Friday, January 29, 2016

What Does a Crack in a Jade Bangle Mean? (Part 2)

So what does a crack in a jade bangle mean?  It's interesting that people search online for this information.  Yes, a crack literally means the jade is cracked.  But this is jade we're talking about, not just anything!

I often get emails from women who are looking for a new jade bangle bracelet because their jade bangle that they have worn for years has broken, or it's cracked and they want to keep it because they love it, but want a new jade bangle that they can wear every day, and just look at the one with the damage.  And women who write to me about their jade bangle disaster often tell me what happened.

The most common reason relates to a story about how their jade protected them.  Some were in car accidents that broke their jade bangle but they amazingly escaped without harm. Women have written about being seriously ill and in a hospital, when suddenly their jade bangle broke into pieces without any reason, and they suddenly started to recover. 

There's an ancient Chinese saying :  Jade protects the person who wear it.

While the women whose jade bangles broke truly miss their jade bangle, they feel blessed that the jade took the damage that would have happened to them personally.

When I buy vintage pre-owned jade, I check carefully for cracks, and if I hear the story from the owner or her family about an incident where that jade was cracked when it protected her, I don't buy it because the jade has already done its protecting job. And we don't want to push our luck. 

The cracks in jade in our clearance jade bangles were part of the jade carving process: The jade carver always leaves something behind.  And a crack is a natural happening in natural jade.

Women who have worn their jade bangle bracelet for many years are often not comfortable with the newer jade.  They are familiar with the good quality of the older jade, and the newer jade "just doesn't feel right" often.  So they are happy we sell the vintage preowned estate jade.

Vintage estate pre-owned jadeite bangle bracelet TIBB2857  

Sometimes women tell me they use a magnifying glass to look at a new jade bangle when they get it to see if there's anything "wrong" with it, or try to determine if it's "real".  When you use a magnifying glass, you are looking for trouble unless you are very knowledgeable about jade, or a gemologist.  You will always see "something".  Now, after this blog and the last one, you know what's natural, what's damage, and then decide if the jade bangle  you are examining is the one for you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Does My Jade Have a Crack? What Does a Crack in Jade Mean? Part 1

You receive your new jade bangle bracelet, put it on and love it.  Then you start to closely examine it, and you think there is something wrong with your jade bangle.  It's nicely polished, but there are some tiny areas around the edge that feel slightly rough, maybe even feels like a chip.  When you hold it to the light, you see what looks like a crack.

Jade, jadeite, is stone.  Stone is not "perfect".  All of the natural-ness you see is what makes stone, jade so special.  It's wearing something that has spent centuries under the earth on your wrist. And the jade carving process itself is done by hand.  If you own a hand knit or hand sewed item, you see all kinds of variations due to be hand made.  There's a Chinese saying:  The jade carver always leaves something behind.  Women who live in China often cherish "imperfections" because it shows the jade is natural, hand carved by a traditional jade carver, not a machine.

But a crack can mean damage. A crack is a line in the jade that goes up and down the width of the bangle, and you can feel it. See the red line below:

A crack doesn't always mean your jade will eventually break.  Sometimes the crack takes the tension out of the rounded-ness of the design, and then when you do strike it against something hard, there is less chance it will break into pieces than a "perfect" bangle.  Most of the jade bangles I kept for myself have cracks in them, and while I've broken two "perfect" jade bangles over the past 20 years, none of my cracked bangles have broken.  And some have quite big, serious looking cracks.

Sometimes you can see lines that run through the jade bangle that look like cracks, but are clarification lines, natural lines in the jade stone.  They are not damage; it's the way the jade was formed, note the red line below:

You can see these clarification lines more in translucent jade stone.  They can be very obvious in the fine grained, high quality jade stone because they are so much different than the fine grain.  Sometimes they are on the surface, sometimes the jade carver can make the jade piece with the clarification inside so it can be more smoothly polished.  Clarification lines are not cracks, they are not damage.  And on our web sites, if there are clarification lines they are described, and often discounted because we know most "Western women" still regard the clarification line as damage.

