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Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real?
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Posted by: CoinCoin Post Reply
01/07/2020, 17:21:23

Can anyone tell from a photo if these are genuine? I got them at a coin show from a coin dealer who doesn't know artifacts, and I know there are a lot of tourist copies of jadeite pieces.

XGJadeiteLoRez.jpg (148.6 KB)  


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Thse are granitic green-stone beads.
Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/08/2020, 02:27:54

These green-stone beads were made from various available minerals (granites and serpentines, for instance), and are typical of pre-Columbian México. Many green or greenish beads are routinely called "jade." But it's a convenient euphemism.

These beads are so plentiful there is nearly no need to reproduce them. The exceptions are speckley green serpentine beads from Guerrero, México. These are actually nicer (more refined) than the pre-Contact beads, but have sometimes been misrepresented as that.

The heyday of the Guerrero beads was the late 1970s/early 1980s. I bought several strands at that time. The beads are usually oblate, alternating with long cylinders.

Jamey



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Coanfused
Re: Thse are granitic green-stone beads. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: CoinCoin Post Reply
01/10/2020, 10:29:15

I'm confused. Are you saying pre-1600s, or 1970's-80s? Thanks.



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Re: Coanfused
Re: Coanfused -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: si Post Reply
01/11/2020, 00:25:03

These beads are the real deal.

In the 60s there was an international vogue for precolumbian artifacts, and tons of antiques, including beads, starting moving out of Mexico and other Latin American countries. Very few came from documented archeological digs; most came from huaqueros, unauthorized excavators who sold their finds for cash. Most of the beads you see on the market today were bought by North American collectors during that period.

Artifacts coming from Guerrero, Mexico -- which is where these beads originate -- were attributed to "Mexcala culture," believed to have thrived in the area of the Mexcala river from 700 AD - 650 BC. However, there was almost no archeological study of the area before it was picked over by huaqueros, so it's unclear which Guerrero artifacts actually came out of the ground and which were manufactured by the contemporary descendants of the Mexcala people to be sold as "antiquities." Modern artifact manufacturers were very skilled, and it's impossible to date stone scientifically. It's possible that most of what is known of the Mexcala is fictional, based on forgeries; we'll never know for sure.

The stones used are all called "jade" bc precolumbian cultures didn't distinguish between different types of green stone: diorite, serpentine, emerald etc were all considered "jade." Incidentally, Chinese culture had similar attitudes towards green stones, which is why nephrite and jadeite are both considered "jade" today.

These are quite lovely. It's a good find. I wear mine all the time.



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I'm Surprised (!)
Re: Coanfused -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/12/2020, 22:44:13

I wrote:

1) Your beads are typical pre-Columbian green-stone beads from México;

2) They are seldom reproduced in a manner that would be compelling, because they are plentiful;

3) There are modern (1970s/80s) serpentine beads, made in Guerrero that were inspired by pre-Columbian beads—but they are visually distinctive and easy to spot.

I have to disagree with Si, regarding the statment that "Modern artifact manufacturers were very skilled...." The fact is the original beads were crude—and did not require 'great skill.' it would be relatively easy to reproduce such beads if there were a need. And there are some reproductions (to be sure). But the common green-stone beads from México were plentiful well-into the 1990s. I don't have an opinion about now. I do however, have some recent reproductions from Guatemala that I think are quite cunning—that I bought in Tucson three years ago.



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Re: I'm Surprised (!)
Re: I'm Surprised (!) -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: si Post Reply
01/14/2020, 16:31:59

Perhaps I shouldn't have said "skilled" - only that people are often smart enough to use the same methods used by their ancestors.



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I agree.
Re: Re: I'm Surprised (!) -- si Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/15/2020, 01:09:34



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Common?
Re: I'm Surprised (!) -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: CoinCoin Post Reply
01/16/2020, 11:39:06

Thanks for the clarifications. As far as being too common to be reproduced, though, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places but everything I see on Ebay and Etsy that's similar is in the hundreds or thousands of $ for similar strands.



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For Instance?
Re: Common? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/17/2020, 10:04:51

It is always possible to be asked to pay too much for beads. And it is sometimes possible to get a great deal. Both are usually based on ignorance. One person thinks his stuff is "a rare prize." The other thinks it's junk. And often enough it's somewhere in the middle. Mistaken identity is RAMPANT at cyber auctions. I don't "hang out" at Etsy much, but I see a lot of misidentified and overpriced stuff there too. And I see a lot of crap being offered as though it were "art."

