Jade is to be found among the lesser rocks on certain beaches south of Big Sur, California. Several shops in the area, in fact, have jade boulders on display. There is apparently a big jade deposit somewhat offshore, pieces of which are washed in by the sometimes violent surf.

I myself have a piece as big as my fist: heavy, dense, deep deep green veined with black, enticingly smooth. It sits on my desk glowing mysteriously. Once I found a perfectly translucent piece about the size and shape of a silver dollar; I made it into a pendant, irregular and smooth, just as it was when I found it.

Here's how you look for jade on the beach:

  1. Because the waves have sorted the rocks on the beach by size, if you want to find a little piece of jade, look among the little rocks. If you want to find a big piece of jade, look among the big rocks. Always, so much of what you find depends on where you look.
  2. The jade will not glow on the beach. Like all the other rocks, it's coated with sand and salt. Be discerning.
  3. The beach you're looking for is not the one called "Jade Beach." The best place is actually several miles down the coast. Highway signs often mislead.
  4. Jade is much harder than steel. If a rock can be scratched with a pocket knife it's serpentine, not jade. Real treasure cannot be marred by base tools.
  5. There is always plenty of jade on the beach. If you're not finding any today, search your head and heart more deeply before you go back to looking at the rocks.
  6. The surfers say that every seventh wave is the big one. Keep your eye on the sea.
  7. Let this wu stand in honor of evilrooster.