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The supply of Cowell jade tiles, jewellery and market carvings to the Malaysian based Royal Selangor Group has finally rewarded Gemstone Corporation of Australia for surviving many years of mixed fortunes.

Jade Lode at Cowell Discovered by Farmer in 1965

local farmer Harry Schiller discovered jade at Cowell in 1965 on his eastern Eyre Peninsular Mount Ghearty property. Mining jade on the property began in1976 by a company called Cowell Jade Pty Ltd, which, on becoming a public company in 1987, changed its name to Gemstone Corporation of Australia. When Harry Schiller made his discovery he found the jade in a 3 to 4 kilogram boulder close to an outcrop of white marble. His find was verified as nephrite by both the South Australian Museum and the Adelaide University.

Cowell jade is found with colours ranging from premium black, bottle green to dark green and from a green/grey blue gum colour to pale grey. Jade is also regarded as being the symbol stone for a married couple's 35th wedding anniversary.

The Cowell Jade Deposit is the Oldest and Largest in the World

The jade deposits at Cowell on the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia are regarded as being the largest and oldest known deposits of nephrite jade in the world and there are over 100 known outcrops in the Cowell district, all found within an area no larger than 10 square kilometres. These deposits are known as the Cowell Jade Province. Gemstone Corporation of Australia Limited hold 23 leases covering the entire province.

The Cowell Jade Mine is Famous for its Rare Premium Black Jade

Jade mined at Cowell mainly consists of fine to medium grained material grading from black to greenish and yellow hues. The three marketable colours being:

Premium black nephrite

Black nephrite

Green nephrite

Black jade found at Cowell is able to take a very high polish carried out by simple lapidary methods. The very fine grained premium black jade can be polished to a mirror quality. Rare varieties contain outstanding patterns, wavy binding and dendritic inclusions, a fern like pattern that is often mistaken as being fossilised fern. There has been more than 3,000 recorded tonnes of jade taken from the Cowell Mine to the present time. The value of black jade is a moot point among jade buyers as it has been reported that it has fetched up to $2,500 a kilogram in the past although black jade can be obtained from Cowell for around $100 a kilogram. Although the rare black jade is the premium choice among many jade buyers the Cowell mine also produces colourful marble and the more plentiful green jade.

Cowell Mine Developed After Government Feasibility Study Proved it Viable

Cowell is the only commercial jade mine in Australia and it wasn't developed without a lot of determination and hardship. Many disputes and different owners had charge of the deposit from 1966 through to 1973. The South Australian Government stepped in in 1974 to evaluate the deposit regarding commercial production. As a result a trial mining program was undertaken by the government in 1976 that coincided with an evaluation of its carving potential, textures and colours of the jade at O'Halloran Hill College of Advanced Education.

Gemstone Corporation Australia

A local farmer by the name of Harry Schiller discovered jade at Cowell in 1965 on his eastern Eyre Peninsular Mount Ghearty property. Mining jade on the property began in1976 by a company called Cowell Jade Pty Ltd, which, on becoming a public company in 1987, changed its name to more


Gemstone Corporation Australia
Lincoln Highway
Cowell, SA 5602

lincoln highway
cowell, SA 5602


Phone08 8629 2111

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