Given the growth of the jade industry in the last few years, we believe it is important to work toward developing a certificate of origin. That said, we are keenly aware of foreign mining investments, particularly from China, who have moved into British Columbia. Chinese firms would have little interest in participating in an initiative that would not only raise the price per kilo of Canadian jade at its origin by setting a fair world market value, but establish origin for high-grade Canadian jade being passed off as Chinese material.
As the key players in B.C.’s industry shift from being small, local mining companies to long-established foreign jade syndicates, we face an uphill challenge. With British Columbia supplying 75 per cent of the world’s nephrite, there is no doubt ‘we got the good stuff.’ The question will be how we as Canadian jade and jewellery industry professionals can work together to secure a future for Canada’s nephrite sector. There is a very old saying in China: “Gold is valuable, jade is priceless.”
Sam Michael Dilts is the founder of Vancouver-based New Sun Jade Inc., and director of Hong Kong-based, BC Jade Ltd. He is the creator of the B.C. Jade Standard and is working toward helping establish a certification of origin (COO) for Canadian jade, along with an appraisal system for jade exports. Dilts can be reached via e-mail