Jade or "yu" as it is called in China is a generic name for two different stones; Nephrite and Jadeite. In 1863 a French mineralogist determined that Jade was actually two different gems. Nephrite is the more common, but both are tough, fine-grained crystals with a Mohs hardness of between 6 and 7 and a monoclinic crystal structure.
Nephrite derives its name from the Spanish "piedra de ijada" or loin-stone. Jade was recognised by the Amerindians as a remedy for kidney ailments and because of its beneficial effect, the stone was also known as "lapis nephriticus" and this is where the name Nephrite came from. Its colour may vary from a dark green which is rich in iron, to a cream colour which is high in magnesium. Nephrite may be homogeneous in colour, banded or blotchy.
Jadeite, comes in a wide range of colours, such as green, lavender, white, pink, brown, red, blue, black, orange and yellow. The most prized variety, Imperial Jade, is a deep rich emerald green, due to its chromium content.
With both Nephrite and Jadeite the way the colour is distributed varies a great deal. Only in the very finest Jade is the colour evenly distributed. Both often have veins, blemishes and streaks running through them, though these may not always be regarded as flaws. On the contrary some of these patterns are considered particularly valuable.
Jade is a gemstone with unique symbolic energy, and exceptional in the myths that surround it. It has a beauty and wide-ranging expressiveness that has held a special attraction by mankind for thousands of years. Nephrite and Jadeite have been used since prehistoric times for hard stone carving.
This gem has been known to Man for some 7000 years. Among the earliest known Jade artefacts excavated from prehistoric sites are simple ornaments with bead, button, and tubular shapes. Jade was also shaped into adze heads, axes, knives, and various other weapons. As better technologies became available, the beauty of Jade made it valuable for ornaments and decorative objects.
Jade has been carved by the Chinese for centuries and as early as 3000 B.C. Jade was known in China as yu, the royal gem. In Chinese tradition, Jade symbolized the five virtues of humanity: wisdom, compassion, justice, modesty and courage. Symbols of these virtues were regularly carved into it. In the history of art in the Chinese empire, Jade has held a special significance, comparable with that of gold and diamonds in the West.
In China Jade was not only used for the finest objects and cult figures, but also in grave furnishings for high ranking members of the imperial family. Today, this stone is still regarded as a symbol of the good, the beautiful and the precious.
As long ago as the pre-Columbian period, the Mayans, Aztecs and Olmecs also honoured and esteemed Jade more highly than gold. Since early times New Zealand's Maoris have been carving weapons and cult instruments from native Jade; a tradition which continues to the present day. In ancient Egypt, Jade was admired as the stone of love, inner peace, harmony and balance. In other regions and cultures too, Jade was regarded as a lucky or protective stone.
Jade has been a part of Asian philosophy for centuries and appears throughout history. It is often called the "dream stone" for its ability to help in accessing the non-physical spirit realms. It is a protective stone, and acts to ward against negative energies.
This is a stone that can help you to attain your goals and dreams, instilling resourcefulness, and allowing you to see past self imposed limitations and to manifest your ideas into the physical world.
Jade is considered a very lucky stone. It facilitates peace and harmony between the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of your life. When all of these aspects operate in harmony and balance, goals become easier to reach.
It is believed to promote courage, compassion, generosity, humility, justice, wealth and longevity and to lead to a richer and more fulfilling life.
Jade is an olden love attracting stone. It is also an excellent stone for business people and musicians.
This stone is the ultimate symbol of calm and serenity. It helps bring serenity to the mind by releasing negative thoughts. A stone of balance and healing, it alleviates anxiety and fear based emotions. It vibrates in perfect harmony with the Heart Chakra.
The soothing green colour of Jade makes it a wonderful healing stone. It helps the body in self-healing, while working through underlying non-physical reasons for disease. Jade is said to be a stone of the heart, strengthening it as well as the kidneys, stomach, spleen, nervous system and immune system and to promote health in the organs that purify the blood, and providing for strong healthy hair.
Jade of all types and colours carry very calming vibrations that are beneficial in many ways and are very protective and gently powerful in dealing with children's illnesses.
As well as the generic attributes above, each colour of Jade brings additional properties.
Black Jade is helpful and will provide the strength to fight if you sense you are under attack and your survival is in question. It helps you to control greed or your need for control by instilling wisdom in the use of personal power.
Blue Jade is a peaceful stone. It helps to neutralize karmic influences and the emotional issues that are tied to them, as well as assisting with relaxation and meditation. It supplies a steady energy and is useful for people who feel overwhelmed or under tremendous stress in their lives.
Brown Jade is said to be a stone connecting all of humanity to Mother Earth. Often given as a housewarming gift, or when changing jobs, because it is thought to aid in adjustments to any new environment.
Gray Jade calms and drains off excessive energy; temporarily lessening the impact of many karmic events. It will also help with adjusting to new surroundings and settling negative events in the home and is considered to provide strong protection.
Green Jade is the most common colour. It creates calm, harmony and peace. It is thought to represent life and growth and to assist in finding your heart's true desire. It will counteract depression, banish negativity, and may produce dreams that are vivid and accurate.
Lavender Jade is said to put you in touch with your emotions, and is also known to assist with fresh ideas and creativity. It is held to assist in honest communication and self control. It is said to bring psychic understanding of your dreams and to aid in recovering from any negative love situation.
Orange and Pink Jade are both believed to be beneficial in creating healthy scepticism. They convey the gift of inner peace, joy and happiness and teach the interconnectedness of all life and all Beings. Orange Jade boosts energy and is used to assist the digestive organs of the body.
Red Jade is an active stone. It is known to assist in dealing with feelings of anger and releasing tension. Care should be exercised in its use as it can be a very intense energy and may over stimulate.
White or Cream Jade is used to direct energy and assist with concentration and focus by filtering out unwanted distractions. It is extremely calming and can be used for grounding as well as assisting in decision making. White and cream jade have long been used to boost energy and to ascertain what the highest outcome for a given situation will be.
Yellow Jade is similar to Orange Jade in that both convey the gift of inner peace, joy and happiness and teach the interconnectedness of all Life and all Beings. It is said to help you gain a better understanding of the opposite sex. Yellow Jade is used to assist digestive organs of the body.