The art of Carving Jadestone
The term Jade Carving has been synonymous with the name Jade since antiquities, but in actual fact, this term is quite technically incorrect. You see Jade is so hard, that it is is quite impossible to carve it as such.
Jadeite is composed of sodium, aluminum and silicate and the amphibole stone composed of calcium, magnesium, and silicate, known as nephrite. They are almost entirely different compositions and both are fairly uncommon.
The truth is Jade has to be worked by sawing, drilling or grinding down with the use of abrasive materials.
In ancient Chinese times they didn’t have saws or drills, instead, they used water, string, abrasive material and bamboo to drill. When you consider the hardness of diamonds to be 10 on the Mohs scale it is no wonder they use diamond drills these days to etch into the stone.
It could take the Jade carver months, even years to carve elaborate works of art, hence the reason Jade works of art can fetch incredibly high prices at today’s auctions.
Just recently a Chinese piece of work made from Soapstone sold for an incredible $2.3M
Raw jade from British Columbia Canada is fetching $200 per kilo, added to the time it takes and the costs to transport Jade, then the laborious time it takes to carve this stone, it is no wonder the prices have quadrupled in recent years.