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Ge’ermu Jade – The Twins #2

A new mine of White Nephrite Jade in China!

During my visit to Hangzhou in April this year, I have been shown a small sample of a white and very translucent Nephrite Jade by the sales lady of the Xinjiang Khotan Jade Shop (see also “Gold is valuable but Jade is precious” FOJ April 2005) and given some indications that it is from a newly found and yet to be exploited deposit in the Qinghai province in north- western China.

Is has taken me some time to get further information and see more of this material. I want to share with you rapidly this preliminary information and will update it in the future.

The new white Jade deposit site is located in the mountains south of the town of Ge’ermu or Germo (Tibetan) or Golmud in the Qinghai Province.

Western China with the Khotan/Karakax
and the Ge’ermu sites about 1300Km apart.

Ge’ermu is located at 36° 24’ north and 94° 55’ west near the Eastern End of the Kun-Lun Mountain Range. It is a mining town at 2900m altitude at the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and the actual terminus of the, to be completed Lanzhou-Xining-Lhasa railway line.

Whereas at the Khotan/Karakax Jade mine sites, the famous Altyn Tagh Fault is close by, here at Ge’ermu, the Kun-Lun fault is its equivalent and about 70 Km to the south. Both faults extend to the base of the earth lithosphere, suggesting that they indeed define ancient continental plate boundaries and correlate with local Nephrite Jade genesis.

Ge’ermu (circled area) at the edge of northern Tibet,
with the Kun-Lun Faults and with Loci of Earth quakes.

Ge’ermu and the surrounding areas, looking south toward the Kun-Lun range and fault (red arrows) and with mountains of 4500 to 5000m of elevation.

I have not yet been able to get the precise location of the White Jade site near Ge’ermu but be assured, all my contact in China are working feverishly to get this information for you.

Detail of a Chinese Map (North = top) showing roads, the railway line, localities, lakes and mountains near Ge’ermu or Golmud

According to the Jade expert in Hangzhou, the Ge’ermu Jade, as it is informally known, does not have the greasy i.e. mutton fat aspect of Karakax/Khotan Nephrite Jade. Its aspect is classified as being “dry” and not having the oil/greasy feeling so appreciated of the material from the Khotan sources.

Two samples of Ge’ermu White Mountain Jade.

Ge’ermu White Mountain Jade sample which the author hopes to inspect soon.

According to my contact in Hangzhou, the local government has not yet given the necessary authorization to exploit the site but this will certainly not be a situation lasting forever in view of the hunger for white Jade in China.

I have given the order to purchase the two pieces shown above and will report to you on this new White Jade again as soon as possible.

Herbert Giess
October 2005

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