The Mineral JADEITE
- Physical Properties: Click here
- Chemistry: Na(Al, Fe)Si2O6,
Sodium Aluminum Iron Silicate.
- Class: Silicates
- Subclass: Inosilicates
- Group: Pyroxene
- Uses: as an ornamental stone used for carvings and semi-precious to precious stone used in jewelry
Jadeite is one of the two minerals called jade
The other jade mineral is nephrite
, which is a variety of actinolite.
Jade has been used for eons in China and Central America as an ornamental and religious stone of deep significance.
The nephrite jade was used mostly in China, although both have been used in both regions.
Nephrite is more abundant than jadeite and has few color varieties, ranging only from creamy white to green.
Jadeite is found in strongly metamorphosed sodium-rich serpentinous rocks,
and is named from the Spanish "piedra de ijada" (stone of the side) as it was thought to cure kidney stones
and other kidney ailments.
Jadeite has many color varieties, and while green jadeite is most recognizable as jade, it is more commonly found as a grayish green, and may also be white, a pale blue-gray, or even a pale purple.
- Color is usually green to grayish-green, white, pale shades of blue or purple, may also be yellow or pink.
- Luster is vitreous.
- Transparency: examples are translucent.
- Crystal System is monoclinic; 2/m
- Crystal Habits Generally fine-grained fibrous, also massive or granular.
- Cleavage: is good but rarely observed.
- Fracture is splintery to uneven.
- Hardness is 6.5.
- Specific Gravity is approximately 3.25 - 3.35 (above
average for translucent minerals).
- Streak is white.
- Associated Minerals are quartz, serpentine, nepheline, calcite, aragonite and vesuvianite.
- Other Characteristics: Fine grained jadeite is extremely tough and is actually stronger than steel.
- Notable Occurrences include San Benito County, California, Mexico, Japan, Tibet, and the best gem-quality from Myanmar (Burma).
- Best Field Indicators are toughness, fibrosity, typical green color and hardness.