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When you think of jade, does your mind conjure up intricately carved oriental sculptures of emerald green? Or smooth, shiny bangles to wear on a delicate wrist?
Jade is one of the oldest known gemstones and recognized for it amazing qualities of strength, toughness and ultimate beauty which is why it has been carved into everything from tools to jewels for thousands of years.
In earlier times, jade was discovered as an ideal material for weapons and tools. Because some pieces yielded a spectacular color and could be polished to brilliant shine, people began to carve jade into gemstones and ornamental objects. It is said that as early as 3000 B.C., jade has been revered in China as the “royal gem” – much the same as gold and diamonds have been appreciated in the West.
Two Different Stones by the Same Name
Jade is really two unique stones made up of different minerals that look very similar to one another. Jadeite is the more valuable, preferred jade because it produces a more magnificent finished product in richer colors than its counterpart. Nephrite is the more common jade and, while it is nearly the same in terms of hardness and outward appearance, its finished colors are not nearly as vivid.
Jade Goes Beyond the Color of Green
Surprising to many, jade is found in a variety of different colors: green, lavender, red, yellow, white and black. Green is, of course, the most traditional color but even that varies in hues and densities.
The value of jade is enhanced by its translucence, while the lack of translucence decreases its value. The finest jade has evenly distributed color, although both jadeite and nephrite often have veins and streaks of which some patterns are extremely valued.
Where is Jade Found?
Nephrite has been found in the United States, Western Canada, Central America, New Zealand and Russia. The rare and more precious jadeite comes from Burma, now known as Myanmar.
Jade is taken from the mountains in bolder form and is also found near water, where its softer exterior material is eroded away, exposing its prized interior. Jade ranges in size from one to two pounds to nearly ten tons.
Jade as a Gemstone
Because of its exquisite colors and extreme durability, jade can be carved into beautiful shapes that are highly polished and set into pendants, rings, bracelets and earrings. It can also be combined with other gems to make precious gemstone jewelry that endures for generations.
The Jade of Scheherazade
On July 15th and 16th from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Scheherazade Jewelers is presenting a Fine Jade Event with special guest and Jade Expert, Leor Mason of Mason-Kay Designs. Please come and see, touch and try on the most elegant pieces of our stunning jade collection.
Fascinating Facts and Myths About Jade
Jade is traditionally given as a 35th Wedding Anniversary Gift
In China, Imperial Jade is regarded as the stone of highest quality and reserved only for the Emperor. The best specimens are said to cost more per carat than high-quality diamonds.
In China, jade is regarded as the most precious of all gemstones and gifts of jade are given at the most important occasions in life.
In ancient Egypt, jade was revered as the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance.
The largest sculpture carved from a single jade rock stands five feet high and is a statue of Mahavira located in the Jain Temple in India.