Jade Jewelry

Jade jewelry is available in an assortment of colors, though green is its most commonly associated color. There are two different minerals responsible for the production of jade jewelry, jadeite and nephrite. There is generally no distinction made between these two types of jade, though they belong to two different mineral groups and the later is more common. In order for both varieties to be of gem quality, they must be composed of tough, interlocking fibers that create a material that is suitable for carving and creating jade jewelry or figures. Frequently, jade jewelry is associated with Eastern religious objects and ornaments. The name, however, is of Spanish origin meaning stone of the loins. This was due to the healing powers ascribed to jade against kidney ailments. The Chinese name yu never seemed to catch on.

The finest jade jewelry is made using Chinese jade. This variety generally comes from the region of Burma and is exported to China maintaining a higher value than jade from other regions. Mexican jade comes from deposits in Guatemala and Mexico, while Russian jade is a spinach-green variety found near Lake Baikel. Of these, Imperial jade is considered the most rare and valuable with its emerald green translucent characteristics. Often, jade jewelry is created using cabochons or polished beads. Specimens may also be carved and then set to create unique jade jewelry.

Moh's scale of hardness classifies jadeite as 6.5-7 and nephrite as 6-6.5. Jade, though quite durable and once used like steel in early tools, is susceptible to breaking and should be handled with care. It is not recommended to clean jade jewelry or figures using gem cleaner. In fact, it is often believe that jade will, over time, continue to darken in color by rubbing it for good luck and you wouldn't want to wash it all away. We suggest a polishing cloth for cleaning your jade jewelry to maintain its beautiful shine.


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