The brilliant hues of nephrite jade have been a part of human history for nearly 7000 years. Neolithic man valued nephrite jade in ceremonial objects for its yellows, browns, whites, and brilliant greens. Many tools and amulets were made from jade.
Nephrite jade continues to be a valuable gemstone in modern times. It is valued for its beauty and it is considered to have important metaphysical properties and characteristics. Next, it is time to explore the physical and metaphysical characteristics of nephrite jade to discover why it has been an important part of human culture for so long.
General Information about Nephrite Jade
Neolithic finds of tools and amulets in the Balkans suggest that a nephrite culture developed in this area. Similar tools were also found in Sardinia and Switzerland. Historically, the main source of nephrite jade in China was in the now depleted deposits found in the Ningshao area of the Yangtze River Delta.
As far back as 4700 BC, nephrite jade was considered an Imperial gemstone. Important dignitaries and rulers often had burial suits made of jade. Aside from mining known deposits, the gemstone was also obtained by finding pebbles and boulders in rivers that flowed from the Kuen-Lun mountain range northward.
Pieces of nephrite jade were used as tribute payments to the Imperial Chinese court. White nephrite jade called “mutton fat” is still the most valuable type. Imperial jade comes from Burma and is known for its deep, translucent, emerald green color.
Properties of Nephrite Jade
- Alternative names: axe-stone, beilstein, kidney stone, nephrit, lapis nephriticus, New Zealand greenstone, spinach jade, talcum nephriticus, tomb jade, grave jade.
- Varieties: Nephrite jade, jadeite, chrysomelanite, Imperial Jade, Russian Jade, Wyoming Jade, Lavender Jade.
- Hardness: 6 to 6.5 on Mohs scale.
- Color: light to dark greens, yellows, browns, pink, white, black.
- Transparency: translucent to opaque.
- Lustre: vitreous, dull, greasy.
- Habit: monoclinic crystals, intergrown fine fibrous aggregate.
Nephrite Jade is found in subduction zones in metamorphic rock. Large slabs can be found where either the current or previous ocean lithosphere is being subducted under volcanic islands. It is exposed by uplift and weathering.
Metaphysical Details About Nephrite Jade
Nephrite jade has been a symbol of purity, beauty, and grace for thousands of years. The name nephrite refers to the Greek belief that the stone could cure diseases of the kidneys. What’s more, Jade weapons supposedly held special powers. One story says that shortly after man was created he roamed the earth weaponless and vulnerable to wild animal attacks. The Storm God tossed jade weapons to earth for man to find and use as protection.
When used for metaphysical purposes, nephrite jade is believed to be a stone to induce dreams. The color of the gemstone can determine its specific powers. Nephrite is considered restorative and cleanses the body, particularly the kidneys, liver, and spleen. It is also helpful for joint and bone pain, as well as to fight viral and bacterial infections. Furthermore, wearing jade beads can help with eye diseases and migraines.
Since ancient times nephrite Jade has been a stone to promote longevity. It strengthens the vital forces of the body and protects it from sickness. In China, nephrite is often buried under the basement of houses to protect them from earthquakes and flooding. In addition, wearing it was supposed to bring victory to Olympic athletes. It is also reported to bring a protection from lightning.
Jade is considered healing for the lower chakras including the first, second, and third. It can be used to help promote positive change in daily life as well as move stagnant energy.
Examples of Famous Jade Pieces
Some of the most exquisitely carved pieces come from the Qing dinasty from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses several pieces including the famous Boulder with Taoist Paradise.
How to Wear It
One can find less expensive pieces of jade that still have the same metaphysical properties. To take advantage of the power of jade, it can be worn as a necklace, earrings, a beaded bracelet, amulets, or as a ring. Many people choose to buy jade statues to sit on their desk, or in a room for prosperity and protection.
Where Can We Find Nephrite Jade Today?
The main source for nephrite jade is New Zealand. You can find it in serpentine rocks and as pebbles along the banks of rivers and the sea. Other global nephrite jade deposits include those in Australia, Brazil, China, Canada, Russia, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, and the United States. In the United States, jade is available in Alaska and Wyoming. It was also formerly found in Poland, but these sources have been depleted.
Nephrite jade mining has many of the same environmental effects as other mining operations. The deposits range anywhere from 12 inches to 12 feet wide. It is removed from the earth by quarrying. This can, however, produce dust, pollution, and noise as concerns. In addition, the use of heavy equipment and transportation produces air pollutants that are byproducts of gasoline engines.
Jade is considered one of the most valuable gemstones on earth and has been associated with royalty for thousands of years. The gem is thought to be a direct gift from the gods and has many properties including those of healing, cleansing, and protection. Therefore, bringing a little jade into your life may be just what you need for a prosperous and healthy future.
Be sure to let us know in the comments section if you have any personal experiences with the healing power of jade.