Check out the Jade Cove page find out more about Big Sur Jade
Big Sur Jade:
The only concentrated underwater deposit of quality nephrite jade found in the world! Since the 1960′s, rock hounds and divers have been exploring the cobble beaches and underwater landscape offered by Big Sur’s dazzling coastline. Starting with Don Wobber; Wobber spearheaded the jade diving movement giving birth to giant jade boulders being floated from the sea floor and later carved and polished into some of the most unique and rare jade specimens. Once a year, the Big Sur jade community gathers for a 3 day festival focused on local carvers and some of the greatest works of jade are on display and for sale. The festival is the Big Sur Jade Fest! For more information go to www.bigsurjadefest.com.
Eventually, laws were passed limiting the amount and extraction techniques used for Big Sur jade. Today, anyone able and willing to navigate the jade coves can take out high quality Big Sur jade as long as they follow the rules(the coves are monitored!). For the persistent Big Sur Jade hunter, he or she’s eyes are trained in locating the jade underwater or on the cobble stoned beaches. There persistence can pay off by locating a fine piece of Big Sur jade. Locating Big Sur’s jade is difficult! Most rocks in the area are serpentine, agates or sandstone; many people often get these other rocks confused with jade.
Beginners and out-of-town’ers be aware, Jade Cove is not a place to come and make it rich. Big Sur jade is often kept as a natural souvenir rather than a valuable treasure; very few people have the connections, tools, jade hunting skills, and supply to sell and carve Big Sur’s jade. If visiting Jade Cove please follow and respect all rules regarding the taking out of jade. Please, also be aware that the trails to Jade Cove are STEEP and dangerous; as well as; the tides and waves need to be constantly monitored while jade hunting on the beaches.
Big Sur Offers:
Big Sur Bubble or “Botryoidal”
Big Sur Botryoidal, also known as Bubble or Grape Jade (botrus means grape in Greek), is a high quality nephrite jade and is one of the rarest types of jade to find in the Big Sur area. It is often covered in a serpentine or talc matrix which can be removed to reveal the bubble like structure underneath. It can come in all the variety of colors that Big Sur jade exhibits; from shades of green from pale translucent to dark forest, whites, the reds yellows and oranges of vulcan and more. Big Sur blue jade does not normally exhibit these colors.
Serpentine and soapstone never have this bubble like trait.
Botryoidal jade was first discovered in the Jade cove area in the late 1950’s. Since this initial discovery botryodial jade has been discovered in Mendocino County, California, on the Cultus Mountain, Washington and then in large quantities and sizes in the Trinity Mountain’s of California.
Big Sur Green Jade
Typically, green jade is the most common color found in Big Sur; ranging from dark spinach to bright emerald. Some jades are incredibly translucent while others are dull and opaque. The variety of colors in Big Sur jade is astounding; each piece of jade is unique, individual, and ocean shaped.
Big Sur Blue Jade
Big Sur blue jade, or Pacific Blue Jade, is another rare Big Sur jade. Most of the specimens I see come out of Jade Cove. Big Sur blue jade resembles the mystical and magical waters of the Big Sur coastline. You can find this jade from light blue-green to a rich deep blue color.
Big Sur Vulcan or Vulcanized jade is my favorite types of jade. This jade naturally erodes out of the ancient seabed that is located about 200ft above sea level. This ancient seabed is loaded with serpentine and jade materials that have been sitting in the iron rich soil for millennia. Nephrite jade is very porous and iron rich soil essentially “stains” the jade with vibrant orange, reds, yellows and browns. Vulcan jades are some of the rarest forms of jade found.