Fact & Fiction: Suzhou Jade

“Fact & Fiction”

For 5000 years, Imperial China used the word jade as something precious and beautiful.  Today, more jade comes from Burma than China, but the Chinese are considered the master carvers.  However, jade (think the green kind), became expensive and that engendered more affordable and clever uses of the word jade.

Such is today’s necklace made of ”Soochow” jade.  It is not jade but serpentine named after the city of Suzhou, 60 miles NW of Shanghai.  I’ve bought it for years in earthy shades of green, brown, tan and cream.  But I always put it in the serpentine drawer, placed next to the drawer holding the shimmering green real jade.  I always thought of serpentine as jade’s first cousin.  And after all the research I did for this blog, I shall continue to hold that opinion because serpentine is nice on its own and doesn’t require the false tag of jade to be attractive.

Actually, naming it after Suzhou was a big compliment to serpentine when you consider the city is called the Venice of China.  There are images of gondoliers pushing their boats through the narrow waterways of the Yangtze River Delta.  But no research revealed serpentine was ever mined in Suzhou.  Pure Marketing BS!!!

Fact and fiction aside, this two-strand necklace is made from two different strands and three sizes of brown-tone serpentine beads…note the earrings contain the three sizes.  Try to find two beads of the exact same tone and markings; nearly impossible.  For me that is the charm of serpentine–it’s mixable and matchable.  The centerpiece is made from an archer’s ring [worn to protect the finger against the pullback of the arrow.  When I first touched one , asked what is this, and hearing the answer, I bought a dozen of the nicest ones.  Two decades ago, I thought they were so cool.  Still do.]

My drawer of carved serpentine revealed this nice carved arrowhead and I used gold plated wire to attach it to the archer’s ring.  Brass clasp.  19″ necklace with 3″dangle.  Earrings included.  $90 plus $7 shipping.

A Max Moment


Just two years ago, I started reporting Max was growing attached to his “blankie”, a 50″ x 60″ throw I put on the sofa to protect it from him.  He loved it, snuggled into it, licked it, soft-jawed it, ran with it.  So cute.  Then came the destruction:  chewing, tearing, and swallowing it.

He stills runs with it except it is a 20′ long trailing fleece mess.

HELP!  I need advice from doggie Moms and kiddie Moms:  how do I get rid of it????

5 thoughts on “Fact & Fiction: Suzhou Jade

  1. Love this necklace Priscilla. The colors are similar to the one I have. I’m not a dog owner but I would probably start cutting pieces off gradually for starters. Maybe he wouldn’t notice! Good luck…..

  2. Hi Priscilla –

    Can’t help with the blanket disposal, but just sympathize with you having to go through the “Terrible Two!” Many thanks for this monthly posts! Sandy

    >

  3. Hi Priscilla –

    I know you you know my friend (and art teacher) Pat Laliberte. I’ve been forwarding her the posts you send me on your lovely jewelry. Your write ups on the history of the materials used is alway interesting and we both enjoy the monthly tales of Max’s adventures and mischiefs. Pat sent me this suggestion to pass on to you…..

    > “Take a large piece of the tattered original and sew it to a strong material backing. make sure they are big enough for him to drag around and still have the comfort of the original blankie. You can probably make about a dozen ‘mini dragging/sleeping blankies’ from that big tattered one and have them in reserve for when each smaller one bites the dust and has to be tossed. just a thought.”

    Sound like a great suggestion! Sandy > >> >> >>> Begin forwarded message: >>> >>> From: Priscilla Beadle <comment-reply@wordpress.com > >>> Subject: [New post] Fact & Fiction: Suzhou Jade >>> Date: September 1, 2020 at 9:04:12 AM EDT >>> To: sandraweeks55@gmail.com >>> Reply-To: Priscilla Beadle <comment+p65i9yi74xi4u49d35k5n0f@comment.wordpress.com > >>> >>>

  4. Love the color of these beads. Fascinating as usual. Have you tried buying Max a new blanket and substituting for his old one?

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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