeite Bangle with Certificate,  coupon code on SALE page
And if your jade bangle order, which can be combined with the old mine lao pit jadeite bangles, is $650 or higher, your gift is a free silk ornate handbag, $50 value.

Weekend Special on Ying Yu Jade, 15% discount on unique collection of hollow carved jade "spice bottles".  These take a lot of time and talent for the jade carver to make, and are rarely on sale because we price them low, considering the rareness of these. Nice to hang, hold incense or other fragrance, and of course good qi energy for feng shui.  Great gift.

Hollow jade "spice bottle" on Ying Yu Jade
Weekend Special 2: purchase any jade pendant, get a free "Dragon Whiskers" adjustable silk cord or gold or silver bail, $7.50 value

Heavenly jade...make your holiday even better with genuine, natural jade.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Is My Jade Real Follow Up

I got a lot of comments and guesses by email, but only a couple readers actually commented.  I think this is a difficult format to comment on because your comment doesn't show up until I manually post it.  Anyway....

The top jadeite bangle is one from my personal collection, wearing it during December because it has the white jade color qi for keeping healthy in winter, along with a good basic green vein.  It's one of the "sisters" purchased when I bought all of the jade bangle bracelets he carved from one jadeite boulder.

The bottom jade bangle is one I purchased on ebay a few years ago as grade A.  I thought it really would be as described because it is very slender and classic round style, and fit part of the requirements for Qing Dynasty old mine lao pit jadeite.  When I received it, I tested it with refraction and it's real jadeite.  But it didn't "feel" comfortable on my wrist.  I kept removing it and setting it aside.  When I went through my personal collection of jade bangles to see what I should sell instead of hoard, I found it again.  But it had changed.  It was a C grade jadeite, meaning it was washed with acid to remove color, then color enhanced.  The polish was gone from the acid working on it, and the pretty veins had merged, like melting together.  

You may notice in some of the jade bangle listings a description of when it was purchased, and most were purchased between 2001-2007.  The jade bangles I personal purchased were from jade carvers in southern China near the Burma border, where most of the jade carvers are traditional and don't make jade for export or commercial selling.  I also purchased some in the Guangzhou jade market, and for the sellers to advertise they sell A grade, they must get government approval, with spot testing from monitors.  When I couldn't go to China, like the year we moved from Ohio to Florida, I bought jadeite from a contact I had in Guangzhou.  At that time, my jade business was growing because I left my "real" job to do online jade selling full time, in 2004.  Every dollar I had went into buying jade.  I saw the prices rising quickly, but didn't know an embargo was in the political works.  I just bought every jade bangle, carving, pendant I could get my hands on.  I packed them in boxes, and kept them in dark, cool and moist location.  By keeping them so long before selling them, I could discover if the color changed, so I would know if they weren't natural color. 

As one of the comments states, you have to get your jade tested to know if it is real, if it's jadeite, Chinese jade, or something else.  And time makes a great difference in jade.  If the color changes, you can know it's color treated.  And if it remains the same because it's natural, then you have a fine quality jade, that will increase in value because that kind of jade gets more rare as time passes.

Very vintage old mine lao pit jadeite pendant by one of China's bestjade carvers purchased in 2001 and listed on Jade Heaven today.Item #JHP111 Monkey, Peach, and Lucky Coin

Friday, December 4, 2015

How do I know if my jade is "real"?

I often get the question "is my jade real".  And I often get unsolicited photos of a jade piece with the sender asking me to "tell me about it".  A very difficult task.

The only way I know if the jade I sell is "real jade" is by testing it with a refraction tester. 
Most jewelry stores have a gemologist (GIA is the "gold standard" for gemologists") and they can usually test your jadeite to let you know if it is truly jadeite.  Most gemologists don't know about or acknowledge Chinese jade as being a gemstone, and their standard  jade is nephrite.  So they can test Burmese jadeite, or Guatamala jadeite, and nephrite.  And that's what you should do if you really want to know what your jade is.

A couple of years ago a woman sent me a photo of a blue bangle she found when going through her mother's things after she died.  She thought it was jade because her mother loved jade.  But she couldn't find anything online about blue jade, other than it's usually fake jade.  She told me she took it to a Chinatown store that sold jade and was offered $20 for it.
There was "something" about that photo that made me think it was really jadeite.  I recommended she get it tested by a gemologist.  She found a gemologist in her jewelry store, and amazingly, it was jadeite.  The gemologist consulted with a Chinese person whose knowledge he trusted about jade, and was told the most interesting things about blue jadeite.  Neither had an idea of the value, so I suggested she take it to an international auction business.  They valued it at $500,000. 

Now that's a good reason to get your jade tested.

The other part of "is my jade real" concerns if it's natural color.  And yes, color treated B and C grade jade is "real".  Most gemstones are color enhanced to make them pretty, and jade is also.  It's still real jade when it's color treated, because refraction proves it.

Do you you think these two jade bangle bracelets are  "real" jadeite?  Do you think either of them is color treated?  Why?

Comments can be written below.  You won't see them right away, I have to log in and accept comments, but next blog will discuss them. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chinese Wellness for December - What Kind of Jade to Wear in December

Now we are in winter, the time when the body's qi, like the qi of our natural surroundings, recedes into the deep Yin layers. Winter's nature is Yin; it is quiescent, cold, and damp. It is a time for introspection, rest, and consolidation of your body's physical and emotional qi in order to get through the long cool darkness of Winter and prepare for the outburst of new life that is spring.

Unlike autumn, when the external factor to protect from is dryness, in winter we must guard against dampness combined with cold, which can harm the joints and sap our body's yang or warming qi. The Nei Ching, an ancient Chinese classic, advised people to go to sleep early and rise late, after the sun's rays have warmed the atmosphere a bit. This preserves your own Yang qi for the task of warming in the face of cold. If you ignore this advice you will unnecessarily tax your body's Yang, which is at a premium in the winter months. In contrast, in the summer, when the days are long and the expansive warm Yang energy is everywhere in abundance, we can afford to stay up a bit later and rise early.

Keep your immune system strong by rubbing your Da Zhui(DU14) acupuncture point, the bony protrusion at the base of the neck.

As in November, December is a good time to wear your white jade, as white is the color associated with lung qi. "Winter white" jade is not pure white, but has other hues of lavender, gray and/or green to help balance the stark white energy. You can also wear your darker green jade for their warming Yang qualities. "Dragon green" is an excellent choice.  Carved jade bangles are also strong Yang for winter, and very unique and attractive, too.

Some of our jade bangle bracelets have the qi description "calm spirit", "soothing", "peaceful spirit'.  The white soft yin color, usually with some veins or hues of charcoal, green are like Chinese medicine.

"Spiritual Bliss" Jadeite Bangle Bracelets BB2726 

For many people, jade is not just "jewelry", it's medicine for the body, mind and spirit.