Geological classification

How to distinguish jade from an ordinary stone?

In China, jade is considered a precious stone. But just as a jewelry emerald differs significantly from a simple crystal of beryl, so jade differs in its basic qualities. For example, the higher its density, the more valued it is. So what is jade? In many respects this is an unusual stone. First of all, there is no mineral called “jade”. Nowadays, jade is a rock composed of the finest fibers of minerals, tangled like wool in felt, intermediate in composition between white tremolite and green actinolite. In a strict sense, it is “a hydrous silicate of calcium, magnesium and iron, a dense matted fibrous aggregate” – at least this is the definition given by the Encyclopedia of Minerals. In China, all the variety of jade and jadeite is called “yui” The Persians called it “ieshm”, the Greeks called it “jasper”, the Mongols called it “kash”, and the Maoris of New Zealand called it “pounamu”. The name “jade” comes from the Greek “nephros” – kidney, because small jade pebbles superficially resemble this organ. Therefore, apparently, in Europe there was an idea that jade cures kidney disease. Since 1647, the term “jade” has appeared, which until now in the world gem trade refers to jade and jadeite, as well as their substitutes and fakes. The exceptionally high strength and toughness of jade are due to its matted fibrous or downy microstructure. It is usually not possible to break off even a small sample from a block of monolithic jade with a hammer. A cube of jade breaks only under a load of at least 7,8 tons per square centimeter. Its hardness on the Mohs scale is 5,5-6,5 (for comparison, quartz is 7, and diamond is 10), the density of samples free of impurities is 2,9-3,0 grams per cubic centimeter. High-quality jade is translucent and shines through in chips up to 5-8 millimeters thick. The polished surfaces of jade have an oily sheen. The color of pure jade, containing no more than 1 percent ferrous iron, is white. But green jade with a significant variation in shades is more common: the color density increases as the content of iron oxide in it increases. Occasionally there is a black color caused by thin inclusions of clayey matter. Yellow, brown and red colors appear from secondary staining of the mineral with iron hydroxides under the influence of groundwater or oxidation of magnetite inclusions.

The concept of “jade” in the Chinese tradition

Translated from Chinese, the character 玉 (“yui“) means “precious”, “noble”, “pure”, that is, it indicates a certain type of energy, and not a substance. To products made of jade “yu qi“From ancient times to the present day, there has been a special attitude, elevating them to the rank of mysterious and incomprehensible objects. In modern mineralogy, there are two types of jade: soft and hard. Soft (Ruan Yu) is also colloquially called Xinjiang or Hetian, hard (Ying Yu) is jadeite (feitsui). Some scientists classify the remaining types of minerals as jade-like or ornamental stones. In the Celestial Empire, the approach to the definition of jade is broader. Chinese jade culture dates back 10 thousand years. Even in ancient times, the opinion was formed that any beautiful stone is jade. During the Spring and Autumn Period (722 – 481 BC), only Hetian jade was considered true jade, and jade from other places was considered fake. Later in the Han era (221 – 206 BC), in the Interpretation of Writings dictionary, jade is characterized as the most beautiful stone, having five virtues: elasticity; oily shine; richness of color shades and internal patterns; density and transparency; length and pleasantness of sound. All stones that have these five qualities are considered jade. In China, any gemstones, minerals and crystals that have a high level of hardness and good luster can be called “yui” – “jade”. Coral and pearls, all kinds of fossils, serpentine, turquoise, malachite, agate, rock crystal, peach stone, lotus stone – all of them can be called “yui” This definition of jade is also common in industry. Ornamental stones qingtian shi, shoushan shi, juhua shi They are precious stones, but they are not classified as jade because they are too soft. So, in the Chinese tradition, there are three approaches to defining the concept of “jade”. First, it matches the mineralogical definition of jade. Secondly, this term refers to all stones that are used for carving and making objects for ritual, amulet and artistic purposes. This clip includes turquoise, amethyst, agate and some other stones. Therefore, in Chinese literature one can often find references to manao yu (agate jade) or feicui yu (jadeite jade). Thirdly, all ancient plastic objects (used in rituals, amulets, works of art) are classified as jade, regardless of the material from which they are made. All of them meet the requirements for the art of carving jade objects: they have hardness (cannot be scratched by a knife) and ductility, natural density and purity, have a distinct pattern and correct color.

