The Reason We Love Jade
The term jade is applied to two different metamorphic rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals: nephrite and Jadeite. Simply put, Nephrite consists of microcrystalline interlocking elements of calcium, magnesium and iron; the higher the iron content the greener the colour. Jadeite on the other hand is a composed of sodium and aluminium-rich pyroxene.
Jadeite, measuring between 6.0 and 7.0 Mohs hardness, is about the same hardness as quartz. It is more fragile and more difficult to carve. Nephrite ranking between 6.0 and 6.5 Mohs hardness scale, though slightly softer, is nevertheless tougher than jadeite and therefore can be worked with quartz or garnet sand, and polished with bamboo or even ground jade.
Canada provides the major share of modern lapidary nephrite. The most valuable Nephrite however comes from Hetian in the southern part of present day Xinjiang Province. It has been mined from the mountains and is found as pebbles in the river beds. The most desirable Hetian jade is translucent and has an oily surface sometimes referred to as "mutton fat". Nephrite can be found in a creamy white form (known in China as "mutton fat" jade) as well as in a variety of green colours; whereas jadeite shows more colour variations such as white, green, black , blue, lavender-mauve, pink, and emerald-green colours that can be translucent to opaque.
Of the two, jadeite is rarer. Translucent emerald-green jadeite is the most prized variety, both historically and today. Burma (Myanmar) and Guatemala are the principal sources of modern gem jadeite. In the area of Mogaung in the Myitkyina District of Upper Burma, jadeite formed a layer in the dark-green serpentine, and has been quarried and exported for well over a hundred years.
Wearing a jade bangle that fits close to your wrist and bumps the bones on your wrist stimulates acupuncture points that are located around the wrist bone, and keep the qi flowing smoothly for health and youthfulness.
The rarest are the colors of white, lavender, red, often described as "hong", and yellow. Black jade is often very dark green jade, but black jade color is rare, often seen as charcoal. Jade is a natural stone, has lots of lines, fissures that look like small cracks but are not signs of damage. As moisture carries other minerals through the jade the different colors are deposited.
Jade is valued for its intrinsic qualities; for one thing it is believed to be closely related to the human body, and the jade qi energy and the body qi energy flow between each other. Jade qi helps to balance the body. If the wearer is healthy and happy, the jade they wear will become more beautiful each consecutive day. If however one sees their jade is looking dull or flat, take heed and be extra vigilant in preserving good health.
It is interesting to note also that the minerals that make the colors are part of the qi energy and represent different energies:
- Green jade has energy for healing mind and body, calmness and balance and love. Light green is more yin qi, and darker green is more yang energy.
- White jade has the pure energy of the universe, and helps us develop deep wisdom from within, and calms our spirit.
- Lavender jade is often reserved for older women in Chinese culture, and has energy for inner peace, spiritual awareness and is often used for meditation and balance, and is a teacher of all things.
-"Hong" jade, red/orange color, has energy for protection and safety, success, confidence, courage and happiness.
-Yellow jade qi augments happiness, prosperity, spiritual growth and satisfaction in life.
- Black jade is very yang, and the carvers try to make each piece with only a small amount of black. Black jade is used by martial artists, those who practice Tai Chi and Qigong, to build up the body qi.
Jade is also believed to protect the person who wears it. Caught in an accident or other such, the jade bangle bears the brunt and gets broken or destroyed sparing the wearer from any harm. Here’s one such story: A women was once being treated in a hospital with serious cardiac illness she’d not been expected to survive. She happened to be wearing her always-present red jade bangle bracelet. As the doctor thought she was going to die, suddenly her jade bangle spontaneously broke in several pieces, and her health miraculously rebounded and she made completely recovery. There many such stories about jade protecting a person who wears it.
It is any wonder why it is considered quite fortunate to give or receive a gift of jade. Jade is a popular gift particularly around the New Year, with both the giver and receiver being blessed with good luck for the year, and even longer.
When jade is worn for a long period it is believed to become part of the wearer, therefore giving such a gift to a family member or a close friend carries the connotation that the presenters are giving the other a part of themselves.
So do wear a jade, in full knowledge that wearing this beautiful stone will enrich one’s life, balance the body, mind and also the spirit.