Fine Jade Jewelry and Jade Stone Art

Big Sur Jade

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 blackjack 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”

Bubble Jade from Big Sur

A wonderful example of quality Botryoidal Jade from Big Sur. Picture credit to Pacific Jade Art

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

Green Big Sur Jade with Chromium and Graphite

An example of a large piece of greenish blue jade from Big Sur. This piece of jade contains both Chromium (the neon green color) and Graphite (black).

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.

Vulcan Jade

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.

6 Comments

  1. laurent

    Nice site!
    I look forward to showing you a few pieces you might like….

  2. Robert Braun

    What is the history of what you call Big Sur jade? I know it was originally called Hunter-Liggett jade, but that’s about it. How about the middens on the area above the cove?

  3. Mackenzie

    how do i find Big Sur Jade big sur ca.

  4. admin

    Hi Mackenzie,

    Please see the How to Find Big Sur Jade at Jade Cove page for more information on how to find Big Sur jade.

    We have also just added a jade forum to our site. You can sign up at our registration page and head over to the forum to ask any questions relating to the stone of heaven.

  5. tess Hipps

    Hello!!! I am looking for authentic blue jade beads from California. Do you know of a reliable vender? I DO NOT want dyed beads.

    Thanks,

    Tess

  6. ryan

    Hi!
    Well your best bet would be Allen at jadedivers.com. He makes immaculate blue big sur jade beads that he himself scubadives for(the jade I mean). His work is really good so the price is pretty high too. If you want, I can whip up some blue big sur jade beads at a cheaper price but they will not be as immaculate as allen’s. Beads are Allen’s thing.

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