  • Hieroglyph jade 玉 (“yu”)

    The hieroglyph “jade” consists of three horizontal lines, a vertical line intersecting them, and a dot. This configuration conveys the meaning of connecting the energy of heaven and earth in a person.

    Sign ball (“yui“”) comes from the hieroglyph (“Ван” – “ruler”), to which a dot is added.

    A unit is written with a horizontal line, which symbolizes the unity and integrity of being. Two horizontal parallel lines are two number “two” (symbol of Heaven and Earth), three horizontal parallel lines three number “three” (Heaven, Earth and Man). If the two extreme horizontal lines are connected by a vertical one, we get a hieroglyph work (“gong” – “work”), which indicates a special type of work with jade. Sign Ten -(“Shea“-“ten”) is a symbol of the completeness of all numbers and objects. Translations from Chinese constantly have problems due to lack of context. The hieroglyph denoting “jade” is translated incorrectly in a huge number of texts – by the word “jasper” (“jasper emperor”, “jasper chambers”, “precious jasper”, etc.). An example of this is the Russian translation of the famous Chinese novel “The Dream of the Red Chamber.” In English the hieroglyph “yui” is often translated by the word “jade”, which refers to a large group of minerals. In fact, in all cases, only jade is meant.

    Main types of “jade stone”

    Jade “lamb fat”»

    Refers to fine-grained fibrous jades. Hardness 6-6,5. The color and gloss are similar to mutton fat; soft, buttery, pure white, with elusive transparency. Doesn’t have a single spot inside. Suitable for very fine carvings. This is the best jade material. It is mined in the Xinjiang province, in mountains covered with eternal snow or along river beds.

    Young white jade

    It is also called young jade stone pebble. It is mined in the areas of Yutian, Xinjiang Province. The hardness of this stone is higher than that of mountain jade. The gloss is white, the nature is dense, the surface is greasy to the touch. The shape is most often pebbles or pellets. Often found along river beds. During a flood, pebbles roll down from the mountains and, picked up by the stream, rush down the river. The surface of the material is rolled, weathered, and covered with a “skin.” Pebble young jade is often covered with a red date-colored crust. If there are no cracks or flaws, it is a precious material that remains white inside. There are also blue-green young jade, black and white river material, red-crusted jade, and yellow jade.

    Mountain White Jade

    It is also called Kunlun jade. It is mined in Jiemoxian, Xinjiang province. Based on color, they distinguish between white jade, sugar-colored jade, blue-white and gray-white. White jade is a native mineral; Its hardness is less than that of jadeite. Light green and gray-white mountain jade is a fairly hard material, sugar jade is a little softer.

    This dense material is rarely pure in color. As a rule, it has veins inside. It forms a “skin” easily and splits easily. White-gray jade is suitable for carving incense burners and pagodas in the form of incense burners, Buddha images and animals; sugar-colored jade – to depict beauties and Buddha; pure white jade – for carving flowers, baskets, vases, jade dies, pendants, beads, bracelets.

    Black jade

    It belongs to the category of soft jade. Mined in Xinjiang. Hardness is about 6. This material is very rare. Sometimes there are layers of white or gray in it. There are white dots and spots inside the pure black stone.

    Turquoise jade

    It is also called “Copper Turquoise” and “Jumping Flea Turquoise Jade” and is mined in Xinjiang. The hardness of the mineral is about 6,5. The material is hard, dense, fairly glossy, translucent, and often has a crust on the surface. The color is blue-green, often with black inclusions or white streaks.

    Magnificent jade, the reserves of which decrease with each goal. This material can be used to make large yard lanterns, hanging chain vases, bracelets, wedding decorations, etc.

    Dushansky jade

    Also called Chinese Henan jadeite. It is mined in Henan, on Mount Lushan. Hardness – 6-6,5. Classic mountain material.

    Xuyan jade

    Mined in Liaoning Province. It is one of the types of coils. Hardness – 3,5-6. Has a waxy type of gloss; thin, fatty, blue-green in color. It is mined in large quantities in open-pit mines. Available in green, red, white, yellow, and black colors. It is most widely used in the production of various items.

