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Something In Nephrite

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It has been quite awhile since I have posted anything, the main reason being is that most people don’t consider what I do as carving. I must point out that anything a lapidary makes has been carved even if it is a cabochon it starts out as a piece of rough stone that has to be worked through many processes to become a final finished piece of stone work.

At this time in my life I am spending the majority of my time making hard stone beads. My latest series are beads that have been inspired by ancient Bactrian/Indus valley beads with designs that you just do not see being made by contemporary bead makers. I am posting a bead that I just made and hope you all enjoy this little step by step photo journal.

Inspired by a Bactrian/Indus valley beads.
Bead made of Polar Jade "Nephrite".
FINISHED BEAD SIZE 2.11 inch 53.5 mm long .48 inch 12.1 mm in diameter


Block of jade as purchased but cut in half.


Half block measures 14mm X 16mm 55mm long.


Block of jade with 5mm hole.



Rough ground to bicone shape. Notice the witness marks on both sides this shows how well centered the hole was drilled.


Notice the thickness of the wall around the hole at this time.

Shaped to taper and radiused bi-cone shape.


When I had the bead to this point I took all the measurements and drew it in Rhino5 3D software I then made the cut for the radius in the bead and saw that I thought it would work out very well all of this without having to make a single cut in the actual bead.



Center radius cut and polished.


Finished bead starting weight of rough piece 36.6 grams Finished bead weight 6.1 grams


It is amazing what you can find hiding inside a piece of stone.


The thickness of stone at the end of bead is .8 mm

Hope you enjoyed ............. All my best .............. Danny


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Thanks Ken I have a jadeite bead started and I assure you jadeite is much more difficult to work, also have a few more in nephrite underway. Will post new beads as they are finished.


All my best ........... Danny

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  • 1 year later...

Hello Danny,


I cannot even yet consider myself 'new' to the stone carving world as I have not started, but it looks like what you have been doing for many tens of thousands of beads is very much what I was looking to learn more about when joining this forum. This piece is stunning.


I am not sure if this is due to the post being from last year, but for some reason the photos you have of the various steps are not showing up for me - is there a chance you may still have these images documenting this process? The final bead photo does show - it is beautiful.


Thank you so much for posting.



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