Jade – Associated with the Heart Chakra. Also known as Nephrite derives its name from the Greek word “nephros” meaning kidney. Jade was long considered an “imperial gem”. Jade has long been an esteemed majestic stone in the Chinese empire similar to diamonds and gold in western countries.
Widely considered an elite stone it was presented to the Chinese imperial court where skilled artisans turned them into masterpieces. Jade was widely used in the making of Chinese scholars’ objects like calligraphy brushes, mouthpieces and opium pipes. Nephrite Jade can be found in China for utilitarian and ceremonial purposes, from indoor and decorative items to jade burial sites. Indigenous tribes in Mexico, Central and South America and New Zealand carved jade into deity masks and ritual artefacts.
This stone is comprised of metamorphic rocks called silicate minerals called Nephrite and Jadeite. These are then classified into grades in the ABC Treatment System. Nephrite is a calcium magnesium silicate while jadeite is a sodium aluminium silicate. Each has different compositions, hardness, densities and crystal structures.
Nephrite is usually a creamy white form, mid to deep olive green, brown and black. It has a smooth surface polish and the most common form of this mineral. Jadeite comes in blue, lavender mauve, pink and emerald green. Different colours were imported to Burma in 1800. It is hard and lustrous, rarer than Nephrite and more valuable. Imperial Jade is the rarest and most treasured form.
It is most valued for its metaphysical properties. It is used widely as a protective talisman while travelling and an amulet of good luck and friendship.
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