    Kunlun jade

    It is mined in the provinces of Xinjiang, Qinghai, and Gansu. Hardness – 3,5. Belongs to the category of coils. The surface is characterized by the presence of a large number of cracks. It has a porcelain type of gloss and a white dense “skin”. Covered with green dots all over the surface. It comes in green-white and stone-gray colors. Suitable for making animals and fruits.

    Night Light Jade

    It is mined in Jiuquan (Gansu Province), and is therefore also called Jiuquan jade. Soft material, hardness – 3,4. Good transparency. It is found in black and white colors and contains white grains. Suitable for making all kinds of vessels.

    Dense jade

    Mined in Misian, Henan Province. It is a quartz rock; hardness – 7. There are red and white mi yui. Fine-grained material. Available in red, green and black and white. Figures of people, vases, and various ritual objects are cut out of it. When making beads, it is dyed, but during the oxidation process the color is quickly lost and turns white.

    Guizhou jadeite

    Mined in Guizhou. By nature it is quartz, hardness is about 7. Brittle, many cracks, the upper layers are dense. It has a sandy “skin” and a porcelain shine, and is not transparent. Its colors are pale blue, yellow, green, white.

    Qinghai white jade

    People also call it Xinjiang white jade, white jade from Mount Qilinshan. The hardness of this stone is lower than that of real white jade. The color is even. At first glance, it is even more beautiful than real white jade, and its whiteness is very similar to it, but it has a slight yellowness and an icy tint. This material began to be developed quite recently. Easily loses color and has low collection value.

    Capital White Jade

    Mined in the suburbs of Beijing. It is a quartz rock. Hardness is approximately 7. Compared with mountain white jade, it is less dense. The color is white, the character is fragile. After polishing, it resembles Xinjiang white jade. This material was formed under the influence of high temperature and low pressure, so it quickly erodes. Upon contact with the human body, it acquires the color of ice and loses its gloss. Suitable for carving birds, plants, animals. This material came into use quite late.

    Glass jadeite

    It is also called jadeite from old mines. It is characterized by high transparency and the highest hardness (hardness – 7). Glass jadeite was formed from lava at high temperatures and pressures, and then went through several stages of metamorphism, mixing of layers, earthquakes and floods. Its color is like water – glossy and transparent. The material is of a high level, its reserves are small.

    Red jadeite

    This mineral is also called red-green jadeite. There is quite a lot of it in nature, but there is very little red jadeite in it. The quality of this beautiful clear material can be higher than the green one. Red jadeite is an alloy of red, white, yellow and green jadeite. An alloy of green and red jadeite without admixtures of other colors and cracks is considered a high-level material and is called “The Joy of Longevity, Career and Happiness.” Its quantity is small, but its quality is high. The items on the right are polished. To distinguish the natural red “skin” from the artificial one obtained as a result of firing, it is necessary to examine it for the presence of sharp corners and spots. Their absence is indicated by fake red jadeite.

    Onion-colored jadeite

    It is also called hard jade. This is a rock of the pyroxene group. It is mined mainly in Burma, in China – in the Yunnan province. Hardness – 7. The main color is green, similar to the color of fresh grass (the photo shows polished material), hence its name feitsui: “jadeite the color of meadow grass.” Due to its resemblance to the color of the snout’s wings, the stone received another name. The males of this bird have red wings and the females have green wings. Males are called fei, and females are called tsui. Hence the name of jadeite: red – fei, green – tsui. Jewelry made from green material is considered the most precious. The mineral has high hardness, translucent, rich color. Rings, bracelets, ring overlays, pendants, and human figurines are made from it.

    Purple-colored jadeite

    In addition to being the same nature as regular jadeite, it contains fluorite gemstones. The material is transparent, purple-red in color. Bracelets, beads, chains, vases, and mythological figures are made from it. On the left and in the center is raw material, on the right is polished.

    Oil blue jadeite

    Also called cabbage green jadeite. Very dark in color, similar to green. The material is close to the Laokan type, but the hardness is lower. Has a transparent crust. The gloss is oily and uniform.

    Polka dot jadeite

    Quite a hard material, it seems to consist of lobes, and has spots. If there are no cracks or inclusions of a different color, it can be used to make rings, figures of the 12 animals of the traditional calendar, and pendants.

