The Beginner’s Guide to Jade

Xian Jade Multicolor Reclining Buddha, China 

China is well known for using Jade’s ‘healing properties’. Believed to possess qualities that will prevent decay, Jade was often placed in the tombs of ancient Chinese emperors in an attempt to preserve their bodies after death.

While it is generally known for its characteristic soothing green color, the gemstone naturally occurs in a variety of colors and shades including yellow, lavender, white, red, green and even black! The gemstone comes from one of two minerals namely nephrite which is a silicate of magnesium and calcium, or jadeite, which is a silicate of aluminum and sodium.

An important part of Asian art, Jade has slowly and gradually made its way into a multitude of cultures, enjoying the status of royalty and revered to this day. Interested in learning more about this valuable gemstone? Read on to find out as we let you in on everything you need to know about Jade from its physical and chemical properties, to its origins and healing nature.

Physical Properties of Jade

While the fact that Jade comes from two different naturally occurring minerals is interesting enough for most people, its physical, chemical, and healing properties contribute immensely to its popularity. While Jade is naturally available in a number of different colors due to impurities, a soothing green remains the most popular and sought after variation of the gemstone.

Jade in Jewelry
Beautiful Jade in Jewelry

Origins of Jade

Since Jade comes from two major minerals, the gemstone can be extracted from a number of different areas or regions. While Nephrite, the mineral that gives us lighter green shades of Jade, is generally found in areas such as China, the Swiss Alps, Russia, and New Zealand, the Jadeite mineral which is responsible for the darker and more vibrant variations of Jade is found in Western Canada and other areas in North America.

While Jade and the minerals from which it can easily be extracted are generally found in the mountains, there are known reserves lighter variations of the gemstone in countries like Guatemala. Since it is typically found in mountainous regions, a process that is similar to rock quarrying is used for extracting and mining Jade and using it for a variety of purposes.

Chemical Properties of Jade

Since Jade mainly occurs naturally in two major forms, there are two chemical formulas that can be associated with the gemstone. While the Nephrite variation – a calcium and magnesium silicate – is Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2, the Jadeite variation has the chemical formula NaAlSi2O6 which is a sodium and aluminum silicate.

The gemstone has a splintery fracture with no distinct cleavage quality. The gemstone, like most others, has a brittle tenacity, and has a refractive index that’s between 1.600 and 1.688. The specific gravity of the gemstone ranges between 2.90 and 3.38 depending on the variation and where it has been extracted from, making Jade a very diverse mineral in a number of ways.

Importance of Jade in Alternative Healing

Possessing a very light and nourishing energy, Jade has been an important part of alternative healing, and offers a number of different benefits. Owing to the purity of the gemstone which almost feels soothing, Jade can help create a positive vibe and energy by means of purification.

Symbolizing nourishment and gentleness, it is said that this gemstone does not only support heart energy, but also protects it, allowing people to feel a lot lighter, relaxed and elevated in its presence. Unlike the strong and overpowering rush of energy that emerges from a variety of other pyrite stones, the energy emanating from Jade primarily focuses on helping you feel more grounded, balanced, and harmonious. With a message that could best be described as one that promotes and encourages loving and accepting oneself, it is known for its slow and steady healing powers. Owing to its positive and relaxed energy and vibe, Jade has also become an important part of Feng Shui – a Chinese pseudoscience system that is used extensively to help people remain connected to their roots, and find balance in everything that they do.

Jade carvings and polished or treated ornaments made from the gemstone are used in Feng Shui in order to help you make better life choices. It is also believed that different Jade ornaments can help with a variety of areas in your life from love to wealth.

Procedures and Enhancements

In most cases, the Jade gemstone is either treated or enhanced with the help of industrial processes to make it more aligned with the needs and requirements of consumers. While merchants and entities refer to these enhancements in different ways, the procedures that are applied essentially affect the quality, texture, and color of the gemstone.

Here are the categories in which Jade is commercially available:

Type A Jade refers to jadeite that has not been treated in any way. In some cases, the surface of the gemstone may be waxed for enhanced luster or shine.

Type B Jade refers to jadeite that has been treated with chemicals or polymer resins.

Type C Jade refers to gemstones that have been colored or dyed artificially.

Type D Jade is the lowest quality of the gemstone and refers to a composite stone or doublet.

Whether you are a believer in the healing of gemstones or love to wear jewelry, Jade would make a nice addition to your lifestyle.

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