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Jade ‘Fishing’ in Olden China


Maidens Fishing For Jade In The River

In the classical belief of the Chinese, Jade was a product of Nature formed by the interaction of the essence of the great mountains and rivers.  It was thought to contain the raw and the primordial ‘qi’ (breath) of Heaven and Earth.

Jade is the positive force and the Yang (positive) element.

In the olden days, jade pebbles were picked by young maidens threading naked on the turbulent river bed in the middle of the night.  The Yin (negative) energy of the young maiden and the dominant Yin force of the night would attract the positive Yang element of jade.  Thus, when a maiden stepped onto a jade pebble there would be an immediate attraction because of the opposite polarity and the young maiden would submerge and pick up the jade pebble.

Upon securing a jade pebble the maiden would raise her hand and walk to the shore.  A gong would herald the finding of a jade pebble, the size of it would commensurate with the cadence and the duration of the drum beatings.  A maiden would be richly rewarded if she found a fist-size pebble of immeasurable value and quality.

Diamond and Graphite


In the field of gemological or geological study a basic understanding on fundamentals is important for us to appreciate the subject matter more thoroughly as well as giving us a better perspective on how minerals differ from each other.

There is no intention to delve too deeply into scientific principals and a sure way to lose readership is to come up with jargons like Angstrom, icositetrahedron structure and some fancy high tech unreadable scientific terms which are only required by PhD students doing a thesis.  However, some science is inevitable and a layman’s term is laid out so that readers will have a better understanding.

Diamond and graphite are both polymorph of the native element carbon.  Minerals that represent different arrangement of their internal atoms are called polymorph.  Thus, diamond and graphite have the same chemical composition but different crystal structures.

Diamond crystallizes in the isometric system (or cubic system) while graphite crystallizes in the hexagonal system.  A schematic diagram below would be easier to understand.

Diamond has a framework structure where the carbon atoms are bonded to other carbon atoms in three dimensions as opposed to two in graphite.

Although both are of the native element carbon their properties differs as follows:

  • Diamond is the hardest mineral known to man, Graphite is one of the softest.
  • Diamond is an excellent electrical insulator, Graphite is a good conductor of electricity.
  • Diamond is the ultimate abrasive, Graphite is a very good lubricant.
  • Diamond is usually transparent, Graphite is opaque.

Hence, the diamond stone on your engagement ring is simply Carbon but take heart a diamond with excellent color and clarity is a rare mineral.

How To Use A Jeweler’s Loupe


Learning how to use a jeweler loupe properly is one of the most important skill that you have to acquire, whether you want to be a gemologist, a jeweler, a gemstones collector or a gemstone enthusiast.

Just a few pointers and you can handle a loupe like a professional diamond dealer.

A 10X loupe (magnification 10 times) is the standard used by jewelers.  Take note that under the Federal Trade  Commission of the United States, grading of diamonds must be done under a 10X loupe.  Any flaws, blemishes or pin-point inclusions that are not visible under a 10X loupe is considered non-existent.

Hence, if you read a GIA Diamond Grading Report the Clarity Grades assigned to the diamond is viewed under a 10X loupe.

You should invest a small sum of money in buying a good quality loupe as it goes a long way for you.

You should look for the following:


  • A triplet loupe which consists of 3 lenses composited together in such a way that edge and color distortion are eliminated.
  • Loupe should preferably be housed in black casing, not in chrome or gold, either which will affect the color of the stone you are viewing.










A 10X Black Casing Triplet Loupe (GIA)


How to handle a Loupe?

  • Hold the loupe between the thumb and forefingers.
  • Hold the stone with a tweezers.
  • Your thumb should rest against your cheek about 1 inches from the eye.
  • Slowly move the tweezers in front of the loupe until the stone is in focus. Your loupe should remain stationary.
  • As you progress, try to keep the other eye open (what we call the ‘dead eye’).  In this manner when you view a number of stones your eyes will not grow tired.

It’s just that simple.  But remember practice makes perfect.


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