other names: /
mineral class: Silicates and germanates
chemical formula: NaAlSi2O6 (Jadeit)
Chemical elements: Sodium, aluminum, silicon, oxygen
Similar minerals: Jadeite, nephrite
shine: Matt to glossy
crystal structure: monoclinic
mass density: 3,2
magnetism: not magnetic
Mohs hardness: about 6
stroke color: White
General information about Jade:
jade becomes as collective term for the minerals jadeite, Jadetit and nephrite used primarily as gemstones with a distinctive light to emerald, often also whitish color use. The name comes originally from Spanish, when European sailors in the 16th century observed that the inhabitants of Central America carried green stones on their bodies. The Spaniards gave these minerals, used as healing stones against kidney disease, the name "piedra de ijada", from which the French word "le jade" was falsely developed in the 17th century. This name was gradually used in Europe for green stones, they came from Asia, and has remained until today.
While jadetite is a metamorphic rock that is created deep in the earth's crust under high pressure and high heat, the mineral jadeite is assigned to the pyroxene group. The rock Jadetit is almost entirely composed of the mineral jadeite. Jadeite occurs in massively compact, often prismatic or granular crystals, forming very tough and hard aggregates. The color spectrum of this mineral known as jade ranges from bright leek green, grass green and a bluish green to bright emerald green and a bright white, often with delicate greenish spots. Violet and blue varieties are also found, but are extremely rare. Nephrite, on the other hand, which is also known as jade, is much softer than jadeite and is not considered as an independent mineral, but as an actinolite variety. It is softer and much more common compared to jadeite. When jewelery is talked about as a jewel by jade, it is invariably always true jadeite, while nephrite is the wrong jade in the reputable jewelery trade.
Occurrence and localities:
The distinctive grass-green mineral and its white and bluish varieties are mined as well as collected on the earth's surface. Often Jadetit is associated with zeolite, quartz, muscovite, albite, calcite and other minerals. The most significant sites are in the western United States, especially along the Pacific coast, due to the geographic nature of the San Andreas Column. The Chinese jade, which has been used to precious pieces of jewelery and works of art since the 18th century, comes almost exclusively from Burma. In Myanmar there was found in the early 1990s a huge jadeite body that was over twenty meters long and six meters wide, covered in green and purple crystals. The countries that are also important for the mining of jade include Canada, Japan, Mexico and Guatemala, Indonesia, Russia and Kazakhstan, in addition to the US and Burma.
Use of jade:
In China, the processing of the green mineral has a tradition of almost eight thousand years. Jade has been assigned an important role in China as a magical gemstone and has served for millennia to craft ornate vessels, statuettes and ritual funeral clothing, as well as grave goods for the ruling elite. In Central America, where the green stone enjoyed a higher status than gold for a long time, Jade was not only used as a healing and protective stone, but also used to produce elaborate masks, reliefs and cult objects.