Hardness: 6 – 6.5
Zodiac: Taurus & Libra
Tarot: The Empress
Found: British Columbia, USA, New Zealand, China, Russia, Poland and India. Jadeite is found mainly in Burma
Goddess Association: Kuan Yin, Brigid, Tara, Maat
Jade (Jadeite) and Nephrite have distinctly different mineral compositions. Jadeite is an aluminum-rich pyroxene, while nephrite is a magnesium-rich amphibole. Both share the same monoclinic crystal systems and are very strong.
The two minerals have remarkably similar physical properties in the eye of the average person. Only trained observers with significant experience can reliably differentiate them without mineral testing equipment. Therefore jadeite and nephrite were not properly distinguished by scientists until 1863.
Colors range from a creamy beige (mutton fat jade) when rich in Magnesium, to green colors, due to iron. Brown can result from oxidized iron, sometimes the surface skin is dark brown. Also, yellowish, grayish brown, yellow-green, or black.
“China is the principal popular consumer market for both jadeite and nephrite. Elsewhere, the market is dominated by collectors. Although jadeite is the more highly coveted jade variety, nephrite is more abundant. Thus, green nephrite that approximates jadeite’s color is prized as an alternative. White nephrite or “mutton fat jade” remains a traditional favorite. Siberian nephrite, with a dark “spinach green” color and black graphite inclusions, is considered the most valuable green nephrite variety.” gemsociety.org
Metaphysical & Spiritual Properties
These are wonderful heart healing stones. They are a very protective stone and particularly good protection for children, and for psychic protection. They have energetic clearing properties and are useful to keep with other stones. They are classic stones for abundance and prosperity and make wonderful manifestation tools. They stimulate the flow of energy throughout the body and stimulate the heart chakra.
~ From the Greek word nephros, meaning “kidney.” The rounded, kidney-like shape of nephrite boulders and pebbles likely led people to regard these stones as cures for kidney ailments, via sympathetic magic.
~ In 1863, the mineralogist Alexis Damour distinguished jade and nephrite as two distinct minerals.
~ Chinese artisans made incredible jewelry and works of art from a stone they called yu, for thousands of years – this was actually nephrite. In the mid-18th century, fei-ts’ui, an intense green-colored stone, entered China from Burma (Myanmar), this is what came to be known as “Imperial Jade” or jadeite.
~ Typically has a darker, more somber appearance due to a higher iron content (actinolites). Those with a higher magnesium content (tremolites) have a lighter, creamier appearance and are referred to as “mutton fat jade.”
~ More durable than jadeite and is thus more suitable as a raw material for carved art and jewelry