Jade is divided into two distinct groups: Jadeite and Nephrite. Both are formed as fibrous masses that range from opaque to translucent. Both appear in a variety of colours and have been used for household objects, tools and weapons for centuries, if not longer.
Jadeite, the variety found only in Burma, or modern day Myanmar, is the valuable sibling. It is composed of Sodium Aluminium Silicate and occurs in Brown, Blackish, Violet, Green, White, Reddish and Yellow. Jadeite is the harder of the two, much more difficult to work and it has a superior finish and luster. Apple Green, almost transparent and well finished is very, very expensive and rare. When Fine Jade has a highly polished it has a soapy, waxy texture that is quite distinctive. The most valued Jadeite is an almost transparent Apple Green, which we have in stock.
Nephrite is the more common variety of Jade and is found in Burma and throughout the rest of the world. It is composed of Calcium Magnesium Iron Silicate and is found in Green, White, Gray, Yellowish, Reddish and Brown. It is softer and therefore easier to carve and is the more likely species to find as tools, weapons, bowls and utensils. Statues from the Ming and Han Dynasties are most often Nephrite. When Chinese railway workers came to North America, the transport vessels returning to China laden with boulders of Nephrite acted as ballast and cargo. As this is being written, there is a project underway in the interior of British Columbia where a whole section of mountain is being carved into a giant statue of Buddha. It is on the same scale as Mount Rushmore. It will be airlifted out, (maybe) when completed, by using multiple Sikorsky helicopters and then shipped to Asia. And if that isn’t strange enough, in California, at Black Jade Beach, the whole beach surface is composed of Black Nephrite pebbles. No collecting is allowed. Black jade has been used since pre-Columbian times fort weapons and tools from the west coast of Canada to the tip of South America.
We have a wide selection of Jade, in many colours, shapes and sizes as free-form, carvings and jewellery in both Nephrite and Jadeite. Come in and see how varied Jade can be.