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Gemstone Crystal System Density Hardness Refractive index Treatments
Nephrite
monoclinic 2.90-3.02 6.6 1.60-1.63 none


Carved nephrite urn

Colors:
Shades of greyed green, yellow, white and black

Durability:
Excellent: one of the toughest gems

Localities:
Canada, United States, Mexico, and Australia
Deposits in Rhotan, Yarkland in the Mountainous
Western China
The Jordensmishl Nephrite Jade Deposit in Poland
(Discovered by Herman Traube 1885)
Nephrite Deposits between Sestri Levante and Montererosso in the Appenine Mountains in Italy
(Discovered by Kalkowsky in 1906)
Liguria Deposits in India
Several Deposits in Switzerland
(i.e. Salux, Val de Faller, Poschiaro, the Gottard Range, the Honduas Area)
Click Here for a complete List

This gemstone is often confused with:

Maw Sit Sit
Aventurine Quartz
Agate
Green Jasper or Bloodstone
Massive Green Grossular Garnet
Glass
Plastic

 


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Nephrite Jade

Ca2(MgFe)5(Si4O11)2
calcium magnesium, iron silicate.

Nephrite is a very tough mineral and was originally used in primitive times to fashion tools such as axes, knives and clubs. The mineral is abundant worldwide, being a metamorphic alteration product of serpentinites. The Chinese have prized the nephrite variety of jade more than any other gemstone. For over 3000 years, they carved flat discs with a central hole, termed pi, from nephrite to worship heaven. Jade was equally important after death, with pieces placed in the deceased's mouth to serve as a heart in the afterlife. Two minerals are both considered to be jade, nephrite and jadeite. The latter was not discovered until the mid 1800s in Burma.