Foxfire Jewelers The Creative Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985

2250 North Coast Highway Newport Oregon 97365

(541) 265-RING    (541) 265-7464


Two types of stones can rightly claim the name Jade: Nephrite Jade and Jadeite.

Nephrite occurs in light- to dark-green, yellow to brown, and in white, gray or black. It is primarily found in Taiwan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

It was used by the ancient South American cultures in ornamental objects and as axheads. In fact, the ancient Mexican hieroglyph for precious stone refers primarily to Jade. Jade stones representing the heart were placed in the sarcophagi of the dead. Maori tribes in New Zealand fashioned their legendary war clubs and ceremonial carvings from Nephrite.

Jadeite is found in the same colors as Nephrite, plus red and lavender. The green of Jadeite is more lively and the most even, intense green Jadeite which is semi-transparent is known as Imperial Jade. It is found in Burma.

Because of the way that Jade's microscopic crystals link together, it is exceptionally tough and resists breakage like no other stone.

Jade was used extensively in daily and ceremonial objects of Chinese nobility, and represented high rank and authority. It was commonly carved into meaningful shapes such as fish, birds, bats, or dragons. The Chinese believed that since Jade objects lasted so long, due no doubt to Jade's toughness, that Jade was linked to immortality. Jade amulets were also buried with the dead in China. Symbolic circles called "pi," which represent infinity, were carved of the gemstone. In Taoism, the supreme heavenly god is called the "Jade Emperor." The Chinese still revere Jade and believe that it brings good luck, benevolence, purity, and enhanced intelligence.

Legends about Jade include a wide range of healing influences ­ of the eyes, nervous system and of the organs, particularly the kidneys. It was worn in amulets over the kidney area, and on the arm, and was reputed to magically effect the removal of kidney stones.
Jadeite: 6.5-7
Nephrite: 6-6.5
Toughness: Exceptional