A crack means damage.  Cracks can occur from handling the jade rough, the carving process, or after you receive it and it gets damaged.  Clarifications lines mean the jade stone is natural.  Usually the higher priced jadeite items don't have the clarification lines, and we discount the items that do have clarification lines.

Part 2 will address what a crack in jade "means" in Chinese tradition.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Is My Jade Real? More about this topic.

Most of the descriptions on our jade are detailed.  The size is stated, often when it was purchased is stated, and usually the words "genuine" "natural" are used even if the words "Grade A" are not used.  If jade has a certificate of gemology testing, I often refer to it as "Grade A", but with no certificate, it hasn't been "officially graded" but I know it's natural and genuine when I purchase from the jade carvers in southern China near the Burma border.  "Purchasing" is a long process.  First, there are no prices on jade.  It all must be bargained for.  Second, no credit cards, it's "cash only". 

When I approach the shop of a jade carver, the first impression is that I get ignored (I'm not Chinese, so what do I know about jade).  Then I play with the jade bangle I'm wearing, and they realize I "know" jade and smile, bring out the "good stuff" that is usually not on display.  Then there is often tea, and meeting everyone.  When I use my limited Chinese language, the relationship starts to grow.  "Tea" often turns into a tea ceremony.  Children appear and we play on the floor.  I get a complete tour of jade rough, the shop, the carving tools.   Food appears.  Then the choices get made, the bargaining begins.  And concludes with smiles, back patting, and often a gift. 

So yes, the jade I purchase that way is real, genuine, natural.  That is the honorable way of "doing jade business". 

But, I'm like everyone else and look around for jade that is "interesting".  When I first started buying jadeite, I looked on ebay.  16 years ago, you could still be "real" jade on ebay, maybe only half was fake, or color treated.  I found a jade seller in China who sold carved jadeite bangle bracelets, and I bought one.  I wanted a small, carved, oval shape bangle that would fit really close to my wrist, and a "good green" color.  I had not started shopping in China for jadeite, and I hoped I could find a good supplier.  The jade bangle I bought was beautiful, very detailed carving, but was so "green" I wasn't comfortable wearing it.  I put it away.  And forgot about it.  Until last week. 

The color had remained stable, so it's probably natural color.  And you can see how close the oval fits on my wrist.  I really had trouble getting it on, and more trouble getting it off. 

I love it.  But it's too "yang" for me, the deep all over green has too much qi energy and I could wear it only a couple of hours.  It has high qi energy, so it must be "real". 

It's "real", I checked tested the refraction index. 

I will probably visit my jeweler who is a gemologist and ask him to check the color.  He has a difficult time checking color, he says that most gemologists use their opinion more than the actual testing.  Even if it's not natural color, it's certainly "real".

I'll probably take it with me on my vacation next month, wear it on first day of the Lunar New Year.  It looks like a good one for Year of the Monkey.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Today I Need My "Peaceful Spirit" Jade Bangle Bracelet

Today I need my "peaceful spirit" jade bangle bracelet to deal with "life" and "business".
 I touch it when my heart starts racing, and calm myself.

First stressful event is dealing with new USPS postage rates, including 14-18% increase in priority and express mail.  I felt terrible about charging $51 for international express mail but actually didn't cover the cost, and now it's $58, although more if I add insurance.  How can I expect international customers to buy a wonderful jade, then pay that cost?  And if I ship first class, there's a high chance of it not getting to the customer.  And I shipped almost all USA mail by priority mail, but it's almost $1 more, with an added day to many addresses.   I read forums about handling shipping costs, and they recommend free shipping.  Which means adding the shipping cost to the item price. 

I will appreciate your comments about shipping.  I want you to be happy with the jade you buy, but not get discouraged by the shipping fees.  

(Rub the jade, hold it close to my heart.  Be calm)

A yin, white or soft green jade piece really does have qi energy for calming the spirit. 

