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Not Every Green Gemstone is Jade

I was at work the other day and I had a customer who wore a beautiful Malachite pendant. I commented, "Love the Malachite!" He was like, "huh?" and I said your stone. He goes, "Oh, it's Jade," and puffed up his chest. Lol. Believe me, I know Malachite's beautiful green layers anywhere and that stone was definitely a Malachite.

Nephrite wrapped in Sterling Silver/14K Gold filled wire by the Gem Diva. Click to buy 

One of the most common gemstones mistaken for Jade is Green Aventurine. I have one and people ask me all the time where I got that beautiful Jade from. I correct them and tell them it's a form of Aventurine and I picked it up in Atlanta. So if you get a gemstone that someone says is Jade but you are not sure, stop by a metaphysical store that sell crystals and I am sure someone can help you identify the stone.  

Green Aventurine and Malachite earrings wrapped by the Gem Diva in copper. Click to buy.

So what exactly is Jade? Well there are two types of Jade to begin with. Nephrite and Jadeite. Most people associate Jade with the tradition Jadeite but Nephrite is more common.


Jadeite is a sodium and aluminum rich pyroxene that is microcrystalline with an interlocking crystal matrix.  In other words it's made of tightly packed microscopic crystals. Jadeite is more prone to chipping and is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain due to a trade embargo placed by the US against the primary source of Jadeite--Mynamar or Burma.

The name Jadeite is originally derived from a mix of French and Latin phrases that put together the Spanish phrase, Piedra de ijada. French, l'ejade and Latin ilia is what inspired the Spanish phrase that means the stone of the side. Legend has it that if you rub jadeite on the hip/side area of someone with kidney disease, it would cure them.

The Latin version of the name, Lapis Nephriticus is the origin of the word, Nephrite which is the other variety of Jade.


Nephrite is made of extremely dense mineral fibers, not crystals, that are interlocked and very tough. Nephrite is more softer and prone to scratches. Nephrite is also know as mutton fat Jade or white Jade because of it's lighter and paler colors.

Now we got the basics of Jade down, guess what? Jade is not just a green gemstone. It comes in many, many colors!

If you come across a metaphysical store selling black, red, pink and violet (the rarest form) Jade, then those are Jadeites. Only Jadeite comes in those other deeper intense colors. Nephrite colors range from pale and white to yellow (Mutton Fat Jade) to grey, light brown (Chicken Bone Jade) and of course both minerals come in many shades of green.
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About Johnna Crider

The Gems and Mineral Diva is also known as Johnna Sabri. Johnna learned how to wire wrap gemstones into fashionable jewelry by Grammy Award winning guitarist, Daryl Thompson, son of Eli Lucky Thompson. This site is dedicated to Daryl as he did more than teach Johnna his gift of jewelry design, he became a father to her.
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