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Jewelry Articles

Jade Information

 400 cts of Jade -- Large Hand Carved Pendant

Mysterious and magical, jade is the stuff legends are made out of. One of these legends is that Spanish conquerers worre amulets of jade to prevent and cure hip and kidney complaints.

Jade gems are often referred to as the Stone of Heaven by the Chinese and used to gain insight into their culture and history. It’s considered a symbolic link between man and the spiritual world.  
The word Jade (derived from the 16th century Spanish name, la piedra de la ijada or stone for the loins) seems to evoke feelings of mystery, romance and wealth. Owners tend to develop an emotional attachment for this substance. Since the value of jade is in the scarcity, there’s no 
wonder it’s commonly "faked" by using less valuable substitutes and passing them off as jade. While scrupulous dealers would never dream of tricking their buyers, less honorable sellers get away with such practices by the labels they attach to their imitations. Following is a list of some 
of them:

Imperial Mexican Jade or Mexican Jade = dyed Calcite. 
American Jade = Californite or Green Idocrase. 
Indian Jade = Aventurine. 
Amazon Jade or Colorado Jade = Amazonite or Green Feldspar. 
Korean Jade or New Jade = Serpentine.



Jade is sold by the piece rather than by the carat. Color is the most important value factor but translucency, texture and pattern are also considered when selecting specimens. 
There are two kinds of Jade, the less expensive Nephrite and the opulent Jadeite. 
Ancient jade carved in China was of the Nephrite variety and since it’s more common than jadeite jade, its most often used in the Chinese carvings you see today. Nephrite is an amphibolite mineral. This type of jade comes in various shades of green but most have an olive green tint. Nephrite comes from Myanmar, Russia, Australia, Taiwan, China and Wyoming. The word nephrite comes from the Greek word for kidney. 
Jadeite is a pyroxene mineral and is considered to be "real jade". It commands much higher prices than nephrite because it comes in much more vivid colors and has a finer translucency than nephrite jade. Items made from this hard jade are smooth and lustrous and their grains are 
not visible. It’s much more rare than nephrite jade and is known as imperial jade. Jadeite jade is produced in Burma, which is now known as Myanmar, Japan, Alaska, California and small quantities in Guatemala. This kind of jade comes in a wide variety of colors including red, 
yellow, green, lilac, black, orange, white, pink, blue and brown. 
Both types of jade are very durable although jadeite is slightly harder due to its microcrystalline structure. Jadeite has a hardness value of 7.0 (occasionally as high as 8 or 9), whereas nephrite jade has a hardness value of 6.5. Since the raw materials are getting more and more scarce, the value of jade will continue to rise. 
Jade is the State gemstone of Alaska and Wyoming and the Canadian State gemstone of British Columbia.  
Jade is treasured in China as the royal gemstone, called the "yu". The Chinese character for Jade resembles a capital I with a line across the middle. The top represents the heavens, the bottom represents the earth and the center section represents mankind. The word yu in Chinese 
is applied to things considered precious. 
Carving jade has been an important part of Chinese arts and crafts for more than 6,000 years. Crude jade tools have been found among the archaeological finds dating back to the New Stone Age. As time passed however, people started appreciating jade as something beautiful to 
look at, as well as useful for its hardness, when people began making carvings and polishing them. Since then, jade has become the preferred material for oriental carvings.  
Symbolism is a tradition in Chinese art. Recurrent motifs in jade objects have significant meanings to the Chinese. Designs found on jade objects have either religious or sociological connotations. Sometimes carvings depict the social status of intended owners of the pieces by their opulence and other times items were carved to indicate the occupation of the person they were being made for. 
One of the most common carvings is a flat, donut-shaped disc called a pi, which is worn as a necklace. The circular hole in the middle symbolizes the earth with its circumference representing heaven. 
The ts’ung is a column that is round on the inside and square on the outside. The outside symbolizes earth and the hole through the center is a vehicle for heavenly energies to pass through. 
Many jade items are used for jewelry or ceremonial pieces. Other common objects made from jade include belt buckles, hair ornaments, animal statues, vases, incense burners, cups and wine decanters. Dragons and phoenixes were usually carved for nobility. 
One of the most popular symbols to carve from jade is the sacred image of Buddha. Another is the Quan Yin, the equivalent of the female Buddha. (It’s believed that when a Quan Yin is placed in a room it has the ability to cleanse the environment of any unpleasant energy, especially after an argument has taken place.) Dragons are the symbol of rain, fertility and male vigor and are considered to be a good-natured and gentle. 
Jade is the mystical birthstone for March, the alternative birthstone for August and the birthstone for the astrological sign of Virgo. It’s the anniversary gemstone for the 12th, 30th and 35th years of marriage. 
Jade is a symbol of love, virtue, fidelity, humility, generosity, (concentrated essence of love) and is used as a status symbol. It is believed to induce relaxation and concentration. It’s been said that Jade helps bring things into balance and promotes health, wealth and longevity. Some say when jade is handled; the virtue of it is absorbed into the body. Jade is said to help us understand our dreams and to live in harmony with the laws of nature. 
In Central America the Olmecs, Mayans and the Toltecs all treasured jade and used it for carvings. 
Jade is believed to be strong medicine for kidney ailments, lung problems, to boost the immune system, aid in detoxification and to calm the nervous system.

Preston Reuther Master Wire Sculptor

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