Jade is a beautiful and durable material that has been around since pre-historic times. It’s often used in jewelry-making for pendants, earrings and bracelets. Jade is often cut in cabochons for this type of jewelry, but is also seen in beads or tumbled stones too.
History of Jade
As well as being used for jewelry-making, Jade has also been used to make tools, weapons, carvings, heirloom ornaments, religious art and sculptures. Jade has a long association with China, having been mined and worked there since the Stone Age. China is still the world’s leading producer of Jade items today.
The Chinese value Jade jewelry and artwork tremendously as part of their history and culture. To give you some idea of how valuable Jade is, in China, Jade sells for the same price per carat as diamonds do in the United States. As well as being popular as an art form in China, Jade is also sought after in New Zealand and the United States too for this reason.
Characteristics and authenticity of Jade
Many people assume that real Jade only appears in the color green (Imperial Jade) but actually it can appear in many different colors including green, red, white, blue, black and yellow.
There are many different types of materials that are very similar to Jade, such as Serpentine, Aventurine Quartz or Dolomite Marble. However, authentic Jade is made up of one of two minerals: Jadeite and Nephrite. Out of the two, Jadeite is a little rarer and is a harder material than Nephrite.
It can be difficult to distinguish between real Jade and fake Jade, but there are some definite differences between them. Real Jade is fairly heavy as it has a high density. It’s usually heavier than it looks and heavier than comparable gems of a similar size and appearance.
In addition, real Jade is a cold stone (it takes a while to warm up in your hands). It is extremely hard and therefore difficult to break. Jade also has tiny fractures within its structure which are hard to see with the naked eye.
Authentic Jade can be dyed and treated just like many other gemstones. It can be confusing to tell which gems are real Jade and which aren’t because “Jade” is a now cultural term used to describe a durable, colorful and beautiful material.
For example, our own Candy Jade beads (“Aqua” pictured above) and Mountain Jade beads closely resemble Jadeite, yet they are made from Dolomite Marble, an extremely hard material. If you’re looking for real Jade, then it’s important to carry out some checks to make sure you’re not getting something different.
Healing powers and uses for Jade
Jade has always been valued for its beauty, but also for its legendary meanings, spiritual attributes and healing powers too. Green Jade in particular is said to have calming properties, able to balance the nerves, alleviate shock and allow its wearer to restore natural heart rhythm in times of stress.
Jade is also an energizing stone and is believed to prevent illnesses. It is also a travel stone and because it’s thought to ward off health problems, this is a good stone for people to take on holiday, particular for those traveling alone.
The different colors of Jade are thought to have different meanings. For example, Black Jade has protective properties while Purple Jade brings about laughter and happiness.
In terms of physical healing powers, Jade is used by healers for many ailments, including conditions of the heart, spleen, kidneys, immune system, nervous system and hair. Orange Jade is believed to help with digestion.
Authentic Jade has an extensive history and has been used for many different purposes over the centuries, as well as jewelry-making. In China, this is a gemstone that is considered highly prized and continues to feature prominently in sculptures, ornaments, artwork and more.
If you enjoyed this post about Jade, you might like more posts from our product stories section – check them out here!
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