Detailed sheet


Its name comes from the term jade. It is the nineteenth century, in 1863, that jadeite was differentiated from nephritis. This is a pyroxene resulting from metamorphism of serpentines high in sodium. Before the nineteenth century both jadeite and nephrite were called with the generic term “ jade “.
Jadeite has appeared in China in the middle of the eighteenth century, from Burma, all the old jades of China prior to this period are nephrites. Jadeite without the presence of the metal ions which color it would be colorless, milky white in fact, but the dark green varieties are colored by iron and the purple ones by manganese. Jadeite “imperial jade” is colored by chromium.
The “magnetite-jade”, is the name for a black jade with magnetite inclusions.
The chloromelanite is the name of a dark green pyroxene,veined black, which is likened to jade.
The kosmochlore, with a composition close to the jadeite, is a sodium and chromium silicate found in a meteorite (in Greek from “ Kosmos” and “chlor” for green), which composes chloromelanite. Its density increases with the concentration of chromium and can reach 3.6.
The Maw-sit-sit, that was discovered in 1963 by Gubelin in Burma in the same deposits of the imperial jade, in north-western Burma, in Kachin state, is actually a rock, a mixture of several minerals such as : chromian jadeite, chromite, ureyite, symplektite, kosmochlore, chromian amphibole and zeolites, mainly natrolite, and its white veins consist of albite in a gangue of serpentine. This is one of the rocks in which the concentration of chromium that gives it its green color is the highest. Sometimes jade-albite is called a “ maw-sit-sit” with veins of white albite.
Throughout Asia, jade is a symbol of luck and health, it is offered for all occasions: births, weddings, birthdays, graduation and even to sign professional contracts.



aluminum and sodium silicate


Main color


Other colors

white, brown, grey, yellow, black, pink, purple

practically all the existing colors

Color of streak





6.5 to 7.0


3.25 to 3.38




splintery, uneven

very strong but sensitive to sudden shocks for bracelets



opaque, translucent

some white varieties are practically transparent

Refractive index

1.652 - 1.693

Double refraction


definite, biaxial (+)

visible double refraction






Number of colors


lighter or darker shades of green very difficult to observe

Absorption spectrum

691 - 437

for the green varieties 691 and 437

light green jadeite spectrum system

dark green jadeite spectrum system


very weak

according to origins, and inclusions


many: albite, chromite, kosmochlore ...


micro granular aggregates of micro-pyroxene crystals giving the appearance of sugar on the breaks

crystals system


microcrystalline structure


Astrological sign

Capricorn, Gemini, Leo, Libra

Chinese astrological sign

Dog, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Ox, Pig, Rabbit, Rat, Rooster, Sheep, Snake, Tiger


There are a dozen deposits of jadeite in the world, the largest being located in northern Burma in Kachin state, it is field which produces the bulk of high-quality jadeite present on the international market. Then there is the Sierra de Las Minas, in the valley of the Motogua in Guatemala, where pre-Columbian civilizations found their jade. After being forgotten, this deposit was rediscovered in 1973. The alluvial deposit has only been known for ten years while it delivers a beautiful translucent jade, blue to green. We can then include Japan (Omi-gawa and Kotaki-gawa area Niigata), Kazakhstan, Russia (Ketchpel in the Polar Urals in the Borus chains in Western Sayan), the United States (veins of serpentine of New Idria, California), Italy Punta Rasciassa, in serpentine of Monviso in the western Alps. Jadeite is also found in Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia.

use in jewelry

The most sought jadeite, is the imperial jade emerald green colored, whose color is due to chromium. The purple jadeite or blue one, are also very popular as rare.
It is used in jewelry, cut cabochon, to make rings, necklaces, bracelets … Many objects and pendants are carved in jadeite of all colors and multicolored.
The ring-shaped rigid bracelets, produced in Burma, are very popular amongst Chinese customers.
Jade is the stone of the 12th anniversary or the 26th year of marriage.

Daily care
and precautions

Easy to maintain but sensitive to shocks, especially for bracelets rings. The dyed jadeites are sensitive to solvents and the jeweler should be careful not to expose them to high temperatures.

imitations and

This is the most imitated kind of jade, because jadeite can reach very high prices. The main treatment consists in bleaching it in a hot acid bath and then soak up with colored resins or not. It can simply be heated to enhance the color or give it a brown color, or tinted without heat treatment.
It is imitated with lead glass (well known to the Chinese), colored or tainted glass , some plastic or porcelain, enamel … doublets, triplets based of jadeite, tinted quartzite, jade improved by artificial dyes.
Note that in the Far East, the jades bleached, dyed and laminated are common in trade. We have synthesized jade plates. The african thick grossular is called “Transvaal jade” but the name is illegal.

healing properties

In China, Confucius had seen the five great virtues of jade: justice, charity, wisdom, courage, purity, and that’s probably why it was preferred among all the other stones in this country.
It is a matter who has a great value because of its ritual and magic role, earthly incarnation of the cosmic principle Yang, and since at least 4000 BC. the emperor had to absorb some during periods of purification. All of the ritual objects were made of jade and we have very detailed descriptions. The “pi”, a disk pierced in the middle, symbolizes the sky and the hole, the center from which all influences emanated. Jade was also used as an amulet in the funeral rites, supposed to prevent putrefaction of corpses (a “pi” was placed under the body).
Jade, in the broadest sense, symbolizes righteousness, strength, predisposing to calm, tolerance, harmony, peace, ensures honesty, temperance, tolerance. It would boost our emotional development, would make us easy, providing a feeling of satisfaction.
It would extend life. It has been said that jade supposedly would calm nephritic colics, act on the kidney stones and all the affections of the urinary tract … it has to be put on the painful area and degrease it all quarters with calcined bones powder. It was renowned for its healing, and the Emperor Rudolf II bought one piece for 1600 crowns. It was considered at that time, to fight against gout, sciatica, epilepsy, poisonous bites.


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