Jade is known for its unique symbolism and strong energy. There are many legends and mysteries to this day, not yet clarified. Jade was known to mankind for more than seven thousand years, and enchants people from the prehistoric period to the present day with its beauty and expressiveness. His distinctive glow varies from gentle, to subtle shades of green, to carrying traces of yellow, grey, black and orange, and specific tints of lilac.
And what exactly is Jade? This is actually the common name for two different stones - Nephrite and Jadeite. The European origin of its name, which became the subject of many discussions and debates, comes from the Spanish word "piedra de ijada" meaning loin-stone. American Indians have used this stone for treatment of kidney illness and infections, so the Spanish conquerors called this gem by a little unworthy name of "kidney stone", which led to the name Jade. Apparently, Jade had a very beneficial effect on the genitourinary system, as it was also known as "lapis nephriticus", hence the name Nephrite. In China, Nephrite and Jadeite were called and respected under the same name: "zhen yu" meaning "true Jade. "
From the early nineteenth century, scientists in the field of mineralogy and gemmology, studying Nephrite and Jadeite, began to differentiate between these two kinds, describing their appearance, properties, hardness, etc. French scientist Alexis (Damour Augustin Alexis Damour (19 July 1808, Paris – 22 September 1902, Paris)) in 1863, discovered and proved that the stone known as the Jade actually appears as two different minerals, with different compositions and crystal structures–Jadeite and Nephrite. Nephrite occurs most frequently in its green or greyish-green colour, although it can be seen in white, reddish and yellowish variants. Jadeite can be translucent, emerald green (Imperial jade), other different shades of green, mauve, lavender, white, brown, red, orange, yellow, grey, black, blue-green with light traces, pastel green with white veins, and white with green veins.
Nephrite is very popular in Asia, where it was worn as a talisman, and often used for making cameo pendants. Jadeite is more rare and somewhat harder. Both gems often appear with spots, inclusions and imperfections, which are not treated as faults as they increase the gem’s value. It is also interesting that different colours are not equally valued in the different parts of the world. Thus, in Occident this stone is most precious when lively light or dark green, while in the Far East most appreciated are forms of pure white Jade, yellow Jade with a hint of pink, as well as the traditional Imperial Jade.
In prehistoric times, due to its hardness, Jade was often used for making weapons and various kinds of fine processing tools. In China, Jade was from the third century B.C. known and honoured as "Yo" and "Imperial stone." This term "Yo" was added to family names and used to describe people or things that possess exceptional beauty and elegance. Jade in Chinese culture and art of that time had a special place and significance, similar to that of diamonds and gold in the Western countries. In museums around the world, famous are the collections of Chinese jade carvings and statues, which date from 2000 B.C. - such as Buddhas, dragons, birds, fish, bats, dogs - who all carried deeply symbolic, spiritual and religious meaning. Besides various religious cults, Jade was used for equipping tombs of important members of the Chinese royal family. White Jade was used in the Chinese Empire as a means of payment during the annual imperial tax. Jade is highly valued today in China also. It is considered a symbol of good and an embodiment of many virtues like wisdom, compassion, courage and humility. In addition, this beautiful and attractive stone is also a symbol of female sexual power.
Besides China, Jade was also worshiped among Aztec and Incas nations. Maoris tribes of New Zealand have made weapons of natural Jade from ancient times. Ancient Egyptians also worshiped and revered Jade as a symbol of love, harmony and inner peace. In many other cultures this stone was considered, and is still today, as a cornerstone of personal happiness and protection. When Spanish Conquistadors conquered Central America, they adopted the custom of wearing amulets made of Jade.
Unique ring made of Jade, called Secrecy of Papmpas Vastness, sold now on RubyCharm, follow this link
In recent years, Jade has been particularly popular among designers of jewellery. Since Jade is rarely a translucent stone, but has a specific brilliance, its beauty is most obvious when carved en cabochon or bead. We can see it also in round, flat or cylindrical forms as an attractive part of necklaces, rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings.
Major Jade excavation sites are located in Myanmar, which for more then two hundred years has been supplying China with clear, emerald green Jade, commonly known as the "Imperial Jade", which is the most valued in today’s market. Among other major sites that stand out are Guatemala, Central Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA (California, Alaska and Wyoming), Japan and other countries.
Jade unifies symbolism, beauty, energy, ancient and modern meaning, and it’s because of all these diverse qualities that this stone has remained so appealing and popular from ancient times till nowadays.
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