I am an educator and consumer advocate. Since 1998 I have been writing to people at eBay, giving them correct information, and advice on pricing structures. Sometimes I have contacted over ten people a day. In the early days of eBay, one could contact potential buyers, and warn them that they were bidding on a pig-in-a-poke. (Sometimes they didn't care!) I have received a lot of static and hostility in-reply. Also some sincere thanks for the assist. This still happens—though I contact people with much less frequency. And I know my efforts are essentially a waste of time, except sometimes interpersonally.

There are some discussions here about pricing and value. They sometimes result in drama and disagreements—so I try to stay out of pricing arguments. But I think it is a truism that everything is more expensive now than it used to be. And a lot of this escalation is based on misinformation and graft. And many people exploit this, and play-into it.

Beads have become "big business" compared to when I started out in the '60s.



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I think you're right!
Re: For Instance? -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: CoinCoin Post Reply
01/17/2020, 11:51:22

I was searching Mezcala, Necklace, Jadeite. Should have known that most ebay sellers have limited knowledge, so searching Pre-Columbian, stone, bead brings up lots of singles and strands where the beads seem to be in $2-$7 range.

As a coin dealer I advise buyers to not worry too much about fake Chinese coins in the under-$10 range, BUT nonetheless take into account a seller's full offerings. It's amazing how cheap a coin can be and still be worth faking, either for contemporary circulation, or for promotional "antique" sets. Where labor costs are low, the fake threshold is also.

Outing fakes on ebay, and trying to get ebay to police fakes are jobs many in the coin hobby have taken on with varying success over the years. For a while ebay was suspending accounts of people who contacted potential buyers to warn of fakes. An ebay discussion group on coin fakes was shut down and had to go to Yahoo Groups. More recently I heard they had granted someone(s) a sort of status as fake spotter and would actively check the things they reported. I've reported fakes to sites (like Trocadero) and platforms (like Liveauctioneers.com) that are havens for sellers who don't know or don't care, just to see what action they take: none. And yes, it's amazing how many dealers - and collectors - don't want to hear about fakes.



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All too true! Good luck.
Re: I think you're right! -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/17/2020, 17:21:42



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Any chance you can repost the image? Or Joyce, can you help??
Re: Coanfused -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
02/04/2020, 20:04:36

I keep trying to click on CoinCoin's image, but I keep getting this message:

Error/var/www/vhosts/beadcollector.net/httpdocs/openforum/posts/6310693.html: No such file or directory
Error type Input rejection
General description The information/command you sent was rejected
Suggested action Go back to the previous page and make corrections. Please see the detailed error message for explanation.
Go back | Home page

And I REALLY WANT to see the beads, I LOVE serpentine! :^(

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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How's this?
Re: Any chance you can repost the image? Or Joyce, can you help?? -- Luann Udell Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: jrj Post Reply
02/06/2020, 13:13:53

XGJadeiteLoRez01062020.jpg (198.9 KB)  


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Thank you!!!!
Re: How's this? -- jrj Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Luann Udell Post Reply
02/07/2020, 17:29:46

Now both pictures are accessible. Thank you for the magic! :^)

Luann Udell artist & writer Ancient stories retold in modern artifacts LuannUdell.com

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Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real?
Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: frank Post Reply
01/12/2020, 21:02:54

Social jade in this case seems to include a lot of serpentine and some hydrogrossular garnet - chrome diopside mixes. Serpentine is listed as a very low hardness on the mohs scale but in the real world serpentines are often as hard as mohs 5 , the same as feldspar . If the geology provides the serpentine with an adequate infusion of quartz it can even go up to 6. In my area we have huge amounts of serpentine but only about 30% are in the expected 2 mohs range.With great wear the soft serpentine beads can show deformation from wear but with the harder serps this is not the case. Grossular garnet ( white ) and chrome diopside (green ) are very commonly found together and re fabulous for bead making as they are hard, 6 on the mohs scale. They can have brown and yellow areas of vesuvianite mixed in which is just as hard. A look alike for the grossular mix beads can be saussauritized gabbro in which the feldspar component has metamorphosed from white to green.. Gabbros are often found adjacent to ophiolites which are the rocks containing much of the nephrite and serpentines of the world. The central American jadeites are of different origin from nephrites but both types of jade are associated with massive fault systems. Jadeite from meso - America often has a sugar like texture when quite pure but jadeite is infamous for being intergraded with feldspar. The big strong colored bead on the upper left looks like a harder serp and the strongly patterened bead next o the penny and down at the bottom look like grossular -diopside but I make very similar beads that can be either grossular- diopside or saussauritized gabbro. In the rough experienced stone people can easily tell the difference but when cut they can be confusing.