But, I also want to take my daily walk and it's cold and windy for Florida people.  So I will add one of the "fiery" veins Chinese river jade bangle bracelets to my other wrist.  The yang qi will give me the energy for the exercise, as well as for keeping warm.

Fiery "hong" red veins Chinese River Jade Bangle NJ2366
CBS Morning Show had a segment about online businesses losing so much because of returns by customers.  That's what started the stressful day for me, because that is surely true.  The discussion was about larger businesses, like Macy's, catalog stores, and how they can't compete with Amazon which offers free shipping and returns.   I even saw a news story about Walmart closing more than 50 stores nationwide because of online competition.  I tried selling on Amazon for awhile, but the 25% fee they took didn't work for me.  On Jade Heaven and Ying Yu Jade, you get "real" prices, not prices artificially marked up to compensate for sales.  A sale is a real sale.   Free shipping is real free shipping.  And I cannot live with myself if I don't treat customers the way I want to be treated.  So I will do my best to keep the shipping as low as possible.

(Rub that jade, rub that jade and be calm!)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Auspicious Jade to Wear for Lunar New Year - "Bi" Symbol of Heaven Jadeite Pendants + A Chinese Health Secret

I was looking for a book today in my professional books collection about using acupressure to avoid getting seasick for my cruise vacation next month, and next to it was "The Collector's Book of Jade" by Arthur and Grace Chu.

I've read that book a couple of times and I'm surprised much of the information is not accurate, considering they are Chinese born and education at China's National Central University.  I bought the book from Amazon several years ago, and look through it often.  It's also disappointing that the photos are black and white, not color. Near the back of the book are drawings of archaic jade.  One of the oldest and most cherished is the "bi" donut jade.  It's been called the Symbol of Heaven.

I'm going to wear a medium size  jadeite bi pendant on a Dragon Whiskers adjustable silk cord on the cruise so I can use it to scrape and press the points on my wrist that help manage motion sickness.

Bi Symbol of Heaven Jadeite Pendant #JHBI301

I decided to take a few with me because I like touching them.  I sometimes put one on my handbag on a key chain because I like them so much.

And I decided to put them on sale this weekend, 15% discount with coupon code on the Sale page.  They are not only fun and feel good to wear, they are great gift ideas for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

There is a acupuncture point GV14 Da Zhui at the base of the neck, top of the spine that is very effective for keeping healthy especially from colds and flu.

 I can't get the flu shot, so I rub the  GV14 every day (and wash my hands whenever I come home from being out).  When I feel a cold coming on, I rub it.  In fact, rubbing GV14 is part of my every day qigong routine.  And sometimes I use a jade gua sha tool, or a jade bi pendant.  Try it for a few months and/or over the winter and see if it doesn't make a positive different for you, too.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

What Kind of Jade to Wear in January for Health, Wellness and Good Luck

What kind of jade is the best kind of jade to wear in the month of January?  If you wear jade for health and wellness, "jade as medicine",  it's the same kind of jade you would wear in December and January, the cold months of winter: white jade.  The more translucent, the better it is for you in January, more "icy" qi energy.  If you need more yang for healing, green veins help with healing.  For qi protection for stomach problems, honey veins help.  The white, icy jade stone is related to the lung meridian, qi energy for protecting from colds, flu, coughing.  Also, during the holidays we often feel the sadness from loss of loved ones and miss them very much as we celebrate.  Lung qi energy helps heal grief and loss.

You also want to start getting ready for the Chinese Lunar New Year.  Fu lu shou is the kind of jade that is most traditional, the three colors Fu Lu and Shou representing the Chinese gods of Happiness, Luck and Fortune, Health and Longevity.  Genuine jade, natural color fu lu shou is rare and expensive, so if you wear color treated and it makes you feel good, then it's good for you to wear.

It's also very lucky to give and receive jade over the Lunar New Year.  With that in mind, I had some auspicious jadeite coin clasps made for Ying Yu Jade.  The coins were in fu lu shou colors, some white, some green and some honey color.  We are offering them as gifts with your purchase of $50+ from Ying Yu Jade through the weekend or while they last.

