In northern Pakistan near the Chinese border you’ll find the second highest mountain on earth called “Mount Godwin Austen” or K2, with an elevation of 8,611m. Known to the Chinese as the Qogir which means ‘great mountain’ and the Tibetans as Cogori which also means ‘large mountain’. Dusted with snow and edged with rocky cliffs this region is home to some extreme and challenging terrain. At the base of this mountainous beast is a curious gem material called K2 japser (also known as K2 stone or raindrop azurite). Mined with simple hand tools and transported by foot or pack animals to the nearest road, this unusual stone is quite spectacular.
K2 japser is not a jasper at all – the white to grey granular rock with black flecks is granite, a combination of plagioclase, quartz and muscovite. Within this freckled material are vivid blue polka dot of azurite in varying sizes usually between 3-10mm. At first glance the stone looks almost unbelievable and unlike anything else available on the market. There are still debates surrounding the identification of the blue mineral spots, although the initial investigation was some years back it has been tested and found to be azurite.
Another stone which is more than meets the eye is preselite, also known as preseli stone. To understand the origins of this gem material we need to go back in time. Let’s go back, way back to 5,000 years ago when the mega stone monuments of Stonehenge were put into their place.
Symbolizing mystery, power and endurance. Stonehenge’s original purpose was unclear. Whether it was a place of worship or mourning, the great stone circle spanning the Salisbury Plain is a sacred enigma that will challenge what we know for centuries to come.
Preseli is spotted Dolerite which contains feldspar, and has inclusions of Illmenite or Hematite. The smaller stones of the inner circle (weighing up to 4 ton each) are our origin of interest. Called ‘bluestones’ they are believed to be rocks sourced from the Preseli Mountains in Wales. What’s unusual about this? Well apart from the mystery surrounding the who, what and why of this mega structure itself, the excavation site of the bluestone in Wales is over 300km from the Stonehenge site in Wiltshire England. Recent research has been undertaken investigating closer sites that are also home to this bluestone-type material but the debate still continues.
A volcanic rock, the Preseli bluestones are dolerite, a medium grained rock dominated by plagioclase and pyroxene. This deep forest green material contains white splotches throughout creating earthly toned cabochons when polished. Utilized for its hardness by our ancestors, this durable material was perfect for creating axes and cutting tools.
Bunny Bedi, owner and designer at Made In Earth, discovered K2 Jasper and Preselite. “Both have their own unique eccentricities and tales to tell, they are the conversational gems that will pique the interest of those they meet. I was drawn by their mysterious beginnings and knew they would be an interesting addition to our collection.”