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Tnx, Frank! Serp more olive?
Re: Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real? -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: beadiste Post Reply
01/19/2020, 10:06:58

I tend to think of diopside as a sort of emerald green, whereas serpentine has a more olive tinge (thanks to iron??)



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Re: Tnx, Frank! Serp more olive?
Re: Tnx, Frank! Serp more olive? -- beadiste Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: frank Post Reply
01/22/2020, 18:33:27

Yes the iron content will take the serp to black. Washington has very fine gem grade yellow serp that I do not cut as it comes from an area with very high uranium content as well as an unusually nice red that is in very short supply.Many of the olive green serps have a muddy grey cast from elevated chlorite levels. Two serps I get near my house are greens with the typical being as dark as the dark serp inclusion in this 300 lb boulder.The bright green portion is very fine and very unusual.The dark area of the pendant is a black - maroon serp . The stone it is in is a rodingite and the white is grossular garnet. My favorite serp from Washington is a blue -green mix that is colored by copper.I will post some of those when I finish the next batch.

Serpentine2019_2.jpg (167.8 KB)  R2aweb.jpg (179.5 KB)  


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In California
Re: Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real? -- frank Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
01/23/2020, 17:46:24

In California, serpentine is our official State Stone. We have many deposites. In San Francisco, the San Francisco Mint building is built upon a huge mound of outcropping serpentine. (Photo attacvhed.) Just a few years ago, I collected serpentine rocks at the top of Twin Peaks—because they were a nice variegated green color.

Serpentine is quite variable, as noted in this dialogue—and is a common bead material. It ranges from yellow, to greenish-yellow. yellowish green, bright or true greens, grayish green, bluish, brown, and black. And probably rare unexpected colors—and color combinations.

Serpentine is also closely related to other important stones, exploited for beads, that are easily confused with serpentine—including jades, garnets, peridotes, and charmaksud (the State Stone for Afghanistan—that is routinely substituted in the bead trade by serpentine of similar colors).

Jamey

sf_mint_serpentine_mount.jpg (84.9 KB)  


Modified by Beadman at Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 17:48:42

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Re: In California
Re: In California -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: frank Post Reply
01/24/2020, 06:17:29

The only problem is the asbestos like particles that can infest serpentine. The Clear creek area of northern California which is famous for it's jadeite deposit was closed for years because there is so much asbestos in the serpentine .We have the same situation in Washington without the jadeite at Sumas mountain on the Canadian border where serpentine laden with asbestos landslides into neighborhoods during the winter landslide season. I wish there were more historical uses of serpentine for beads on the west coast but they seem to be very rare.



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Serpentine
Re: In California -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Joyce Post Reply
01/24/2020, 11:34:40

Jamey, Neat! I rode past the SF Mint daily for years and didn’t realize what the rock was. Thank you for the post. Still sentimental about SF.



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Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real?
Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real? -- CoinCoin Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: greg Post Reply
02/06/2020, 02:02:35

Howdy! Check out the bead society issue (vol.10-11 1998-1999); edifying- and mel gibson is a fun insert here too, wow kinda outta nowhere! but yes! the costume team in his 2006 "apocalypto" film gave a boon to the majestic image meso-america pre-columbian america maintained. Greg

IMG_3184.jpg (58.2 KB)  IMG_3185.jpg (56.3 KB)  
www.instagram.com/gregorychopjian

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BEADS - Society of Bead Researchers (SBR)
Re: Re: Pre-Columbian Jadeite: Real? -- greg Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
02/08/2020, 05:04:44

Co-Founded by Peter Francis, Jr. and myself in 1981.
JDA.



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