A Jade's Story
By Patrick Ball
Don’t be alarmed, yes, it’s me, I’m the ravishing beauty on your wrist, and my name is Jade. I know just what you’re thinking - how can this possibly be - this bracelet is talking to me? I am what your species calls a mineral; one of over 3,000 known minerals, and a gem among gemstones. Most call me Jade. Grab a seat and let me tell you my story.
"You're giving me a world class education on gemstones! Good piece!" 5 stars by Patty
NoteStreams are readable online but they’re even better in the free App!
The NoteStream™ app is for learning about things that interest you: from music to history, to classic literature or cocktails. NoteStreams are truly easy to read on your smartphone—so you can learn more about the world around you and start a fresh conversation.
For a list of all authors on NoteStream, click here.
Read the NoteStream below, or download the app and read it on the go!
My Name Is Jade
Don’t be alarmed, yes, it’s me, I’m the ravishing beauty on your wrist, and my name is Jade. I know just what you’re thinking - how can this possibly be - this bracelet is talking to me?
People don’t realize it but we try to talk to your species all the time. It’s just that most of you are too academic to listen. If I reveal my inner secrets to you will you share them with your world?
Jade Is Like Virtue
I am what your species calls a mineral; one of over 3,000 known minerals, and a gem among gemstones. Most call me Jade.
However, gemologists classify my family into two species, nephrite and jadeite. I realize that my cousin, nephrite, has slightly different characteristics. But what does that matter? We’ve been around much longer than you. Grab a seat and let me tell you my story.
My interest in your species began in ancient Burma (Myanmar), where the majority of my species is from. I am utterly fascinated with how your people respond to my beauty, mystique, inherent value, and allure. You have referenced me in many ancient textbooks; Confucius said, “Jade is like virtue and it’s brightness represents heaven.” I’m flattered.
It’s believed that my smooth, luscious, texture and soothing color promotes wisdom, spiritual balance, and peace among your people, and for that I am proud.
So, please enjoy my silky feel as I caress your wrist. If I bring you pleasure, boost your self-esteem, or simply fill a craving in your heart for beauty then I am safe with you. Many of my family have been passed down through generations of yours. I’m typically shaped into bracelets, cabochons, tablets, beads, or carvings. If you take good care of me, we will be companions for a long time.
Jade For Good Fortune
There are many other beautiful gemstones that can look similar to me, particularly in this semitransparent, intense green color you so admire:
Maw-sit-sit, hydrogrossular garnet, idocrase, saussurite, dyed jadeite, prehnite, turquoise, nephrite, and dyed calcite. And I can appear in so many other colors as well! Your own ancient Chinese wisdom says, “Gems are valuable; Jade is priceless.”
Compared to other gemstones, I’m not a hard one to know, 6.5 on what you call the Moh scale, but you can bank on the fact that I’m one tough cookie.
My fibrous, interlocking, aggregate structure makes it difficult for me to break.
It’s said that I will, in fact, “protect my wearer from harm, particularly from a fall.” You can wear me on your wrist for life and I’ll always maintain my integrity.
Speaking of integrity, I’m surprised and somewhat dismayed that your species are always finding new ways to alter my appearance.
In so-doing, you’ve given me quite a few, and if I may say, odd names; A Type Jade, B Type Jade, C Type Jade. I understand why, too. It goes back to what you humans call inherent value. An untouched lustrous specimen, rich in color, like me, is very, very rare, composed by Mother Nature, herself.
But I’ve seen these cosmetically altered (treated) Jades in abundance, whose new “look” is the result of some laboratory interference, a human attempt to make some of us look better than we actually are. Who are you trying to fool - and why? Like you, we’re all unique, and beautiful in our own, natural way: can’t you accept that fact?
Gemologists too, are often poking, scratching, and dabbing me with chemicals, though I understand that in some ways, it is necessary: it’s an attempt to document my characteristics for proof of identification.
But listen carefully: when you take time to really get to know me, like some of you do at the Jade Market in Hong Kong, for example, (one of my favorite cities, by the way) you will recognize me for what I actually am; an intimate friend and loyal companion.
I see merchants in that fair city whispering among one another as I’m passed around. These experts recognize me with their practiced eye for assessing my superb color, or my greasy luster. I feel their appreciation of my translucent appearance, and their expert fingers that caress me with a gentle touch.
Sometimes I’m truly difficult to recognize, especially for those who don’t have the expertise in handling my species, and they may ignore or overlook certain important characteristics.
For example, light interacts with my structure to provide a good 1.66 spot reading on the refractometer instrument. Oh, and by the way, that contact liquid used to measure my refractive index seems like such a strong chemical.
I urge you to step back and really look at me: feel my texture, learn to trust your observational skills, your intuition, and power of deductive thinking. If you do travel to Hong Kong, take a lesson from practiced Jade experts; they identify my quality simply by my appearance and lustrous feel.
Jade Market, Hong Kong
Image by Eric Chan
I realize that the price put upon me can be very high, and this makes people nervous. Such people need written proof of my originality.
There are some laboratories today that can provide you with an identification report to ease your fears, especially when the boundary between nephrite and jadeite are blurred, or when it is just not clear if I an treated or not - or to what degree. You can tell the world about me in whatever way you choose, though I insist you always disclose any alterations to my otherwise natural make-up.
I want to recommend that you become an expert about me though sight and touch. You may also document my properties with pages of scientific facts; however, realize, your species only listens when they’re quite ready to.
I call this, “selective absorption.”
Remember this: you made the commitment to take me home with you. It was purely emotional, wasn’t it? Good, then our relationship is just beginning, let’s travel the world and just enjoy life’s experiences together. Isn’t that the true value we share in this lifetime?
Wear me with pride and please, from now on - let me do the talking . . .