Nephrite Jade vs. Jadeite Jade

by on October 5, 2011

Your jade ring is a gem variety of either nephrite or jadeite. Although they are commonly thought to be the same, they are actually two different minerals and it is hard to distinguish one from the other.

Jadeite and nephrite jade come in a variety of colors-dark and light shades of red, green, blue, white, black and lavender, to name a few. The most valuable and sought after color is an intense translucent green. This color of jadeite is very rare and the most valuable. The second most valuable color of jadeite is lavender and is even more sought after than lesser quality colors of green. Few people have ever seen a piece of fine jadeite.

Nephrite and jadeite are considered part of the jade family although they are different, particularly as it relates to rarity and durability. Jadeite is not as common a mineral and is considered more durable than nephrite. Nephrite and jadeite are considered very tough. Diamonds are hard but nephrite and jadeite are tough. Nephrite is 6-6.5 out of 10 on the Mohs hardness scale and jadeite is 7 out of 10. Nephrite and jadeite are so tough they are considered harder than steel. Jadeite is a better stone for carving but nephrite can be used as well.

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