Auspicious Jadeite Coins-Gift with Purchase

There are still other gifts available with purchase, including chopsticks in silk holder, and decorative zipper bag  with jade bangle purchase. 

Giving and receiving jade: very auspicious for all of us.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Two Dragon Holds Pearl Carved Jade Bangle Bracelets for Lunar New Year

 They arrived in December.  But they have been a work in progress for several years.  We love the smooth deep deep green almost black Chinese jade bangle bracelets.  The jade stone is the best quality and almost as fine grain as jadeite.  I commissioned my jade carver to study the older traditional dynasty style of the "Two Dragons Play Pearl", and they were made about three years ago.  But they weren't polished, because they require very fine and detailed polishing, without breaking them.  The jade carver found an experienced jade polisher who eventually completed the polishing.  Then they got "lost" for a couple of years.  I wondered if they sold them to someone else because they are so beautiful and well made.  But last month these wonderful Two Dragons Play Pearl jade bangles  arrived with the jade rollers I had ordered.  And now they are photographed and listed on the Ying Yu Jade web site.  They will be the Daily Special through Wednesday. 

These are a good choice for the Lunar New Year, special occasions, or when you travel. The deep green almost black jade has qi energy for protection, overcoming adversity and clearing negativity.  I always wear a black jade bangle bracelet along with my regular jade bangle when I travel.

I like to wear a "spacer" jadeite bead bracelet between them so they don't "clunk around" and it feels more comfortable with the spacer beads.  I like these smaller 8mm beads, because I have a small wrist. 

There are a variety of sizes, from 54mm to 65mm, but limited quantity.  I thought I ordered 100 bangles, but received only 30, so perhaps the jade carver made a little profit on the side.  These kind of jade bangle bracelets sell for higher prices in China than I have on the web site because they are so traditional and rare to find. 

You will need the protection of the jade stone when you wear this, because people will grab your wrist to admire them!   I will certainly wear mine when I take a two week vacation out of the country  next month.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Antique Carved Chinese Jade Bangle Bracelets

I received an email from a jade loving customer today.  She and her husband love antiques and go to many antique shows.  One of the exhibitors who is at the show and sells antique gems and jewelry has had a carved green jade bangle bracelet in the display case for at least 3 years.  It has a quite low price for "antique jade", only $350.  When she touched it, it didn't feel cold like her own personal jade feels when she's not wearing them.  She doubts the authenticity of it, and wonders how the seller determined it was truly "jade".

(You learn a lot about jade when you buy Ying Yu Jade or Jade Heaven jade bangle bracelets.  Especially if you own several.  You learn what jade that is genuine, natural looks and feels like so when you look at and touch jade bangles in stores or shows, you can determine if it's really jade.  If you have never had natural genuine jade, then you never have anything to compare with.)

I went to a gem trade show this weekend.  Only three  sellers had jade bangle bracelets to sell.  One had Chinese jade that I purchased a couple of times, and discovered some were not natural color, and the color really changed after I had it for awhile.  (A reason why I store jade and hold it 2-3 years or longer before I list it on the web sites). The other two sellers were selling their jade bangles wholesale for the prices we sell ours online.  And one seller had a carved deep deep green Chinese jade bangle like those in our "Dynasty Collection". 
She was selling it for $3000, more than the price on the jade bangles in our Collection. 

That inspired me to make the Collection our featured one for this week.  And they have a sale price.  And they are a perfect choice for celebrating Lunar New Year next month.

I have one in my "safe" personal collection, and will get it out and start wearing it later this month.  


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Jade Can Help You to Feel Better: Fibromyalgia

I haven't posted on the blog since January 1.  The Florida weather changed from hot, to winter cold (cool) and raining.  And those two weather conditions set off my fibromyalgia pain and fibro-fog of the brain.  Fibromyalgia affects not only the body, but mind and spirit, also.   When I started working as a counselor,  I realized I couldn't sit and listen and empathize for a 50 minute session because of the all-over pain and fog.  I changed my counseling to work with employee assistance programs, families, children because they were more active to work with, and had about the same attention span I did.  And I was always on a search for relief. 

