Distinguishing Jade from Jadeite

Jade vs Jadeite

Gemstones are minerals obtained from under the earth’s surface, often used for jewelry or other adornments. Jadeite is a popular gemstone used for making jewelry worldwide. However, many people confuse jadeite with jade, thinking the terms are synonymous. This article will clarify the differences between jade and jadeite.

Jade is a generic term applied to two different types of gemstones: jadeite and nephrite. The rocks containing aggregates of both these gemstones are collectively known as jade. Buyers often remain confused, thinking of jadeite or nephrite when they hear the term jade. Most of the jade available in the markets is in the form of nephrite, with jade in jadeite form being quite rare. When jade is in jadeite form, it is translucent and emerald green, appearing royal and classy, with some referring to it as Imperial Jade.

Traditionally, the term jade has been applied to many materials that appear similar to jadeite and nephrite but do not contain either of these gemstones. This is why confusion between true jade and materials superficially called jade is common. There is Indian jade, Chinese jade, Mexican jade, and so on, but these are not true jade as they do not contain either nephrite or jadeite. For example, Korean jade contains serpentine, while Indian jade contains aventurine. In China, the word jade has mistakenly been used to refer to materials like soapstone and calcite that resemble true jade.

Jadeite, also called soft jade, is one of the two forms in which jade is found in nature, the other being nephrite. Jadeite is an aluminous pyroxene rich in sodium and found in various colors, ranging from grey, pink, yellow, green, black, and intense green. Many jadeites show more than a single color, with the range of colors displayed by jadeite being much more than the other variant of jade, nephrite. Jadeite is harder than nephrite, with a hardness of between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. Jadeite is rarer and more expensive than nephrite.

Key Takeaways

  • Jade is a term used to refer to two different forms of minerals: jadeite and nephrite.
  • Jadeite is just one type of jade and not a different gemstone.
  • Most of the jade found in the markets is nephrite, with jadeite jade being rarer and more expensive.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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