Jade is widely understood as a green mineral with the hardness ranging from 6 to 7 on the Moh's scale, but actually, there are two different stones that are often referred to as "jade." The first is nephrite (a silicate of magnesium and calcium) and the second is jadeite (a silicate of sodium and aluminum). Before we differentiate into these two species, let’s discuss jade’s properties in general.
The History and Uses of Jade
Jade is most typically associated with China. However, other civilizations worked with it, as well, including India and Korea, who both created stunning jade sculptures and artifacts.
For instance, in India, we can find a jade sculpture of Mahavira - one of the spiritual teachers sharing the knowledge about dharma in the Jainist tradition. The statue is unusual because it's 1.5 m high, and was carved out of one the most magnificent jade monoliths (a whole slab) that the world has ever seen.
In Korea, pieces of jade were found mostly in burial sites and pit-houses. Especially popular were comma-shaped pieces, typical for the Middle Mumun Pottery Period. Jade was also present on refined crowns of the monarchs belonging to the Silla dynasty, and in the jewelry of aristocrats from the era of Three Kingdoms. After Buddhism was introduced, the use of jade declined: modesty was promoted instead of lavish decorations, and jade stopped being so widely used.
Metaphysical Properties of Jade
Thanks to the green palette of its shades, jade is widely accepted as a perfect stone to support the heart area. Those who need additional support for their heart chakra or who are dealing with a broken heart are said to benefit from wearing jade jewelry or from creating rituals around and working with this natural stone.
Jade has been known and revered for years as a stone of luck and good fortune. This is the light green colored form of a variety of stones typically referred to as "jade." It is also a stone of balance, longevity, and wisdom. It is calming and soothing, with its mesmerizing green color and white swirls.
The zodiac signs related to this stone are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Libra. Jade is also the 12th-anniversary gemstone. The element associated with jade is Earth - we can see the plants and life of all kinds reflected in its beautiful green hues. In the Chinese geomancy named feng shui, jade is believed to create balance, harmony, good luck, and protection for those who place it in their habitations.
Metaphysical Properties of Nephrite Jade
What is Nephrite?
Nephrite is one of the two types of jade (the other one being jadeite). Typically, nephrite is created from magnesium, calcium, and other mineral aggregates that produce asbestos; however, nephrite, unlike asbestos, is safe to use and wear. Nephrite’s hardness is 6-6.5, and it usually has bright green shades. Occasionally, nephrite can also be yellowish, light brown, grey and at times even white (this variation is called in China the mutton fat jade).
History and use of Nephrite
Nephrite is particularly treasured in the Maori culture, where it was given the name pounamu, meaning treasure, and protected with the Treaty of Waitangi. Nowadays, the excavation of jade is closely monitored in New Zealand.
Metaphysical Properties of Nephrite
Nephrite is considered to be the stone of Libra. The primary chakra which will benefit from nephrite is the heart chakra; however, root chakra will be affected by it positively as well. Nephrite is meant to bring prosperity, and having it in your business’ cash box or shop may help you attract more wealth.
Metaphysical Properties of Jadeite
What is Jadeite?
Jadeite is the second of the two species of jade (the other one is nephrite). Jadeite’s hardness oscillates between 6-7 on the Moh's scale, which means that it’s slightly harder that its cousin nephrite. Jadeite's hardness makes it possible to polish it with the use of quartz or bamboo; yet, when we compare it with nephrite, it's interesting to note that nephrite wins when it comes to having resistance against crushing.
Jadeite exists in several shades: black, red, pink, violet, blue, brown, dark green, and white. Transparent jadeites are the most expensive ones; however, all jadeites are priced fairly high, as they are considered to be quite rare minerals. Jadeite can be found in only about a dozen locations in the world: Myanmar has about 70% of the jadeite supply, followed by Guatemala.
History and Uses of Jadeite
Light green jadeite from Guatemala was widely used by the Mesoamerican cultures, which gave it the name quetzal jade, from quetzal, a sacred bird in the Mayan tradition. One of the most impressive artifacts from the Mayan Classic Period is a pectoral with jadeite.
Metaphysical Properties of Jadeite
Jadeite is the birthstone of people born in March, and the zodiac corresponding to it is Aries. Like nephrite, jadeite mostly supports the heart chakra. If you are frequently bombarded by unwanted thoughts or feel stuck in a negative rut, give jadeite a try. It is said to help you release your grief, anger, and other challenging emotions.