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Jade As A Jewelry Gemstone

Aug 17, 2007
The mystical jade stone has long captured the mind and spirit of humankind for thousands of years. The brilliant luster and deep color variations entice the eye and its mystical powers are said to warm the heart and clear the mind. Jade as it is known can be one of two different gemstones, jadeite and nephrite. Though most people associate jade with Asian cultures, both stones are common in the East Asia and among native cultures of South America. Most people associate jade with a green color palette, though in fact, this stone can be found in variety of colors including pink, red, translucent whites, black and even violet. Exceptionally hard due its structure, these stones are prized as jewelry, as a medium for sculpture and ancient weapons and tools.


The jadeite form is less common and is considered to be of a higher value. Common to Asia, jadeite was first mined in the prehistoric era estimated to be between three thousand and for thousand B.C. Ancient people found a variety of uses for the durable stone including weapons of war, mystical symbols, tools and everyday utility items like bowls and other vessels. Beaded jewelry made from these stones was uncommon due to the stones hardness though there are rare examples of such jewelry found in ancient burial crypts. Deposits of jadeite and nephrite can be found in South and Central America, Russia, the mountains of central Europe, Canada and throughout China.

Birthstone Information

Jade is recognized as the birthstone for the month of March and shares this distinction with the gemstone aquamarine. Jade is also associated with the birth sign of Virgo.

New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

Given the long history that exists between humans and this beautiful and versatile stone, jade has been the subject of myth and metaphysical power. Like many gemstones, jade has been long been associated with the power of love and other matters of the heart. The wearer is said to be protected from a number of different physical ailments including diseases of various organs. In Asian culture the stone represents the power of spirit and the connection between body and soul.

Artificial Forms of Enhancement

There are several common methods used for enhancing the color and appearance of these stones. One method used to enhance the color and appearance is dyeing or immersion in oil. The use plastic impregnation enhances color and eliminates surface imperfections.


Both stones can be found in wide variety of colors including translucent white, black, brown, violet, red, pink, pale yellow tones and traditional shades of green.

General Scientific Information

The chemical name for jadeite is NaAlSi2O6 and the chemical name for nephrite is Ca2(Mg,Fe)5(Si4O11)2(OH)2

Jadeite hardness measures 6.5 to 7.0 on the Mohs scale and nephrite measures between 6 and 6.5 - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

There is no cleavage found in jadeite or nephrite.
The index of refraction for jadeite ranges between 1.64 and 1.667 and 1.600 - 1.641for nephrite and generally indicates the purity of the stone.
The specific gravity is for jade measures between 3.25 and 3.36 and between 2.90 and 3.02 for nephrite.
The crystalline system for both stones is microscopically monoclinic.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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