A uniquely beautiful twist on an ancient gemstone, Australian Black Jade hails from Cowell on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. The true emperor of Chinese jewelry, Jade was also prized in Aztec, Maori, Mayan, Native American, Olmec, and Toltec cultures. Incredibly beautiful, immensely collectable, and undeniably rare, fine Australian Black Jade is a treasured addition to any jewelry collection.
Coveted globally for its high quality, Australian Black Jade combines beautiful midnight blacks, with a medium to fine-grain, allowing the gem to achieve a very high polish, a key quality consideration that facilitates an even color and deft finish.
Optimally cut ‘en cabochon’ (cut in convex form and highly polished, but not faceted), Australian Black Jade is carefully finished into attractive smooth domes with a desirable proportion, shape, symmetry, and a superior polish that displays an excellent luster.
Tougher than Diamonds, Australian Black Jade is a variety of Nephrite. ‘Jade’ originates from the Spanish conquest of the Americas, being derived from ‘piedra de hijada’ (colic stone) around 1565. The gem’s other Spanish name ‘piedra de los rinones’ (kidney stone), translates into the Latin, Lapis Nephriticus, giving the name, Nephrite. These names came from curative connections between the shape of Jade pebbles and kidneys. In 1863 Alexis Damour established that Chinese Jade (Nephrite, the ‘traditional’ Jade) and Burmese Jade (which he named ‘Jadeite’) are different minerals with similar properties. Nephrite comes in blacks, browns, greens, greys, yellows, and whites.
While Burma and China remain famous, historically acclaimed, important Jade origins, other sources include Australia, Guatemala, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, and the USA.
Discovered in 1965, Australian Black Jade is mined near Cowell in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula and is among the world’s largest known Nephrite Jade deposits. Fine quality Australian Black Jade is extremely difficult to source and always in high demand, noting our gems are old mine production, being unearthed in the mid-80s.
Australian Black Jade is also totally natural and unenhanced, which is a critical attribute for top qualities.
Durability & Care
Australian Black Jade (Mohs’ Hardness: 6.5 – 7) is an excellent choice for everyday jewelry. Australian Black Jade should always be stored carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.