Particularly prized by the Royalty of the Chinese dynasties throughout the ages, jade has a rich sheen that has an undeniable air of subtle sophistication. Whether you fancy a stunning pair of jade earrings or a gorgeous necklace, you will be hard pressed to find a more luxurious gem for adornment.
The following guide will explore some interesting facts about jade gems.
Introduction to Jade Gems
Jade is the name given to a gemstone that consists of jadeite, nephrite or a combination of both. Since the beginning of civilization, jade has played an important a part in Chinese culture and in fact this beautiful gem is particularly popular in many parts of Asia.
Nephrite jade (a silicate of calcium and magnesium), is the historical variety of jade that has been revered by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. It is prized for its extreme durability, its alluring translucency and its wonderfully smooth feel. Nephrite jade ranges in colour from pure white to all shades of green.
Jadeite jade (a silicate of sodium and aluminium) is a relatively new variety of this gem, introduced to China from Burma in 1784. Nevertheless, it is often labelled as ‘Chinese jade’, even though it does not originate from there. Quality jadeite is extremely rare and thus more expensive. It is also slightly harder than nephrite jade. The colours of jadeite range from white to black, with intense greens and lavender being the most popular.
Another type you will hear of is Imperial jade, which refers to jadeite that has a superbly translucent emerald green colour. It is the presence of the trace element chromium, which results in this intense green hue.
Main Sources of Jade
It was once commonly thought that jade came from China, but although China is the most important source for mined nephrite and the most important manufacturer of jade objects, it is not unique to this country and has been found on all continents except Antarctica.
The best Imperial jade, renowned for its superb colour and glassy lustre, is found in Upper Myanmar (Burma).
Jade Buyers Tips
- Being highly durable, jade is ideal for jewellery as it will withstand daily wear and tear very well. A hardy diamond drill is generally used to cut it.
- The value and price of jade is determined by the intensity of its colour as well as the colour distribution. Other important factors are the stone’s clarity, transparency and texture.
- Imperial jade with a deep, rich colour commands the highest prices.
- Jade undergoes several treatment processes to be made ready for jewellery and ornaments, such as cutting, designing, carving, sanding and polishing – all this produces the sparkling, smooth appearance of these beautiful gems.
- Beware of white jade which can be dyed with various colours and sold as the more expensive varieties such as Imperial jade. Other gemstones such as green quartz, grossular garnets, jasper, amazonite and serpentine can appear similar to jade and may also be sold as the real thing.
- Imitation colouration caused by heat treatment, dyes and bleaches can often be detected since these colours tend to be permeated evenly through the stone, which is not natural in jade. A jeweller’s loupe can determine authenticity with certainty.
- Jadeite is often colour enhanced so it can be retailed at higher prices, so it’s a good idea to only buy from reputable dealers when investing in jadeite jewellery.
Zodiac & Health Benefits
Jade has long been considered a symbol of wealth and riches. It is also thought to attract positive energy, prevent the wearer from harm and bring good luck.
Chinese Emperors saw jade as the ‘Stone of Heaven’, a symbol of tremendous power. Many Asian cultures believe that jade is an excellent source of good energy and that wearing it can help protect people a range of negative influences, including danger, bad luck and evil spirits.
Different cultures have a number of beliefs about this superb gem. In India, jade was called the ‘Divine Stone’ and believed to be capable of curing asthma, epilepsy and heartburn. The Spanish conquistadors who once occupied Mexico believed jade could cure kidney stones. As far back as the pre-Columbian period, the Mayas, Aztecs and Olmecs valued jade more than gold. In Egypt, it was the stone symbolising love, inner peace, harmony and balance.
Mystical jade is arguably one of the most alluring, opulent gemstones on earth. From eye-catching jade earrings to rings which won’t easily scratch like many other stones, this jewel is a must-have for any discerning jewellery collector.
Author Bio: Julia Littlewood is a Jewellery Designer. She is passionate about ornaments, gems and stones. If you want to explore the most vibrant and widest range of jewellery pieces , she suggests you to visit The Jewellery Channel. Julia loves joining parties, fashion shows, exhibitions apart from designing costume jewelleries and writing articles for her followers.
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