Jade is an appealing gemstone that has its own symbolism and myths that encompass it. With its beauty and broad-ranging expressiveness, this gemstone has held a special appeal for mankind for many centuries. The Chinese place a higher value on this gemstone over gold and diamonds.
History and Mysticism
In the Chinese culture, there was the belief that the stone created immortality and was a direct path to the heavens, and would bring friendship and good health. The stone represents love and virtue. It holds to the Confucius beliefs of compassion, courage, justice, modesty and wisdom. Dating back to 3,000 B.C., it has been known as the royal gem.
In ancient Egypt, this beautiful gem was admired as the stone of balance of inner peace and immortality, harmony and love.
This well known gemstone of today was used in prehistoric times for tools and weapons because of its hardness, and was admired more for it's toughness rather than its beauty.
What Exactly Is This Mystical Green Stone?
There are two types of this gorgeous gem: nephrite and jadeite. It wasn't until the early part of the 19th century that gemologists and mineralogists discovered that there were two different minerals that were so similar that both were considered to be jade. The composition of sodium aluminum silicate is classified as jadeite, while calcium magnesium iron silicate is called nephrite. Of the two types, jadeite is considered to be the most valuable.
Where Does This Stone Come From?
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has the highest grade of jadeite, but can also be found in China, Russia and Guatemala. Nephrite is found in New Zealand, China, Russia, Swiss Alps, Guatemala and Western Canada.
Colors And Texture Of This Gem
On the Mohs scale of hardness, both types rank between 6.5 and 7, making it a very hard stone. The difference between the stones is very slight. Once polished, jadeite has a very shiny luster--almost reflective in nature; the nephtite has a more resinous surface. It has always been thought that this gem is very dark green in color. However, in reality this gem comes in many various colors, ranging from white, yellow, pink, red, orange, gray and even black.
How To Clean Your Gem
All that is needed to clean your gem is a soft polishing cloth to gently wipe the stone back to a brilliant luster. If there is still a film or residue on the stone, use a very gentle soap and warm water then use a soft cloth to dry.
Jade is the mystical birthstone for the month of March and is also the stone to commemorate the 12th wedding anniversary. The stone is the symbol of health, love, beauty and immortality.
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