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Jade
Jade
Name:Jade - Jadeite and Nephrite
Derivation: From "ijada" (Spanish) flank
From "nephros" (Greek) kidney
Formula: Jadeite - NaAlSi2O6
Nephrite - Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2
Description: Various shades of green down to white. It can be mottled. It can be opaque or translucent.
Jade
Jade

There are two different minerals that are called Jade - Jadeite and Nephrite. Many specimens are just sold as Jade. The derivations refer to the belief that jade would cure pains in the side.

Jade was used by the Chinese for ritual objects by the third millennium BC. The Chinese called it the wet stone, because of its oily lustre (the surface sheen). They believed that it would prevent the decay of a corpse, and placed it with bodies for burial. They used nephrite until the 18th century. They thought it had magical powers to cure diseases and confer longevity. They did use the word 'jade' to describe other minerals.

In the Americas, the Aztecs used jade. It was worked in Mexico from 1500 BC, and in North America, it was used as a talisman against poisonous snakes. The Maoris made symbolic figures or tikka out of jade, which they called the punamu stone. Jade was used in Europe for axes in 4000-3000BC.

Larger pictures of Jade:

This polished (tumbled) specimen is Jadeite, one of the minerals known as Jade.

Jade

This polished (tumbled) specimen is Nephrite, the other mineral known as Jade.

Nephrite

The rest of the specimens are Jade, but I don't know which sort. This is cut but unpolished.

Jade

These are all polished in some way. They show the variety of greens and transluscency in Jade.

Jade Jade

Jade Jade

Jade