Jade is famous the world over for its ornamental qualities, and revered in many Asian cultures as well as Central and South American civilizations. Jade is often mistaken for either nephrite or jadeite. In actual sense, jade is a general term for both nephrite and jadeite; nephrite is a calcium and magnesium rich form of jade (jade + actinolite), while jadeite is a sodium and aluminum rich variety (jade + pyroxene).
Jade has a complex mineral formula; both types of jade sometimes occur with other minerals in the mix. Jade occurs in many shades of green, with the greatest variance shown in jadeite. Jadeite can come in blue, pink, and white colors, while nephrite is confined to yellow-brown-hues, and of course, green. The most prized jade color of all, is the translucent emerald green variety.
Jade has long been used by native tribes in Central/South America for ornamental carving. The Mayan and Aztec civilizations considered jade as a heavenly stone, and was only owned by elite members of society. In China, nephrite is believed to be a sacred stone, and used for thousands of years in crafting imperial and religious articles. Jade was so used so much in China, that jade enthusiasts regard jade from there as “Chinese Jade.”
General metaphysical properties of jade
Jade is believed to assist one to realize one’s dreams in this world, and provides for the inspiration to actualize it. It also helps to balance one’s needs with daily requirements, so helping one to prioritize the important things.
For children, jade makes a good protective stone, and is a stone for friendship and diplomacy. It is believed to attract wealth, and is a bringer of good fortune.
Jade sooths and heals, acting as a “stitching” agent in cases of wounds and helping them to bind properly. It is good for cellular and bone disorders, and is excellent as an elixir for the skin, kidneys, and spleen.