I tried all the non-medical alternatives: yoga, tai chi, meditation, Reiki, acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal treatments.  Then I went to China to learn Chinese medicine in 1999 and the experience was life changing.  I volunteered for every demonstration and was amazed at how much better I felt.  One day our group was touring Forbidden City and as I was standing in the middle of it, I felt overall blissfulness.  One of the women in our group who is a midwife recognized what was happening to me, and we become friends and started exploring what China had to offer for body, mind and spirit together. 

That's when I discovered jade. And its healing properties.

The Chinese doctors who were teaching our classes used jade gua sha tools, jade rollers, and it was not only the treatment, but also the jade, that felt so good.

I went home with a lot to think about.  And I was in love with China, and returned three months later, starting the jade search.

So last night when I was feeling really bad from the fibro,  I was drawn to my drawer of my personal jade bangle bracelets, and without looking at them, felt them to choose the jade I needed.  I was wearing a darker green yang jade for the new year, and perhaps it was too yang for me.  My fingers touched my pure white, moderately translucent jadeite bangle with an imperial green vein.  It's one of the "sister set" I bought from a jade carver years ago. 

I slept better last night, and woke with a strong desire to do my qi exercises and yoga.  And I'm feeling much better now even though it's still cold and raining.  And inspired to post this experience to share.

There was a segment about new treatments for cancer on CBS Morning today, and the doctor also listed lifestyle choices to help heal along with cancer therapies and to prevent cancer.  My personal opinion is there will never be a more natural treatment for cancer because treating cancer is so profitable.  You can search online and read many articles about more natural treatments that the FDA denied.  I'm not saying that jade can treat cancer, but it can sure help you to feel better. 

During my second trip to China, I scheduled daily treatments for myself.  I was also going through menopause (that's another amazing story for a blog posting).  My treatments were as outpatient in a Chinese hospital, and the doctor took me through the hospital to visit with other patients and show me how they progressed with the traditional treatments, blended with some modern technology also.  I saw xrays of before and present of people and their conditions changing from the therapies.  And always, jade health tools.  In fact, the first Chinese jade I saw and learned about was in Forbidden City, the jade rollers in the royal chambers.

Jade feels good.  And is good for you.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Auspicious Jade for the New Year.

It's lucky to buy jade the first of the new year.  Your new year jade purchase will bring you happiness, good luck and fortune, health and longevity, and increase in qi energy as you wear it.

It's traditional to buy and wear your "Fu Lu Shou" jade for new year and other celebrations.  Fu Lu and Shou are the Chinese gods of happiness, luck, longevity.  Fu lu shou colors are traditionally green, white and veins of "hong", red or honey.  Other lucky jade includes pieces with veins that are big, or stand out, or have the rare and precious imperial green color.  Carved jade pieces, including pendants, can be extra lucky when they include symbols that are significant to you, including your lunar year animal.  Other lucky symbols are bat (happiness), bamboo (strength and flexibility), lotus lingzhi (health, longevity), Buddha and Guan Yin for spirituality, and of course Dragon and Phoenix, symbols of Yang and Yin, the universal force. 

Yes, it's lucky and auspicious to buy jade the first of the new year, 2016 and Lunar new year.  It's also lucky and auspicious to sell jade.  So we both win.  To make it even more lucky, if you order now through January 3, I'll include a lucky gift with your purchase.  Just write "lucky gift" in the comments box on the order form.   And if you read this after January 3, you may be extra lucky because there might still be a gift for you when you ask for it.

Happy new year.  I hope this year brings you happiness, luck and fortune, health and wellness.  And we have another new year to look forward to in February, the lunar new year of the "Red Fire Monkey".   That sounds like a happy spunky monkey!