    Green-white jadeite

    It is colloquially called new type jadeite or stone gray jadeite. Its hardness is lower than that of Laokan jadeite. It is also looser, rougher and softer, without a crust; transparency is low. This is the most commonly found jadeite. One piece can vary in hardness, this is called hard-soft nature. Most often it is a white stone with green inclusions. Nowadays there are many counterfeits of it on the market. Using ultraviolet lamps you can distinguish pollen stone from real one.

    Cabbage jadeite

    May be called “Jaleite Willow Flowers”. Hardness – 6-7. It is a new variety. In terms of mineralogy, it is quite loose and translucent. Blue-green spots are distributed over the surface of the material. Well suited for making rings, figurines of arhats and Buddha, all kinds of chains and incense burners. The photo on the left is untreated, on the right is polished jadeite.


    • Chinese jade. Patterns of time. B.B.Vinogrodsky, 2006
    • Photos:

    How to distinguish jade from a fake, and what harm can wearing fake eggs cause?

    “Jade” eggs

    Recently, there has been an increase in the number of requests to explain the reasons why women experience various problems after carrying “jade” eggs. The word “jade” is put in quotation marks for a reason: we have to disappoint those who think that the three eggs in a box on sale at a very attractive price are jade. They are sold in many Wumbuilding – Imbuilding schools, centers and clubs, esoteric stores and shops, where you will also find many other crafts from China: “jade” body massagers, rugs, combs, bracelets, balls, candlesticks, etc. from the same cheap stone.

    Sellers, intentionally or out of ignorance, will assure you that this is the most real jade. There is some truth in their words, except that such “jade” is a processed waste product. Before you is a fake – pressed jade. Decide for yourself whether to use it by reading the information below.

    What is pressed jade, and why is it bad?

    After making jade products: eggs, figurines, vases, jewelry, stone remains remain: shavings, dust, debris. The craftsman will sell the whole product at a high price. But in order not to throw away the remaining waste, the resourceful Chinese recycle it – grind it and press it. To give the products a shape, they mix with synthetic materials such as transparent or greenish plastic and melt eggs, bracelets, massagers, etc. The composition is selected in such a way as to visually closely match whole jade. They are also equipped with fishing lines and are usually placed in boxes of 3 pieces. Outwardly, such an egg may even look like a real one, since it actually contains jade, only the price of the set will be significantly lower than the cost of one natural whole egg. The chemical composition of such an egg, as you understand, is completely different; it is far from the properties of a natural solid stone. Accordingly, such eggs, neither in chemical composition nor energetically, will have the unique miraculous characteristics of jade; a destroyed stone is a dead stone. The unique healing and energetic properties of jade are inherent only in whole natural stones.

    And what else seems important: when making such “jade” eggs, do the Chinese use medical plastic when melting them down, suitable for insertion into the vaginal canal? What is the fishing line made of that will follow the egg straight into the Womb of Life? The question is rhetorical, since the true composition of such products is unknown! Therefore, before you decide to purchase such sets, think twice! If your goal is to save money, it is better to buy vaginal balls made of medical plastic. They are hypoallergenic and safe for vaginal microflora. Such “jade” eggs will be of no more use than ordinary vaginal balls.

    How to identify pressed jade?

    Light it with a lighter for 20-30 seconds. The plastic contained in the composition will begin to melt, emitting a specific odor, and an almost irremovable dark stain will remain on the product. If you do the same with a natural solid stone, the resulting soot can easily be wiped off with a damp cloth, leaving not a trace.

    Regarding other stones that some schools sell, we advise you to look for information about the permissibility of contact of this stone with the vaginal environment before purchasing them, or ask for it from sellers.

    Real Jade – a valuable natural mineral that has a wide variety of color shades.

    Occasionally you come across stones of white and light yellow color, as well as a bluish tint, which is called dianite. The rarest is jade of red and blue-black color. The most valuable stone is a bright green color with black inclusions of iron and a high degree of transparency (translucency).

    Jade is most valued in China. At all times it was revered as the jewel of kings. But not only in China, but also in other countries of East Asia, it was treated as a symbol possessing magical powers that endow a person worthy of it with special energy. And if it was hopelessly damaged, the jade jewelry quickly began to darken and lose its strength.

    Among the jewelry, silver items with jade inserts and the famous jade beads are especially valued. They are believed to help relieve painful headaches. If you wear them constantly, you can cure stroke, atherosclerosis, and many eye diseases.

