Wonderful World of Jade

Posted by on Tuesday, December 6, 2016 · Leave a Comment 

Jade jewelry can be quite stunning, especially for women who enjoy wearing jewelry not seen in most jewelry stores.

The famous gemstone jade is really two separate minerals: nephrite and jadeite. They have different structures and different chemistry, but they overlap in many colors. Jadeite is the rarer of the two, and most jadeite jewelry found in jewelry stores in the United States originates in the Mogok River Valley in Myanmar (Burma).

Jadeite can grow in colors so rich and vivid, they rival the finest emeralds, the rarest amethysts and the most flawless snow white coral. The vivid violet jadeite earrings in this season’s collection is an example of just how rich and beautiful this gemstone can be. Violet is one of the rarer colors of jadeite, and it is extremely unusual to find violet jade of this intensity which is not dyed or color enhanced in some way.

Imperial Jade

The rarest jadeite is called “imperial,” and a single piece may be one of the more expensive gems available anywhere in the world. The stone must be a vivid and deep emerald green, semi-transparent, and with absolutely no veining or other inclusions…a combination of features that is seldom found in nature.

Gold and jade necklaceThe perforated carved semi-translucent green jadeites in this gold necklace pictured on the left exhibit a combination of green and white colors. They come from the same boulders as imperial jadeite but cost pennies comparatively.

852The circular black jadeite pendant pictured on the right has flowers and fishes carved in high relief on both sides, a very typical motif for Chinese carvings using both nephrite and jadeite. This pendant hangs beautifully from pearls, yellow or white gold chains, or even black jade or black onyx beads.

Jadeite has been found throughout history in Guatemala and Mexico, among a few other countries (Switzerland, Poland, Japan) and used by pre-Colombian Indians to make jewelry, weapons and bowls of many shapes and sizes. Jade is tremendously tough and its ability to withstand being chipped or broken is greater than that of diamond, even though diamond is technically harder (more scratch resistant) than jade.


Dark Olive Green Jade Jewelry

Jade braceletThe dark olive green jade, always inexpensive, seen as beads and stones set in jewelry is the most common color of the mineral nephrite. Most comes from large boulders mined in Canada. Even though most modern nephrite in American jewelry stores is very inexpensive, many of the wonderful Chinese carvings of the dynastic periods are nephrite of many colors, rare and expensive.

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