The term JADE is a generic term that actually covers three minerals. They are Jadeite, Nephrite, and Chloromenlanite.
Jade is chiefly valued by it's color and freedom from cracks. It should have a 'greasy' appearance when it is polished. Colors will range from the many shades of green, to yellow, red, black, and white. Lavender Jade is the most highly valued, and also the most rare forms of the stone.
Jadeite is composed mainly of silica and alumina, it's green color is determined by the amount of iron present. Jadeite is generally brighter and more vivid in color than nephrite. It's body is more translucent and sometimes partially crystallized. The white variety of Jadeite with the brilliant streaks of deep emerald green, gets it color from the element 'CHROMIUM'.
Nephrite is composed mainly of silica and magnesia, it is also dependent on its color by the amount of iron present. Nephrite is usually some shade of green: it may range from sea green, gray green, celadon, lettuce green, grassy green, and spinach green. Other colors of nephrite include blue gray, reddish gray, greenish gray, yellow, and black.
Chloromenlanite is a black variety of Jadeite, belonging to the same 'CLASS' which mostly is found in Burma. It was named by "DAMOUR" in 1865. Many black carving from remote regions of China come under this classification of mineral. Silica, alumina, and soda, being equally prominent in Chloromenlanite and Jadeite.
Jade was adopted by the Alaska Legislature in 1968 as the State Gem. Most deposits of Jade are found near the Kobuk River and Jade Mountain, also near the Dall and Shungnak rivers. This famous, remote, Arctic interior jade locality has an extensive history. Artifacts made from Kobuk River nephrite are hundreds of years old and have been found at archaeological sites along the Bering and Pacific coasts of Alaska and British Columbia, and the Arctic coast of Canada.
U.S. Navy lieutenant, George M. Stoney discovered the Kobuk River source in 1886. This earned him the distinction of being the first non-Native to find nephrite in place in North America. From 1943 to 1945, the Alaska Territorial Department of Mines investigated the deposit in an attempt to find asbestos for the war effort. In 1945, eleven tons of jade and some 200 tons of asbestos were produced from the locality. Government geologists determined that the jade and asbestos at the locality occur in a 40-mile stretch of altered ultra basic rocks consisting mainly of serpentine that extends north of, and roughly parallel to, the Kobuk River.
The quality of Alaskan nephrite is highly variable; the finest material is usually found in smooth, stream-rolled boulders such as the 10-pound example featured here. Many of the boulders are covered by a thin rind of brown material, a result of weathering, which must be removed to reveal the unaltered green nephrite beneath
“Jade or nephrite” was adopted as Wyoming's official gemstone on January 25, 1967. Governor Stanley K. Hathaway signed legislation introduced by the 39th legislature which established jade (nephrite) as the State Gemstone of Wyoming.
The famed Wyoming jade fields occur in a rectangular band that runs roughly from Lander southwest to Farson, down to the Red Desert in Sweetwater County, east to Seminoe Dam, north to Alcova, and westward back to Lander. Wyoming jade is black, olive green, emerald green, light apple green and sometimes gray to white. The lighter colors of jade, especially apple green, are most in demand for gemstones. Today, most people believe that Wyoming's jade fields have been scoured so thoroughly by six decades worth of jade hunters that the light green variety of nephrite can no longer be found.
The 1930s and 1940s were the "glory days" of jade hunting in Wyoming. Many sources cite 1936 as the year of jade discovery near Lander. From 1936 until 1945, jade hunting was principally done by Wyoming residents. The end of World War II plus a 1945 article in Popular Science titled "Green Gold of Wyoming" changed all that. Something akin to a gold rush was on in central Wyoming and competition for Wyoming jade became intense. Some 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of jade were collected during the summer of 1945 alone. The link to gold was not unfounded. Famed Wyoming jade hunter Allan Branham once stated that "...jade lures and lures as no other stone. It is as bad as the ‘gold fever,' and once entangled with jade one seldom recovers."
Care and Treatment
Be aware that Serpentine is often sold as Jade.
The following misleading terms:
"Amazon jade" and "Colorado Jade" is really Amazonite (green feldspar).
"American jade" is really the Californite (green variety of idocrase).
"Imperial mexican jade" and "mexican jade" are really green-dyed calcite.
"Indian jade" is really aventurine.
"Korea jade" and "New jade" are really Serpentine.
Kidney, heart, larynx, liver, parathyroid, spleen, thymus, thyroid & parasympathetic ganglia healer; strengthens body; longevity.
March: Mystical Birthstone
August: Other Birthstone (from elsewhere on net)
Star Stone Months
Jade is said to help one relax. It is considered a very balanced stone -- it helps one in both the vision of tasks to do as well as doing the actual tasks.
Jade is known as "THE STONE OF THE LOINS". In ancient days it was believed to have great medicinal powers. It was believed that if the stone was laid on the body in the area of the lower back or sides it would cure kidney disorders.
Jade has been thought of as the concentrated essence of love.
In China, jade is regarded as a special stone. It is believed that when handled some of the secret virtue of the substance is absorbed into the body. Jade has been treasured in China as the royal gemstone, for 5,000 years.
Legends have it that the Spanish conquers of Central America wore amulets of Jadeite to prevent/cure hip and kidney complaints.
Jade is the US State Gemstone of Alaska and Wyoming. It is the Canadian State Gemstone of British Columbia.