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What Makes Jade Special

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George Harlow

Jade is a very special rock. It has some really unique properties. People throughout history and in different parts of the world thought so, too.

Raw Jade

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scrapbook page with pictures of jade chunks grouped separately, some as jadeite and others as nephrite

jadeite and nephrite are jade

Did you know that jade is actually a common name for two different rocks: nephrite and jadeite rock? These rocks have very similar physical properties, so people often lump them together and call them jade. 

jadeite

I've found jadeite rock in all kinds of amazing colors and patterns. Which is your favorite?

chunk of white and lavender mottled jade
chunk of orange jade with one side unpolished, looking rough and brown
retangular chunk of dark green jade with large white patches
white, rough-surfaced jade chunk
chunk of jade that is vivid green and white with dark streak running through it
chunk of white jade with green vertical striations in it
oblong chunk of orange jade with black patch
smooth chunk of pale grey-green jade with thin whitish veins
triangular piece of jade with pale blue green color in center and orange brown tinges on the edges
chunk of jade in patches of white, vivid dark green, and orange

nephrite

Look at the interesting patterns of these nephrite rocks!

nephrite with mottled colors of pale green, white and black
dark chunk of nephrite
chunk of jade with mottled colors of green, black and white
egg shaped chunk of light green jade with yellowish veins
Image Credits:

All photos: courtesy of AMNH, Denis Finnin