( Singular nouns: Fr- jade; Ger- Nierenstein/Beilstein; Nor- jade; Rus- )
A. Jade. "Trumpeters Dance" (ca. 33 x 30 x X 17 cm) sculpted from green and black nephrite from British Columbia and white jadeite from Myanmar (formerly Burma). (© photo courtesy Lyle Sopel Studio Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, www.sopel.com)
B. Jade. Pieces as follows: center, carved jadeite cabochon (longer axis - 1 cm); right side, nephrite carving with pointed top; clockwise from nephrite earring (New Zealand); nephrite Buddha; jadeite cabochon; nephrite brooch (New Zealand); and nephrite carved cabochon. (© photo by Dick Dietrich)
C. Jade simulant. Alabaster carving (height - 24 cm) dyed green to resemble jade. R.V. Dietrich collection. (© photo by Dick Dietrich)
DESCRIPTION: Two different gemrocks are
designated JADE(*See addition at
end of this subsection.): One consists wholly or largely
of the pyroxene
jadeite; the other consists wholly or largely of the amphibole nephrite
of the tremolite-actinolite series. Properties of these two rocks
that are similar follow:
Color - diverse shades of green (ranging from relatively dark spinach green to light apple green), creamy off-white, mauve, pink, reddish, orangish, yellowish, bluish lavender, lavender, tan, brown, gray and black; with exceptions, jadeite is vari-colored whereas much nephrite is spinach green, white or black; although some jade, as fashioned, exhibits only one highly saturated virtually homogeneous color, commonly it comprises unevenly distributed zones of different shades of the same color or a combination of those shades along with diverse shades of one or more of the other colors -- this gives pieces fashioned from it overall mottled appearances.
Light transmission - subtransparent to subtranslucent in thin pieces
Luster - waxy to softly glossy; many jades appear soft toned.
Breakage - subconchoidal to irregular fracture
Miscellaneous - Both jades are unusually tough and when polished and commonly feel especially smooth.
Additional properties, such as hardness and
specific gravity, are
given in the JADEITE andNEPHRITE entries.
following is part of a note that is on-line as a G&G eBrief
(received and accessed April 10, 2012):
"GIA’s laboratory reports will now call such stones omphacite jade. In doing so, we are expanding the term jade to encompass more minerals than just jadeite and nephrite, including those stones that test gemologically as jadeite but are actually omphacite. Such terminology also has been used in the published literature (e.g., I. Adamo et al., “Characterization of omphacite jade from the Po Valley, Piedmont, Italy,” Journal of Gemmology, Vol. 30, No. 3/4, 2006, pp. 215–226). And for years Chinese gemologists have argued that omphacite, as well as kosmochlor (another pyroxene), should be included with jadeite in the definition of Fei Cui, a term that the Chinese have traditionally used to refer to jadeite jade.
"Further discussion of this issue is provided in the News from Research section of GIA’s website.
"- Shane F. McClure
OTHER NAMES: Jade has been given several names, especially in the past. These names have been based on such diverse things as color, toughness or hardness, time (e.g., the period of a Chinese dynasty during which carvings were fashioned from the given jade), place where the jade was recovered or marketed, and use -- e.g., by whom or to fill what primary function. Many of these names, of which a large number have Chinese or Central American Indian origins, are given in gemological dictionaries --e.g., the "Dictionary of gems and gemology . . ." (GIA, 1974). A few examples follow:
In addition to using the common colors as adjectives, diverse hues of jade have been compared to many things and given those names as adjectives, especially by the Chinese: While making a rapid-fire scan of the "Dictionary of gems and gemology ... " (GIA, 1974), I saw the following: antelope ..., apple ..., betel nut ..., camphor ..., chalk ..., chestnut ..., coal ..., coral ..., date stone ..., duck bone ..., egg ..., fish belly ..., fruit flesh ..., ice ..., ivory ..., kingfisher ..., lilac ..., lime ..., quicksilver ..., sandalwood ..., and spinach .... Today, common color adjectives -- e.g., blue, lavendar, mauve, purple, black and white -- are used most often to describe the color of jade; however, additional adjectives also continue to be used allusively -- e.g., brown sugar ..., mutton(or sheep) fat ..., tiger's skin ...(Fuguan, 1979).
Use (by whom):
Use (for whom):
Use (for what):
A few frequently used adjectival designations now in vogue, which are usually used for jadeitic versus nephritic jade, are given in those entries.