    Original sculptures and various amulets are created from jade. Chinese jade vases are very beautiful. Often, souvenirs, chess pieces, and magnificent openwork items, such as the famous Chinese balls for magical rituals, are made from this stone.

    Thin jade plates, touching each other, emit a very gentle melodic sound. Because of this property, Chinese craftsmen used them in the manufacture of musical instruments for religious ceremonies at the court of the emperor.

    Jade is used in both traditional and folk medicine. Jade products are very popular among European tourists who come on vacation to Eastern countries. Local market traders take advantage of this, trying to hand over counterfeits to ignorant people. In order not to fall for scammers, you need to know a few simple secrets of this unique natural stone in order to be able to distinguish jade from a fake.


    The following methods for verifying the authenticity of jade are very popular on the Internet. However, be careful, the described methods are very relative, and have many nuances that are important to know in order to conduct a truly competent check of jade for authenticity.

    • The first method is based on the fact that jade has very high strength (about 6 on the Mohs scale). It is stronger than steel. It cannot be cut, there are no dents on it, and at the same time it lends itself well to cutting. To check whether the offered product contains real jade or not, just run the sharp end of a pin over it. This will not harm real jade, but it will leave a small scratch on a fake made of pressed jade or plastic. However, when checking jade testicles, avoid scratching the black inclusions – these are iron oxides – inclusions characteristic of jade, they are much softer than jade and can be scratched. Perform the pin test on any green area of ​​the testicle. In addition, never use knives or metal objects made of aluminum and its alloys. The fact is that aluminum has a higher hardness coefficient than jade (about 9), and you will ruin your egg.
    • From our experience working with jade eggs, we also want to note that sometimes you come across whole jade eggs of very poor quality, soft ones, which, just like a fake, can be scratched. Outwardly, they look dull and do not allow light to pass inside. As a rule, this is low-grade jade with a Mohs hardness of about 2-2,5, containing products of the destruction of primary rocks. We do not recommend using it. Of course, it won’t do any harm, but you won’t get any good energetic or healing effects either. Good quality jade will always be hard.
    • Real jade is initially always cold. You can feel it by placing it on your face. However, if you hold it in your hands for some time, the stone will “absorb” your warmth for a long time and then it will be warm for a long time. This testing method will help you distinguish a natural stone from ordinary plastic (plastic will initially have room temperature or ambient temperature), but is not suitable for distinguishing solid jade from pressed jade (you simply will not feel a noticeable difference), nor for distinguishing natural stones from each other , since all natural stones have approximately the same thermal conductivity.
    • Some sources also suggest check the product for sound by knocking each other’s beads or plates against each other (or one of the beads against a coin). If you hear a dull sound, then this is a product made of ordinary plastic. And jade has a gentle, melodic sound, with a resonance effect. Keep in mind that this test method is not suitable for jade testicles – it is only acceptable for thin jade plates or beads, since the testicles, due to their shape, have a very dense structure and large mass, and will not give the same melodic sound as plates or thin beads.
    • Jade distinguishes good light transmittance (translucency) . Look at a piece of jade in a bright light or with a flashlight (you can also use a magnifying glass) and you will see an amazing pattern of soft fibers inside it that looks like cotton wool. If the stone is homogeneous and you can’t see anything inside, it’s a fake. Please note when checking jade eggs – good light transmission does not mean the transparency of the stone. Through it you will not be able to see like through glass. This refers to the translucency of the surface – the ability of light to penetrate inside, deep into the stone, to examine the internal structure.
    • THE MOST SURE WAY TO CHECK THE AUTHENTICITY OF JADE — consultation with a gemologist. Take your stone to a gemologist if you doubt its authenticity, and an expert will be able to quickly give you a qualified answer.

    Of course, it is best to purchase a certificate for a jade product confirming its authenticity, or request one from the seller. After all, products made from this natural stone, if it is not pressed, are very expensive.

    In our store you will find certificates of authenticity (expert opinions) for all jade products sold in our store. You can print the certificates yourself directly from our website, or receive a copy of the certificate for the class of jade you have chosen with the parcel.

    If this article was useful to you, share it with your friends and acquaintances on social networks. Perhaps this will help someone when choosing a jade friend!

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