Jade is the generic term for two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals, Nephrite and Jadeite. It was not until the beginning of the 19th century that mineralogists and gemmologists differentiated between them as they bear a considerable resemblance to each other. Nephrite ranges from mid to dark green or grey-green, but it can also be white, yellowish or reddish. Jadeite (which is more valuable) is slightly tougher and displays hues which include green, but also white or pink, and reds, blacks, browns and violets.
Nephrite can be found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Guatemala, New Zealand, Russia, and the Swiss Alps. Jadeite is found in China, Guatemala, Myanmar (Burma), and Russia.
Traditional legends, gemstone folklore and healing properties of Jade
Jade is a stunning ornamental gemstone that is steeped in history and has been known to man, and used by many different cultures, for over 7000 years. It has been used to make ornaments and statues, masks, bowls, weapons, and set into jewellery. The name is derived from the Spanish “piedra de ijada” meaning loin-stone, as it was used by the Amerindians as a remedy for kidney ailments. In prehistoric times, it was prized for its toughness and it made it an ideal material for weapons and tools. From as early as 3000BC the Chinese referred to Jade as the “Royal Gem”, and within Chinese culture it has been regarded with high significance, like that of gold and diamonds in the West. The Amerindian cultures of the Maya, Aztecs and Olmecs also prized it more highly than gold.
Jade is believed to be a powerful stone of attraction, particularly to attract love, and is thought of as the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance. The Chinese believe that it brings money into your life and is beneficial in making business decisions. Some also believe that Jade can strengthen your mental faculties and assist in clear reasoning. Jade is also considered to be a protective stone, guarding against accidents and misfortune.
Healers believe that the soothing green colour of jade makes it a wonderful healing stone. It is believed to help the body in self-healing and thought particularly helpful for kidney, heart and stomach complaints. As far back as 500AD it is said that Chinese doctors would prescribe finely ground Jade mixed into fruit juices to aid the relief of various ailments, including asthma, heartburn and diabetes. Jade is the anniversary stone for the 12th year of marriage.
Finally, it is said that wearing Jade in bangles and bracelets is said to protect you from sickness and bring you good luck!