Jade Green And Beyond

Jade, Nephrite And Jadeite

For many thousand years, man has known, respected and worn the jade gemstone. Historical records prove that jade has served a useful purpose for mankind over 7,000 years ago. However the initial applications of jade were not as a gem stone, the jewelry industry was attracted to the gemstone long after that. The durability of jade gems can be proved from the fact that, it's initial applications were to make tools and weapons. The tough nature of jade and jadeite had impressed humans several thousand years ago. With a Mohs hardness rating of 6.5 to 7, jade also has good toughness. Jade is normally transluscent to opaque and has a waxy lustre. A well cut and polished jade gem stone often appears to have been coated with wax, this ofcourse is not true. If you have wondered why jade with a hardness of 6.5 to 7 is considered to be tough, here is the explanation. The gem is naturally constructed with a bunch of tightly woven microfibres, this adds to the tenacity of the jade.

Chinese culture has had a long relationship with jade and jadeite, in this far east land jade was given as much importance as the Western nations bestowed gold and silver with. The royals had furniture, vases, utensils and other artifacts carved from jade. The fact that jade was neither brittle nor soft allowed craftsmen to sweat out their imagination and skills on this stone. For those who believe in the metalphysical properties of gem, jade is believed to symbolize, courage, compassion and modesty. These were the virtues attached to jade gemstones throughout Asia.

When it comes to grades of jade, there is one important thing that you should know. Over 80% of the jade that enters the gems and jewelry industry is dyed. The dyeing process used to treat jade is permanent, it also does not weaken the gem in any way. While we all know that an untreated jade gem is more valuable than a color treated stone there is a solid reason why jade and jadeite are dyed. The process used to dye natural jade brings this awesome and historic gemstone within the reach of millions of gem lovers. Remember that it is not just jade that is treated to enhance color, 95% of rubies and sapphires are heated to enhance color. 99% of the emeralds used in jewelry are treated with natural oils to enhance color and add lustre. 99.50% of the Tanzanite that is mined is heated to enhance the color of the gemstone.

In our above discussion we have used the name jade, jadeite and nephrite, we will explain in simple terms the difference and similarity between these terms. Firstly, jade includes jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite has a pale to medium green color. Nephrite which is also classified as jade has a darker green jade and is almost always opaque. On the other hand jadeite can be transluscent and is not generally completely opaque. As you might have guessed, jadeite in untreated or dyed form is much more expensive as compared to nephrite. It is not easy to confuse jadeite from nephrite but, getting your jade gems from a reputed gemstone and jewelry provider helps. Chinese history tells of artifacts and vases being carved out of jadeite but, the limited supplies of jadeite have made such things rarer. As the good quality jadeite gets smaller in size and more expensive in price, jadeite gems are being increasingly pushed into the jewelry manufacturing sector. At this point of time nephrite is still available in large volumes and sizes, Buddhist statues and other decorative items are carved out of nephrite today.

It is not just green jade that is used in jewelry, yellow jade, red jade and the pale purple lavendar jade gems are also available. To repeat once again, expect all the jade used in commercial jewelry to be dyed. This unless, the gem provider can provide you with an authenticity certificate from a reputed laboratory stating otherwise.