Cloud fractures or Cracks – What’s the difference?

You often see jade with beautiful patterns going through it like clouds or lightning described as cloud fractures. Cracks on the other hand are normally thought of as negative, what’s the difference?

They are the same thing but in different degrees. A fracture is a light crack and is common in jade. They can be very tight and quite strong. You can also get healed fractures which often show up as a light line. I would call it a crack where it is open on the surface of the stone and where I can tell it weakens the carving.

Some of the most beautiful jades like flower pounamu comes about when the stone oxidizes in the fractures leaving yellow inclusions.

If the fractures are negative or positive depends mostly on how the carver has used the stone. Has he/she carved the stone in a way that shows off its positive virtues but not made it too weak. Have they left the stone to display its own beauty or over carved and cluttered up the piece needlessly?

More articles on jade carving
Can Pounamu only be gifted, is it ok to buy a piece for yourself?
Greenstone, Pounamu or Jade, what’s the difference ?
Jade carving, who do you work for?
Hand shaped jade beads