naturally in Burma and Central America. Nephrite, better known in
Australia as New Zealand Greenstone, occurs throughout the world
including China. Chrysoprase also occurs throughout the world with
particularly high quality deposits found in Marlborough, Queensland.
China has the worlds
biggest jade market. All Chinese Jade is Nephrite as there are no
naturally occurring Jadeite deposits in China. Basically the world
accepts the interchange ability of Jadeite, Nephrite and Chrysoprase
as being 'Jade'.
Chrysoprase : "Australian Imperial Jade"
Chrysoprase is sought because of it's high quality - the main mining
area controlled by Hong Kong Chinese interests. For two decades,
Chrysoprase has been shipped to Asia for cutting and marketed as
Jade. Rough material was not made available to the general public in
Chrysoprase occurs in
seams where chalcedony has been modified by nickel rich solutions.
These seams generally vary from an inch to six inches in thickness.
Every now and then
Mother Nature does something that is outside the normal. In this
case - a small area on a mining lease at
Marlborough contains a pocket of large chrysoprase boulders. These
boulders vary in size up to 16 tonnes, of varying colour, from pale
green/white to dark green. The main colour is a bright, translucent,
The outside of these
boulders is covered with an oxidised skin, 1 to 5 cm thick, hiding
the true nature of the underlying material.