In Chinese ancient culture believed that “Jade” is the stone of heaven. Jade is worthy for
emperor, who is called the son of heaven. Therefore, many things using in dynasty made from
jade represent as power of the throne. For instance, royal family seal, masterpieces jewelry
until kitchenware, etc. Treasured for thousands of years, jade has great Chinese cultural
“Jade” considered as holy jewel to Chinese for 7,000 years ago. From the generation to
generation Chinese praised jade as a symbol of the five virtues: kindness, simply, courage,
fairness and wisdom. Including Confucianism, it also gives jade as a great meaningful thing.
In addition, they believed that jade will bring many best things which are prosperity, good
luck, longevity and wealthy belong to the owner.
There are two different gem materials can correctly be called Jade
1. Jadeite : ( only commercially found in Myanmar, with traces of deposits in
Guatemala and USA). Jadeite is metamorphic rocks made up of tiny interlocking
mineral crystals. These interlocking crystals make both gems exceptionally tough.
Jadeite is apyroxene mineral with compositionNaAlSi 2 O 6 , Sodium aluminium
silicate. It ismonoclinic. It has aMohs hardness of about 6.5 -7.0. Jadeite comes
in a wide range of attractive colors than nephrite. Many shades of green, yellow,
and reddish orange, plus white, gray, black, brown, and lavender (often a light
purple or light grayish violet color). The coloration is often streaked or mottled,
giving jadeite gemstones an interesting visual texture that carvers can use to create
imaginative and intriguing effects. Moreover, Jadeite is very popular for Chinese
because it is rarer. Therefore, Jadeite is more expensive than nephrite jade.
2. Nephrite : ( found in Canada, Russia, China, Taiwan, USA, New Zealand and
others ) Nephrite is also accepted as jade in the international gem and jewelry
industry. Nephrite is a variety of the calcium, magnesium, and iron –rich minerals.
The chemical formula for nephrite isCa 2 (Mg,Fe) 5 Si 8 O 22 (OH) 2 , Calcium
magnesium silicate. It ismonoclinic. It has aMohs hardness of about 6 – 6.5. It
ranges from translucent to opaque and can be light to dark green, yellow, brown,
black, gray, or white. Its colors tend to be more muted than jadeite jade and they
are often mottled or streaked. But, the strong point of nephrite is toughness then it
is popular to carving like the Buddha or Chinese Gods. In fact, nephrite is easy to
find with large quantity, color mostly are dark and lower quality when compared
with jadeite. These are reasons why nephrite is not popular.
Modern gemologists use the word “jade” as a generic term for both nephrite and jadeite. These
gems have been linked throughout history. In fact, the term jade has also been applied to a
number of gems and ornamental materials that resemble jade, and even some manmade
equivalents resembling jadeite and nephrite.
Types of Jadeite
Jadeite may be enhanced, some merchants will refer to these as grades, but degree of
enhancement is different from color and texture quality. In other words, Type A jadeite is not
enhanced but can have poor color and texture.
There are three main methods of enhancement ;
- Type A jadeite has not been treated in any way except surface waxing.
- Type B treatment involves exposing a promising but stained piece of jadeite to chemical
bleaches or acids and impregnating it with a clearpolymerresin. This results in a
significant improvement of transparency and color of the material.
- Type C jade has been artificially stained or dyed. The effects are somewhat
uncontrollable and may result in a dull brown. In any case, translucency is usually lost.
- Type B+C is a combination of B and C: it has been both impregnated and artificially