If you have purchased Yellow Soap stone from Indonesia in the past, you might want to let go some of your rocks now.
The price of this kind of rock used to be in the region of just $20-30 per kilo. Now it had sky-rocketed to over $100 per kilo and in some cases over $500 per kilo when the size is huge (Over 5 kg) and clean and color is intense!
This kind of yellow soap stone is essentially Yellow Calcite mass. So why did the price go up so much? The answer is the huge demand from the Chinese. Apparently, the Chinese government had banned the mining of “Yellow Soap Stone” in China which is the material that a lot of fine carvings used. Yellow is an auspicious color for Chinese and Fine Carvings of this material command a very high price tag.
The Yellow Soap Stone in Indonesia is found to have the same crystalline structure to the material that the Chinese used and thus they flocked to Indonesia and snapped up everything that they can lay their hands on. This is an interesting observation as only they value this material highly. I have not seen the rest of the International Community following suit. This is an interesting demand and supply case. The domestic market demand in China actually caused the price of this yellow soap stone to sky-rocket.