Geological classification

What is the difference between jadeite and jade stones?

Gemologist Olga Melikyan, author of GEM STONES PRACTICAL QUESTIONS February 28, 2019 Views: 5204 Rating: “This is extremely difficult,” say gemologists and mineralogists. Thank you, of course. But what if you want to buy jadeite? What are the ways to easily and quickly distinguish jadeite from jade in products? Chinese style pendant made of purple jadeite. Articles are published every day after 18:00 Moscow time. This article was prepared at the request of one of the readers who is not sure that he can identify the real jadeite in the product. Both jadeite and jade are very similar minerals. They may have the same color (white, light green, green – all shades, brown, etc.). Both are strong with high viscosity, both are not transparent, and can be translucent. They differ in composition and some physical properties.


View live products with jadeite. If you pick up jewelry with jadeite, you will need a magnifying glass and some kind of light source, for example, a flashlight. What can be seen in jadeite: Upon closer examination, the structure of jadeite is granular, consisting of small rounded “grains”. The surface can be like “shagreen leather”. On this bracelet, the grain of jadeite is clearly visible; on jade, the grains will not be visible. What can be seen in jade: The cryptocrystalline structure of jade will appear in the form of “fibers” or longitudinal elongated zones. The jade will not have any graininess at all. Fibers may vary slightly in color. Inclusions in the form of chaotically scattered black dots may be noticeable inside.


Hardness test I’ll say right away that hardness testing can only be done on your own jewelry, because. No one will allow you to scratch someone else’s property. The hardness of jadeite is 7 on the Mohs scale. This means that when you pass the glass along the back side of the stone, nothing will happen to the stone. Glass has a hardness of 5,5, so jadeite will scratch glass, but jadeite glass cannot. Jade hardness is 5,5-6 on the Mohs scale. If you scratch the glass, a mark may remain. Conducting such an experiment is risky! On the left are earrings with jadeite, diamonds and emeralds, on the right is a butterfly brooch with jadeite wings


Differences in Shine Jadeite and jade have different shines after polishing. This is noticeable, not only when compared with each other. Jadeite shine: glass, stronger Glitter of jade: waxy (like the shine of a hardened wax candle), more matte and not strong.


Density difference Jadeite necklace, diamonds, platinum. The jadeite here is not uniform in color, yellow and dark green areas are visible (average quality). Subscribe to the educational gemological channel GEM STONES)) Jadeite and jade have a high density compared to other minerals. Therefore, if you simply throw a product with them 20 cm and catch it with one hand, it will “feel” more significant in your hand. But this, of course, is a subjective perception. Now about the objective. Having received the treasured product with jadeite/nephrite, you can find out its density. To do this, take a measuring glass with water, measure the volume of water poured, place the product, and measure the volume of water “displaced” by the product. Given data on the known densities of minerals, it is possible to calculate the actual density of the insert into the product and verify whether it is the right mineral. If the density is 3,3 it is jadeite, if 2,95 it is jade. (Subject to successful checks and other methods). Bracelet with cabochon jadeites, diamonds and gold leaves, Cartier.


Musicality This method is more suitable for distinguishing jade. The Chinese are known to make musical instruments from this stone. When jade is tapped against another stone, a longer resonating sound is produced than, for example, when two plastic beads are tapped. Jadeite produces the same sound, but in a weaker version. In any case, making a mistake and purchasing jade instead of jadeite will not be joyful, but at least it will be equivalent in significance and nobility to these stones. It is much more dangerous to purchase either other minerals passed off as jadeite or an outright fake. Earrings and pendant with diamonds and jadeite of the highest quality “imperial”. The only place where transparent and emerald-colored jadeite is mined is Myanmar.

Here are the trade names that have caught on as “decoys” for jadeite:

  • “Transvaal jade” – a rock consisting of grossular garnet, almost opaque
  • “Australian jade” – chrysoprase. Although chrysoprase is an interesting gem in itself, it costs less.
  • “new jade” – serpentine, or serpentinite rock. Ornamental stone, lower in cost
  • “white jade”, “red jade”, etc. – tinted translucent quartz to match a certain color, etc.

In general, you should not trust a product labeled “jad” in any form. The percentage of the fact that the desired jadeite will be found under the word “jade” is no more than 2%. If there is a gem certificate for a stone insert into a product, this is a big plus.

