Upon moving to southern California, I searched for rocks that might make decent boiling stones. One of the locally-abundant rocks one can find is green (low iron content) and black (higher iron content) nephrite jade. While it is much harder than the talc/magnesite, the jade is quite carveable—at least with modern tools. The jade that is predominantly black never failed as a boiling stone.
The low-iron, green nephrite jade failed often, usually cracking and breaking after only one use. The talc/magnesite and the black nephrite jade performed perfectly, even after half-a-dozen uses!
Upon moving to southern California, I recently tried out some local rocks, like this talc. The tan/orange inclusions are magnesite, which is used to make furnace fire-bricks (and is one of the parent materials that metamorphoses into talc). I think that, while talc/magnesite also never failed to perform, it holds more heat than even basalt—my new favorite boiling stone!
Back to the Beginning
Visit Storm's website at www.stoneageskills.com.
Storm (1969 - 2008)
Storm immersed himself into the wellspring of adventure and the experience of the Stone Age. Thank you, Storm, for sharing your heartfelt enthusiasm of the wilderness and skills of the past through your engaging articles. You will be sorely missed.
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