What is Jade?
The term ‘Jade’ is commercially applied to 2 different metamorphic rocks which are made up of different silicate materials; nephrite and jadeite. Where jadeite is a sodium and aluminium-rich pyroxene and nephrite consists of mostly microcrystalline felted amphiboles of the tremolite-actinolite series.
Jadeite and nephrite are both regarded in China as ‘zhen yu’ or ‘genuine jade’. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that mineralogists and gemologists started to differentiate between the two. Both stones are considerably similar in appearance and physical properties when being processed. The main difference between the two are it’s chemical compositions, specific gravity and hardness,which requires advanced technology to differentiate. Nephrite jade is the official native stone of China, with over 5000 year’s in the country’s culture and history. Whereas, jadeite was not introduced into China until the 1800’s from Burmese miners.