Australian black jade is among the finest in the world and is sought after by serious carvers
There are two main areas where black jade is found – one in South Australia, the other in New South Wales – and all of these occurrences are or have been, prospected or mined. Without a jade culture and with fierce competition from other more colourful gemstone, most Australians are generally unaware of their jade. The small South Australian town of Cowell, on the Eyre Peninsula, is the site of the largest known deposit of black jade in the world today. It was discovered in 1965 by Harry Schiller, on his large farm. The quality of Cowell jade is from a superb fine-grained black grading to olive shades, and both can have beautiful markings caused by weathering.
The black is among the finest in the world and is sought after by serious carvers. The high prevalence of iron ore in the ground gives the stone its dark colour. However, because black jade is nephrite jade, it’s still part of the greenstone family, so it will still shine green under bright light.