Home » Home and Family » Collecting

Types of Stones and Their Characteristics

Aug 17, 2007
There are some jade and stones that we know very less about them. The natives of New Zealand sometimes use these stones for making figures of human and even articles like axe-head. These stones had never failed to surprise and delight the craftsmen and collectors alike.

Jade and other stones
STONES from comparatively hard jade to the aptly named soapstone have always presented a challenge to the craftsman. Whenever they were to be found in suitable size and shape it was an invitation to the lapidary to attempt to fashion them into works of art. The comparison between a rough natural stone and the result of careful carving and polishing never ceases to surprise and delight the onlooker. The finest specimens barely indicate the skill and patience that contributed to their finished form, but a brief study will show why the Chinese and others revered jade and why Europeans attempted to rival rock crystal with glass.

Jade
The Oriental mind has woven a wealth of legend into this stone, which varies in colour from pale grey-green and light lavender to a deep green that is almost black in some lights. Geologists into two distinct types divide it: jadeite and nephrite. The latter is slightly less hard and under a microscope it will be seen that 'in cross-section the fibers have cleavage cracks intersecting, not at approximately 90, as in jadeite, but at 120, and there are numerous other differences . . .' However, few, if any, collectors attempt to distinguish between the two, and describe them both as jade.

The stone is alleged by the Chinese to have been forged from a rainbow in order to make thunderbolts for the God of Storms, and it is also the traditional, although surely unpalatable, food of the Taoist genii. By most of the nations of antiquity it was regarded as possessing magical and curative properties; not only was it looked on also as a symbol of virtue, but it was supposed to be of value in the cure of diseases affecting the kidney.

Ancient jade objects of various shapes were used for ceremonial purposes and many of them have been excavated in modern times. They have received much attention from scholars and are rarely to be seen outside museums. The Chinese jade that is most likely to be found by the collector is seldom older than the eighteenth century. Being a hard stone it acquires few signs of wear, and with the Chinese habit of copying the designs of earlier days it is not easy to determine the age of many specimens. Large pieces of undoubted age can be very costly, but small examples of less certain vintage may be found for no more than a few pounds apiece.

The so-called 'Mogul' jade is usually of a pale grey-green colour, carved very thinly and often with pierced decoration. Some was inlaid with gold and precious stones, which seem to acquire an added fire against the background of the limpid stone. The Mogul jades were made in India, but were esteemed sufficiently by the Chinese for the Imperial workshops to have a department where work in this manner was produced.

The natives to make axe-heads and ornaments used a green nephrite found in New Zealand. Of the latter, the 'Tiki', a ferocious-looking distorted human figure, represents the Maori Creator who 'took red clay, and kneaded it with his own blood'. These pendant talisman are flatly rendered, and usually about three inches high and one and a half inches wide. Specimens some nine inches in height are known but are very rare when so large, and collectors should beware of modern copies of them in all sizes.

Pieces of these stones nicely carved and polished can fetch a high price for collectors. The beliefs that some of these stones possess magical and curative properties made them all the more expensive. But their dates are very difficult to verify because the Chinese often copied from the past designs making it all the more difficult to identify.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.collectablestips.info/ , http://www.goodcollectables.info/
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 208
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources