Jadeite Jade Gemstone Information


Jade has been known to man for some 7,000 years. In prehistoric times it was esteemed rather more for its toughness than its beauty, since it made an ideal material for weapons and tools. Yet as early as 3000 B.C. jade was known in China as yu, the 'royal gem'. In the long history of the art and culture of the Chinese empire, jade has always had a very special significance, roughly comparable with that of gold and diamonds in the West.

Jade and Jadeite was used not only for the finest objects and cult figures, but also in grave furnishings for high-ranking members of the imperial family. Today jade is still regarded as a symbol of the good, the beautiful and the precious. It embodies the Confucian virtues of wisdom, justice, compassion, modesty and courage, yet it also symbolises the female-erotic. A visit to the jade market, be it in Hong Kong or Burma, or at one of the Hong Kong jade gemstone auctions organised by Christie's, can convey some idea of the significance this gem has for the people of Asia.

Jade has been treasured by other cultures as well. In the pre-Columbian period, the Mayas, Aztecs and Olmecs of Central America also honored and esteemed jade more highly than gold. New Zealand's Maoris began carving weapons and cult instruments from native jade in early times, a tradition which has continued to the present day. In ancient Egypt, jade was admired as the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance. In other regions and cultures, jade was regarded as a lucky or protective stone; yet it had nowhere near the significance that it had in Asia. 

For collectors as well as jewelery lovers, jade is a fascinating gemstone. In Asia, above all, it is collected as an antique. Besides the quality of the gem and its processing, religion and faith also play an important role. In the West, many people prefer to collect jade in the form of snuff-boxes, cigarette holders, small bowls or rings. Since each collector has his or her own taste and his or her own likings with regard to color, style and shape, it is no easy matter giving definite advice on the purchase of jade objects.


Burmese Jadeite Jade

The prices and value of Jadeite Jade vary depending on the size and quality of the gemstone. There are actually two varieties of jade: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is the more valuable of the two and experts can usually detect nephrite by its lower translucency and luster. Nephrite tends to have a resinous luster, while jadeite is more vitreous. In general, the value of jade is determined according to its color and the intensity of that color, the vivacity and texture, and its clarity and transparency.

Preference for particular colors varies considerably from region to region and culture to culture. In green jade alone, the connoisseurs differentiate between seven main qualities, from the intense, even green of imperial jade, via apple green and spinach green, all the way to the lighter and to more heavily speckled shades of green. These special nuances often overlap and can hardly be recognized by the untrained eye. In the USA and Europe, emerald green, spinach green and apple green are regarded as particularly valuable. In the Far East, on the other hand, pure white or a fine yellow with a delicate pink undertone is highly esteemed. In the world of jewelery, the fine violet nuances of lavender jadeite jade are very popular. It is however the rare, emerald green of imperial jadeite jade, a color of incredible depth, which fetches the highest prices from gemstone collectors. Unfortunately, since not only fine natural jadeite stones are offered for sale, but often fake or poor-quality products or stones which have been colored or otherwise treated, it is advisable to buy good jadeite only from reputable dealers and jewelers, whether the purchase is being made for a collection or as an individual piece of jewelery. It is a good idea to have any expensive piece of jade certified by an independent gemological laboratory.

Why Buy Loose Gemstones Instead of Pre-Set Jewelry?
There are many reasons, but mainly it comes down to value and choice...

When buying your fine Jade loose instead of pre-set stone, you can be sure that you are getting the best value for your money.  Loose gemstones are less expensive, a better value, and you can really see what you are paying for.  The most important part of getting the right price and finding the best value is to first see what you're getting.  A jewelry setting will hide the inclusions inside a gem, and can deepen or brighten its color.  With a loose stone you can much more easily inspect the gem and see it for what it really is.  In this way you can get a better idea of its true worth and be sure you are paying a fair price.

The second advantage of buying a loose gemstone is choice.  You are free to pick the exact color, cut, shape and variety of the stone for the setting of your dreams, be it yellow gold, white gold, platinum or silver; prong set or bezel set with diamond accents.  You can experience the joy of creating your very own, one-of-a-kind jewelry design. Choose from a variety of jewelry settings and styles to create a completely original presentation that will perfectly suit your individual gemstone and will be as unique as you are!


Jadeite Jade Jewelry                        Jadeite Jade Earrings



Origin Brazil, India, Myanmar, China, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, USA (Colorado)
Color White, green, yellow, red, orange, lavender, black and brown
Refractive Index 1.64 - 1.667
Chemical Composition  NaAlSi2O6
Hardness 6.5 - 7
Density 3.25 - 3.36
Crystal Structure Monoclinic
Zodiac Sign Virgo
Month March
Jade is rated at 6.5 to 7 on Moh's scale of hardness and is an extremely tough gemstone. Pure Jadeite jade is actually white, with impurities responsible for the green, red, yellow, pink, violet, orange, black, and brown colors.  Jadeite, the rarest and most valuable variety of Jade, is usually vivid in color and has much finer translucency than Nephrite Jade. It displays hues of green, white, pink, red, black, brown and violet, with the most highly-prized variety being the emerald green colored Imperial Jade, native to Myanmar. 

