Jade, a name which is used for both the minerals nephrite and jadeite, is a stone which can be extremely valuable. This stone can vary in hardness from 6 to a 7 on the Mohs scale and can have a wide variety of colors depending on the type of stone and content of foreign minerals contained within it.
Nephrite jade, the softer of the two jades, is actually the toughest of both. It measures a 6-6.5 on the Mohs scale but due to its tough, interlocking crystalline structure, is much tougher to break. It is said to come in less colors than jadeite, yet has a very large range (not just the stereotypical green which comes to mind when people think of jade as a color).
Jadeite is the harder of the two jades, and measures a 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. This stone is more valuable due to its rarity. It only comes out of Burma in commercial amounts while nephrite is found all over the world (though produced in commercial amounts in British Columbia).
The colors of jade vary depending on its mineral composition. When there is a content of iron present in jade it can appear red, orange or yellow. When graphite and iron are present the jade can appear black. When chromium is present the color of the jade stone can appear green. When there is no foreign mineral content, and therefor just pure jade, the jade stone will appear white.
The color of the piece of jade can affect its price. Today, green jade is considered much more valuable. In the past it was white jade which was the most valuable to the Chinese due to its purity.
Though jade can appear in green, blue, white, red, black, orange, yellow or violet (just to name a few of the colors) the shades of each color can vary enormously. Due to this fact the price of jade is also determined on how vivid and striking the color actually is. Value is not only determined by the jade stone color but also by its translucency, depth and if any fractures are present.Share This