3 Best places to find jade in California
Where to find jade in California
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Jade is one of the most popular stones, known mainly for its rich green variety, but comes in many colors. California is known for some amazing jade, and it only takes a brave rock hound to find it.
If you’re looking for Jed in California, you’re in luck. Let’s get started and I’m going to take you to five great places where you can find real treasure.
1. Big Sur
Big Sur has something unique: the only known underwater nephrite deposit. It comes in a variety of different sizes and was previously mined commercially by divers.
Occasionally, boulders salvaged from the seabed turn up at local markets. They are the forgotten treasures of a different era. As a result, they command high prices. It’s easy to see why: Some of the jade mined from the coast is among the best nephrite in the world.
For collectors, different kinds of jade can still be found along the coast. Most of it will be found in pebbles on the beach, along with agate and a few other collectable minerals.
The rules are a bit fickle, with different locations allowing or disallowing collection. It also changes over time. Your best bet is to check in at the ranger station and see where you can play rock.
Don’t be tempted to go where you shouldn’t. Unlike many trash collection sites in the United States, Big Sur’s beaches are closely watched because someone will break the rules.
You’ll notice that most of the sites on this list are in or near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Whether you choose to dive, riverbed or cross beach pebbles, there are plenty of opportunities to find jade in the area.
2. Jade Cove
Yuwan is just south of Big Sur, but it’s another great place to find jade. Many people brave the cold Pacific waters to dive from the coast here in search of different kinds of jade just below the surface.
If you’re a diver, this is the place to go. A thick vein of nephrite extends from the coast here, and the pieces that fall off are not always small. There have been reports of people finding huge stones there and even retrieving them.
The rules are simple: if you can get it back to the surf zone, you’re good to go. There are weight restrictions on the bags you can use, and you can only pry up loose rocks with hand tools.
The beach is also a promising place to find jade, but if you are already in the area, then you may want to continue further north to find the right beach in Big Sur.
3. Storm Jade Mine
Of course, you can also look for jade in the desert. Storm Jade Mine is located in Joshua Tree National Park.
You can take Pinto Basin Road from Highway 10 and follow it to Black Hawk Mine Road, which ends up just north of the mine. The roads are rough and you may need a truck or SUV to get to the place.
From there, the most practical way is to follow the trail. In the desert, jade is often fused together, but only those willing to look for it can find it.
This area is very remote, so if you decide to hunt in this area, make sure you have food, water, and emergency supplies. For those not used to rocking out in the desert, bring twice as much water as you think you’ll need.
Trust me. The desert does not make concessions to the unprepared.
A Word About California Jade
Jade actually refers to two different kinds of stones. Most people think of “royal jade,” a saturated green color with a lot of transparency. This jade is also called jadeite.
The jade found in California is nephrite, which has a slightly different composition. Although it is not a cheap stone, it is not as cheap as jade.Nephrite is the type of jade most commonly used in carving, including the jade that many associate with ancient Chinese carving.
Although good quality nephrite is found in California, most nephrite is of lower quality. In many areas, most of the surface quality stone is collected.
Another thing to remember is that California jade comes in a variety of colors. Red, yellow and white are some of the variations. You also have “California Emerald” or California California stone, which is a green variant of Vesuvius stone, sometimes found in the same places.
Oh, and in many places where jade can be found, there is plenty of serpentine.
Here’s my point: Finding jade in California and identifying it is more complicated than it first seems.
Of course, for most of us, this is only part of the adventure. Be sure to do your homework before you start bragging about your new discoveries.
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