JadeJade is an attractive mineral known for its green colour and often used as a gemstone. It should not be confused with aventurine which is sometimes incorrectly called "Indian jade".
What Is Jade?Jade is a mineral used as a gemstone that usually has a green colour. There are actually two forms of jade: nephrite and jadeite. Of these nephrite is the more common and jade jewelry you buy is likely to be nephrite. Certain green glass is sometimes called "jadite" (note the spelling) but this is related only by colour.
Jade is known for its distinctive green colour and is sometimes simply called "greenstone". However it can also be found in other hues such as blue and even pink. There's also a creamy white jadeite variety known as "mutton fat jade". One of the most popular forms of jade comes from Myanmar (Burma) and is known as "imperial jade" and has a colour resembling emerald.
As well as being attractive to look at jade is also a tough stone with a Mohs scale hardess of up to 7. It was used by some societies for making tools and weapons before becoming popular as a gemstone. Despite this hardness jade can still be damaged and you should care for your jade jewelry like any other piece.
UsesIn China jade has always been used for figurines and statues, especially those of Bhudda - the Jade Buddha Temple is situated in Shanghai. Jade was often used to decorate the houses of noble families and was sometimes called the royal gemstone.
In New Zealand jade is a significant stone with the Maoris who call it pounamu. It's a protected treasure and is believed to attempt to return home if taken from its native land.
Jade has been given various properties and meanings in folklore but is usually considered a very positive stone. Amongst other things it's been said to promote health, luck and prosperity.
Today you buy a wide variety of decorative green jade ornaments and jewelry. Popular items of jewelry for sale include rings, pendants and bracelets with the green stones often set in silver.