Jade is one of the most universally popular materials in the world, but did you know it comes in two different minerals? You may have seen jade trinkets, jewelry, and carvings before, but the signature green color you’re used to is actually “imperial jade,” or jadeite. What is nephrite jade?
Nephrite jade is quite different than jadeite and comes in a variety of beautiful colors including yellow, gray, black, and green.
As a jewelry material, Nephrite is ideal because it’s durable and gem-quality. Keep reading as we highlight the meaning, value, price, and uniqueness of the alluring Nephrite jade.
Nephrite jade is a mineral composed of highly dense, fibrous crystal masses. As one of the oldest gemstones in the world, it’s a sacred material in Chinese cultures and traditions. For many centuries, people confused nephrite and jadeite as the same mineral, when in fact, they are very different chemically.
Nephrite jade is a soft, fibrous crystal that’s most popularly used in carvings, jewelry, and decor. Of the two forms of jade, Nephrite is by far the most common and popular. That’s in large part because there are Nephrite deposits throughout China. When you see Chinese jade, you are looking at Nephrite because there actually aren’t any jadeite deposits in China.
There’s been some dispute as to whether or not nephrite is real jade. This is primarily because of the surge of demand for the high-quality, jadeite jade.
Rest assured, although they are different, both types of jade are real.
The meaning of the word “Jade” is a Spanish translation of the phrase “Piedra de Ijada,” which means “stone for pain in the side.” The reason jade has this name is because Nephrite was used for centuries as a healing crystal for body pain.
When the Spanish colonized Latin America, they saw indigenous people holding jade at their sides in order to heal from illness. Nephrite means “kidney,” and for centuries, it was believed to cure people of kidney disease.
Until 1863, Nephrite jade was believed to be the only form of jade. The discovery of jadeite jade solidified that there were, in fact, two types of jade. This is an important detail in the history of jade, which is studded with captivating symbolism.
One of the most interesting stories of jade folklore is the story of the Storm God. As the legend goes, when man first wandered the earth without artillery, clothing, or protection, he was exposed and unable to protect himself from predators. The Storm God, feeling sad for the helpless primitive man, built him jade axes from rainbows. Pretty cool, right?
Fast forward to today, and jade is the official “stone of dreams.” Not only will it help you manifest dreams into fruition, but jade has many other healing properties. Nephrite jade is used in crystal healing for restoration and treatment for joint pain and bacterial infections.
Of course, this gorgeous gemstone is also used for accessorizing! Let’s have a look at the many uses of Nephrite jade.
We talked about its healing properties, but what else is the material used for? Excellent question! Let’s explore.
Thanks to its beautiful coloring, Nephrite jade is commonly incorporated into jewelry designs. Nephrite jewelry includes rings, beaded bracelets, tumbled pendants, raw stones, anklets, earrings, and necklaces.
The most popular style of Nephrite jewelry is beaded, but there are also intricate carvings. Some designs feature other gemstones like pearls. Often, nephrite is set against sterling silver metal, or earthy designs featuring leather rope.
Nephrite jade carvings are a popular style of decor, trinkets, and religious talismans. For thousands of years, jade carvings have adorned Chinese culture and heritage. In Chinese, the character “Yu” directly translates to the English word, “Jade.”
Nephrite Jade is embedded in Chinese history and culture, and the medals for the 2008 Beijing Olympics were mounted with Nephrite.
Because this material is integral to Chinese heritage, it’s commonly present in home decor. Intricate nephrite carvings depict Chinese themes of life, history, culture, and religion, including Buddha, horses, and fish.
We briefly discussed the healing properties of Nephrite jade, but let’s explore how you can use it. If you need help realizing your dreams, you can use the healing stone to minimize negative energy. This will alleviate space for you to welcome inspirational and uplifting energy in your life. When you feel positive, you’ll gain the motivation to approach your destiny.
Additionally, Nephrite jade invites calmness by stilling the mind and all the noise of life around you. In this quiet space, you’ll gain clarity, confidence, and sensory capabilities to tap into a deeper level of self-awareness.
It sure is! However, as with all gemstones, there are degrees of value with Nephrite jade. Currently, green Nephrite is highly valuable, but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, up until the 18th century, the most valuable form was white nephrite. That was the case until Burmese “imperial” jadeite jade overthrew white jade.
Because Nephrite jade is so common, it’s not as valuable as jadeite jade, which is very rare. Of course, the value of the gem depends on the quality of the mineral itself. Wondering about the value of Nephrite jade? The average price costs around $100-$1,000 USD per pound.
Of course, if you’re looking to buy nephrite jewelry, you can choose beautiful pieces for $30-$60 USD.
Jade might be one of the most affordable gemstones available, but it’s also one of the oldest and most sacred! With folklore stretching back to the origins of humankind and a centuries-old presence in Chinese culture, it’s easy to see why everyone wants a piece of Jade!
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