Jade is said to bless whatever it touches, serving mankind across the globe for nearly 6,000 years. For primitive peoples in the British Isles, its toughness, and ability to polish and sharpen made it a favored stone for axe heads, knives and weapons. Indigenous tribes of Mexico, Central and South America, and New Zealand carved it into deity masks and ritual artifacts, even cast it into wells as an offering to the water spirits for fresh and plentiful water. Jade has been the most highly esteemed stone in China throughout recorded history, and was valued for its beauty and powers of healing and protection.
Jade is most valued for its metaphysical properties. It is the ultimate "Dream Stone," revered in ancient cultures, as well as today, to access the spiritual world, gain insight into ritualistic knowledge, encourage creativity, and dream-solve. It is cherished as a protective talisman, assuring long life and a peaceful death, and is considered a powerful healing stone. An amulet of good luck and friendship, Jade signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility, dispelling the negative and encouraging one to see oneself as they really are.
In scientific terms, Jade is the name shared by two distinctly different minerals - Nephrite, a calcium magnesium silicate, and Jadeite, a sodium aluminum silicate. Though they have different compositions, hardnesses, densities and crystal structures, both are exceptionally tough stones, similar in appearance, and equally valuable in metaphysical properties. Both occur in the beautiful olive shades we've come to recognize as jade green, but have some distinctions.
Nephrite generally occurs in creamy white, mid- to deep olive green, brown and black. It has a smooth surface polish with a waxy sheen and is more commonly found. Jadeite may be a white-gray green, leafy green, blue or blue-green, emerald green, lavender, pink, red, orange, greenish-black or black. It is hard and lustrous, rarer than Nephrite, and usually more expensive. Translucent, emerald green Jadeite, colored by traces of chromium, is called Imperial Jade and is the rarest and most valuable.
Article supplied by Crystal Vaults