A repost will be the best thanks))))

If you held jade in one hand and jadeite in the other, would you be able to tell them apart? If not, don’t worry because most people can’t. Jade and jadeite were considered the same stone until 1863, when French mineralogist Alexis Damour discovered that the two stones were chemically different from each other.

Both stones are the green color we know and love in jade, but upon closer inspection there are key differences. Jadeite is one of the oldest and most sought after gemstones in the world.

What is jadeite?

Like diamonds, jadeite is formed exclusively in metamorphic rocks subject to intense pressures deep below the Earth’s surface. Jadeite comes to the surface only in those regions where erosion or displacement of tectonic plates occurs.

Which countries supply jadeite?

Jadeite is mined in many locations around the world, including: throughout Kazakhstan, near the Omi and Kotaki Mountains in Japan, along the Motagua River Valley in Guatemala, in San Benito County, California, and in the Ural Mountains of Russia.

However, the largest and most profitable source of jadeite is Myanmar (formerly Burma). Experts estimate that 70% of the world’s jadeite supply comes from Myanmar mines. In other words, if you need jadeite, Myanmar is a great source!

What about jade? Let’s explore how it is formed, what it is and where this gemstone comes from all over the world.

What is jade?

Jade also forms in metamorphic rocks, but is subject to much less pressure and stress than jadeite. Therefore, it is softer than jadeite. Because jade is naturally found closer to the Earth’s surface, it is found in sedimentary rocks around the world. One of the primary sources is New Zealand, where it adorns the sea and river banks.

Jade deposits are also found in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Russia, Zimbabwe and Alaska, where it has the honor of being the official state gemstone.

Difference between jade and jadeite:


The easiest way to distinguish jadeite from jade is by color. You’re probably most familiar with the green color of jadeite, but this gemstone comes in almost every color of the rainbow. Jadeite can be white, apple green, pink, lavender and even dark blue. Of course, the most valuable color is the deep green known as “Imperial”.

Fun fact: Red jadeite is commonly confused with Burmese ruby ​​due to its similar color and quality.

Jade also comes in a variety of colors, from dark to light green and even black. Due to its high magnesium content, jade can be translucent from white to very light yellow, known in China as “mutton fat.”


Over the centuries, both jadeite and jade have served a variety of purposes in different cultures and societies. If you follow popular beauty trends, then chances are you have a jade roller massager sitting in your bathroom right now!

If you can believe it, long before jade was used to smooth out wrinkles and massage skin, it was used to create weapons. Weapons were probably the earliest use of these two minerals. Axes made of jadeite were found throughout the British Isles, and Maori warriors made murder weapons from jade.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government decorated the bronze, silver and gold medals with jade. Can you believe that for the first time in the history of the games, gems graced Olympic medals? This is impressive!

So if they’re good enough for Olympic medals, they must be worth a pretty penny, right? In some cases, yes, although most commercially bought and sold jade is of relatively low value.

The most expensive jadeite piece ever sold is the Hutton-Mdivani necklace. The necklace is made of 27 emerald green beads and has a clasp set with diamonds and rubies. In 2014, the necklace was sold for $27,4 million.

Metaphysical properties of jadeite and jade

Healing the Body

The name “nephritis” comes from the Greek word “nephros”, which means “kidney”. Jade is often found in the form of round pebbles that resemble human kidneys, hence the name. Because of this, jade is believed to have the ability to heal various internal diseases, including kidney stones and menstrual cramps.

Likewise, the name jadeite comes from the Spanish phrase “piedra de ijada,” which means “side stone.” In indigenous communities in Central America, it is a common practice to press a piece of jadeite to one’s side to cure back pain and kidney problems.

Luck stones

Both jadeite and jade are considered “good luck” stones, most likely because their green coloring reminds people of money. Many people believe that if you want to attract wealth, you should always carry a jade or jadeite stone with you.

Positive energy

Both stones help stabilize emotions and bring calm in difficult situations. They are often used to dispel negative energies.

Key Differences Between Jade and Jadeite

As you can see, there are similarities and differences between these two beautiful gemstones. Do you think you can now distinguish jadeite from jade? If not, don’t worry, here’s a quick overview:

  • jade is more common, jadeite is rarer and more valuable;
  • jadeite is harder, 6,5-7 on the Mohs scale, compared to jade (6-6,5 on the Mohs scale);
  • Chemically, jade is composed of iron, calcium, magnesium silicate, while jadeite is composed of aluminum, sodium silicate (which makes it harder).

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