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Jade Information

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A Stone with a Treasured History to Honor Your 12th Anniversary
Jade.  The term jade actually refers to two distinct types of stone which closely resemble one another - the more common nephrite and the more expensive jadeite.

Long associated with the Chinese culture, Jade was actually used by the Central American Mayan civilization hundreds of years before it attained a royal position in the Middle Kingdom. The Mayans mined jadeite in Guatemala making it into weapons and tools.
The Chinese cult of Jade worship began in the Neolithic era when nephrite from the Kunlun Mountains was used in religious ceremonies, agriculture and war. The "Stone of Heaven" became so influential with the Chinese emperors that Confucius even wrote that men should aspire to its qualities of benevolence, intelligence, righteousness, humility, resonance, loyalty, faith, virtue and truth.

Today Jade is carved into a huge variety of statues and ornaments as well as the imminently popular Jade jewelry. Jade necklaces, Jade earrings, and Jade rings are all popular but probably the most common form of Jade jewelry has to be the timeless Jade bangle.

Jade is tougher than granite and more difficult to carve than solid steel. When diamonds were first introduced to China sometime between 1005 and 221 BC, they were originally more highly valued as jade carving tools than as gems.

Although Jade has long been associated with the Chinese culture it wasn't until l784 that Burmese jadeite found its way there and superseded the local nephrite as the imperial stone.

Nephrite weapons were also used by the Maoris in New Zealand. The fibrous structure of nephrite is very densely packed making it the "super skull crusher" gemstone. In spite of its low hardness, it is considered to be the toughest gem material.

Jade is believed to bring good luck, health and fortune, assist during childbirth and protect infants from disease. Throughout Asia millions wear jade amulets believing that they give the owner power, knowledge, pure thoughts, long life and immortality.

There are two distinct types of Jade - jadeite and nephrite. Nephrite is found in scattered areas around the globe and appears in a wide variety of colors. Jadeite predominantly comes from Burma and while it is available in gray, yellow, pink, blue, lavender, red, white, brown and black, it is most popular in the classic green that most people associate with the stone.

Intensity of color and transparency are the most important factors in judging quality. While jade is never fully transparent, the closer it gets to transparency, the higher it is valued. The most highly valued colors are the very rare "Imperial" green and apple green. Lavender jade is also very rare and attains high prices. A green swirl of jade in an otherwise white stone is known in Chinese as "moss in snow" and fetches princely sums.

Jadeite must be examined with a microscope to see if it has any value-reducing internal fractures. Quality of carving is also an important value factor. Frequently jadeite is dyed green or lavender. Most dyed jadeite does not look quite right. Jade is often sold by the piece rather than by carat weight.


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