Jadeite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, a specific gravity of 3.25 to 3.35, vitreous luster and a refractive index of 1.665.  The refractive index (RI), measured using a refractometer, is an indication of the amount light rays are bent by a mineral.  Birefringence is the difference between the minimum and maximum RI. When birefringence is high, light rays reflect off different parts of the back of a stone causing an apparent doubling of the back facets when viewed through the front facet.

Most gems have a crystalline structure. Crystals have planes of symmetry and are divided into seven symmetry systems. The number of axes, their length, and their angle to each other determine the system to which a crystal belongs.  Jadeite crystallizes in the monoclinic crystal system with a fibrous, granular or massive crystal habit

Nothing can quite compete with the beauty of  green Jadeite except an equally bright piece of green emerald. The Emerald Buddha, the sacred image that is enshrined at Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok, Thailand, is actually beautiful emerald-green jadeite.  The green color of jade is believed to produce a rejuvenating impact on the human souls. That is why, since time immemorial jade had been highly prized for being a huge source of positive energy. Once an integral part of history and culture of China, Jade today is the part of every fashionable woman worldwide.

Jadeite jade is most treasured for its vivid green colors, but it also comes in lavender, pink, yellow, and white.  Jadeite is white in its pure state, but does occur in a wide range of other colors due to trace impurities. Dark green jadeite is colored by the presence of iron, emerald-green jadeite (Imperial Jade) is colored by chromium, and lilac jadeite is colored by manganese. Pink, brown, orange, red and even black or "Olmec blue" jadeite obtains its color from inclusions of foreign minerals.


Because of its smooth even texture, Jade has been a preferred material for ornamental carvings for thousands of years. With regards to jewelry, because it does not usually exhibit any considerable level of transparency but instead a fine luster, Jade is best suited and most commonly fashioned into cabochons in oval, round, navette, etc.  

 Jade gemstone treatments include dying and wax impregnation. 
AJS Gems fully discloses any and all treatments to our gemstones.

The precise geological conditions needed to produce Jadeite are quite uncommon, therefore the stones are rare and scattered geographically.
Myanmar sources the highest quality of Jadeite, particularly a form of Jade known as Imperial Jade which is the most desirable and valuable variety. Other notable deposits of Jadeite can be found in in Guatemala, Italy, Russia, and the United States.
While jadeite, especially Imperial Jade, is mined today primarily in Burma (Myanmar), small quantities can be found in Guatemala. Although neolithic jadeite axes were found in Europe, it is not known where this prehistoric jadeite was mined, although it is possible that the material came from a deposit in the Alps.
For thousands of years, the legends and myths surrounding jade evoked curiosity and passion among men...

The historical existence of jade can be traced to the legends of Mayan and Aztec civilizations of Central America.

Jade has always been coveted for its wonderful healing properties.

In asian countries, jade used to be regarded as the preserver of dead body. In their aspiration to attain immortality after death, the rich and mighty emperors of China used to build their tombs with rarest and most precious of Jades.

In ancient India, Jade was called a 'Divine Stone' and used extensively for the treatments in such diseases as asthma, gravel, epilepsy and heartburn.

In course of history, Jade traveled to Europe with the Portuguese settlers who were the strong believers in its miraculous curative properties for the kidney related diseases.

Throughout Asia, especially in China, jade is a prized stone for resuming love in the lives of the married couples. It is also believed to bring peace and harmony and calmness of mind.

Jade is regarded as a balancing stone. According to the oriental philosophy, Jade is the energy stabilizer; It strikes balance between male and female power, it provides balance to the emotional manifestations, and most importantly, it creates balance between positive and negative forces. It also invokes wisdom and spiritual qualities in human beings.

Jade is derived from the Spanish word 'piedra de ijada', meaning “loin stone”. The Amerindians discovered that Jade could be used as a remedy for kidney ailments, hence the name loin stone. Because of the beneficial effect it had on kidneys, it was also associated with the name 'lapis nephriticus', which would later form the name Nephrite. Nephrite is also thought to be derived from the Greek word 'nephros', meaning “kidney”.

Jade has been treasured for over 5000 years in China as the royal gemstone, where it is known as 'yu', or 'zhen yu', meaning “genuine Jade”. Jade is as significant in China as Gold and Diamonds have been in the west. Jade was not only used for the fine objects and cult figures, but was also often in the tombs of important members of the Imperial family. One tomb contained an entire suit made of Jade, assuring the occupant physical immortality. In addition to this, Jade was associated with the five cardinal virtues: compassion, modesty, courage, justice, and wisdom.

In Central America, the Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmec's also treasured and honored Jade higher than Gold, often creating symbolic carvings and masks out of it.
Neolithic Europeans used Jade extensively for tools and weapons, most likely because of its toughness that makes it ideal for such purposes.

Jade is believed to stimulate creativity and mental agility whilst also encouraging practicality, wisdom, love,and tolerance. It is also believed to have a balancing and harmonizing effect, banishing negative thoughts and rejuvenating the wearer during times of stress. In addition to this, Jade is also believed to increase body strength and longevity.

Physically, Jade has long been associated with the kidneys and is still a remedy amongst healers of Nephritic Colic. Jade is also believed to help protect and aid the heart, larynx, liver, spleen ,thymus, immune system, and nervous system.

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