There have been some
civilizations in the South Pacific, Asia and Central America where Jade has been more prized than Diamonds or
Gold. It is a very beautiful, yet tough stone that is resistant to chipping and breakage. The ancient Chinese
philosopher Confucius said it was valuable because it represented the whole of purity, sureness of
intelligence, music and loyalty due to it's characteristics. Today it is worn by many Asians for good luck
The name "Jade" came from the Spanish conquistadors who named it according to the
job that native Mexicans were using it for. As it was thought by them to relieve kidney ailments, the Spanish named
it "piedra de ijada" which meant "stone of the loins." Eventually the Spanish term evolved into "Jade." The early
Roman civilization also considered it to be a good treatment for kidney ailments such as nephritis (kidney
inflammation) leading to it being named "lapis nephriticus" for "stone of nephrite." The Latin term was
subsequently reduced to "nephrite" and is sometimes used as an alternate name of Jade.
A French chemist, Augustine Damour, noted in 1863 that jade was two different minerals. She used the word
"Jadeite" for Burmese jade to distinguish it from the Chinese jade "nephrite."
The Chinese had know of the difference between the two since the early seventeen hundreds.
Jadeite and Nephrite are both comprised of tightly interlocking crystals, which
is different from the single crystals that comprise most other gems.
Jadeite is a little bit harder and denser and can take more time to polish. It is comprised of crystals which tend
to be somewhat more granular and coarse.
Nephrite is most common and typically found in olive or forest green.
The oldest known sources come from China. It is slightly stronger since it's crystal components are more
intergrown than Jadeite.
A very dark, olive green Jade.
Jade comes in different colors besides green. Above is a sample of Honey
Color: Green, Lavender, Red, Brown, Orange, Black, Gray and white
Mohs' Hardness Scale: Jadeite 6.5 - 7, Nephrite 6 - 6.5
Density: 3.30 - 3.38
Transparency: Opaque, translucent