Friday, March 11, 2016

"The Jade Carver Always Leaves Something Behind" - Cracks, Chips in Jade Bangle Bracelets

Yesterday morning I had breakfast with one of my best girlfriends who always wears a translucent light green Chinese jade bangle bracelet for the qi energy.  She's had the one she was wearing for at least 5 years.  I noticed it had a crack in it, a major crack that ran through the entire width.  And I asked her if she wanted a new one.  She didn't.  She still loved the color, the qi energy and the way it felt on her wrist.  Her qi energy and the jade energy were in a good relationship.  She said that she's  not perfect, her jade is not perfect, and that's just fine with her.

And I understand that because almost all my jade bangle bracelets are seriously "not perfect".  There's a Chinese saying: the jade carver always leaves something behind.  Perhaps a small nick while polishing, a scratch or even a chip during the carving process.

A customer who recently purchased a jadeite bangle from the clearance collection of grade A with certificates contacted me after she received it and told me how much she loved her new jade bangle, and that the cleavage lines and other "imperfections" added to the natural-ness and she truly loved it.

I bought a jadeite bangle for myself that had gorgeous imperial green veins and would have cost thousands of dollars because of the imperial green color, but the jade stone itself had cleavage lines that looked like cracks throughout.  So I got it quite cheap.  And I love it.

A jade carver in China who made the Chinese jade gua sha tools for me never made a "perfect" one.  They all had carving marks on them.  I later learned that jade gua sha tools had a tradition of being imperfect.  The Chinese "barefoot doctors" were very poor and couldn't afford to get gua sha tools, a staple of their practice.  So they begged for the scraps of the jade left over from jade carvings, and the carvers made their gua sha tools from these cracked, chipped jade pieces.  It's still a tradition in China for the gua sha tools to get scratches or some kind of damage in them, even if they are first carved perfect, and scratched later.  However, in the Western world we need "perfect" jade.  And not perfect jade goes into the Clearance collections.

Jade carvers have told me that jade bangle bracelets that have cracks in them make them stronger than jade bangles with no cracks, because the crack takes the tension off the roundedness of the bangle shape, so when it strikes something hard, it has less likelihood of breaking as a "perfect" one might.  That's what causes the clarification lines in jade stone, nature's way of taking the pressure off the stone, especially the fine grain old mine jadeite. 

A crack goes up and down the width of the bangle.  A clarification line goes around the bangle.  Clarification lines are not damage.  Just part of natural jade.

Clarification line in jade bangle

Crack in jade bangle

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