USES: Jade has been fashioned into a large number of extremely diverse items used in jewelry and into both functional and ornamental pieces. A few examples follow: bangles, beads, brooches, buckles, buttons, earrings, hair-pins, hololiths, masks, pendants, rings, and stick pins; diverse carvings, many of which exhibit almost unbelievably intricate details (e.g., animals, birds, fish, gods, humans and insects); vessels (e.g., bowls, cups, incense burners and vases); both blades (etc.) and handles for cutlery; tools and weapons such as axes, knives and spearheads; congs; discs; seals; snuff bottles; amulets; masks; and fondling pieces. Some jade pieces -- e.g., carved bowls -- have gold inlay and/or gemstones. Fine photographs of many jade pieces are shown in several widely available publications (e.g., "Jade," edited by Keverne, 1992) as well as in the famous, albeit rare (edition was limited to 100 copies), Investigations and Studies in Jade, which describes the famous Bishop collection in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art -- see Bishop Collection in Appendix C. -- In L.J. Spencer's words (1971), this publication is "perhaps the most remarkable book ever produced . . . [--] two folio volumes [that] weigh 125 lb. . . . produced regardless of expense, and [including] . . . numerous coloured plates [that] are veritable works of art."
OCCURRENCES: See JADEITE and NEPHRITE entries.
NOTEWORTHY LOCALITIES: See Ward, 1999; Shigley et al. 2010, p.210-211; and JADEITE and NEPHRITE entries.
English name jade is
apparently derived from the Spanish piedra de ijada, which
means loin stone; in turn, that designation appears to have arisen from
the belief that jade had the power to cure kidney ailments -- it is a
of record that powdered jade was once prescribed as a cure for kidney
diseases. The name nephrite, being derived
from lapis nephriticus (kidney stone), is of similar
origin. Lai (2015) notes
that "Jade, pronounced 'yu' in Chinese, is a general term that
typically applies to aggregates of minerals [- e.g., marble]."
Some gemstones, carvings etc. of both jadeite and nephrite have been dyed or otherwise treated to change or enhance their color(s). The dye of some of these jades is easily discerned because concentrations are commonly irregular because of porosity/permeability differences in the original jade and concentrations of dyes are rarther obvious along fractures; unfortunately, however, for some jades -- e.g., most lavendar jade -- the dye is not easily detected. Another check for dye, which is used on occasion, is to rub the jade in question with a piece of cotton soaked with, for example, acetone to see if the cotton becomes discolored. In addition to dyeing, both jadeite and nephrite jade may have their colors bleached or enhanced by heat or irradiation. A common followup for jade that has been bleached is to impregnate it with, for example, some polymer in order to make it more stable. Yet another common treatment is waxing (e.g., with paraffin) of jade to improve its luster. Etc.,. . . etc. -- Along this line, although no classification relating to these diverse treatments is accepted universally, several experts and dealers tend to go along with the following: Type A - untreated; Type B - bleached and impregnated by polymers; Type C -dyed.
One treatment of certain jades leads to what has been called "magnetite jade." Schumann (1977, p.206) describes this jade as an "opaque black jade, electrolytically plated with gold . . . ." More recently, in her statement about jades from northern California, R.A. McArthur extends the description of this treatment and clarifies the results: "There is . . . a black jade with puffs of magnetite crystals in it. They polish the jade, then electroplate [it] with gold. Just the magnetite crystals pick up the gold. It is quite stunning." -- See the following web site: www.ganoksin.com/orchid/archive/200105/msg00258.htm
Some jades in jewelry have foil backings; others are composites -- i.e., doublets or triplets.
A caution -- jade should be kept away from intense heat and acids.
Jade, perhaps the most widely cherished gemrock, early gained its high standing in China, Central America, and New Zealand. As noted by Smith and Phillips (1962),
"According to the Chinese, jade is the prototype of all gems, and unites in itself the five cardinal virtues: Jin (charity), Gi (modesty), Yu (courage), Ketsu (justice) and Chi (wisdom). When powdered and mixed with water, it is supposed by them to be a powerful remedy for all kinds of internal disorders, to strengthen the frame and prevent fatigue, to prolong life, and, if taken in sufficient quantity just before death, to prevent decomposition."
In addition, as the frequently quoted statement of Richard Gump (1962), states,
[Jade] "has a 'certain something' that made a Chinese emperor offer 15 cities for a jade carving he could hold in one hand; that made Montezuma smile when he heard that Cortes was interested only in gold, since Montezuma's most precious possession was jade. That caused men of civilizations oceans and centuries apart to believe it to be the stone of immortality. That made some men ... speak through it to their gods, and still others spend years carving a single object from it."
In the past, several
colors and hues of jade
been attributed different meanings or uses -- for example, in ancient
China, bluish, yellow, green, red, white and black jades were related
to the heavens, the earth, east, south, west and north, respectively.
Also, jade has probably had more mystical qualities attributed to it
than any other gem material. Indeed, the literature about jade
gives examples ranging, in my opinion, from the proverbial ridiculous
to the sublime.
As a "jack-leg" musician I was particularly interested when I read "The tone of bells made of jade is repeatedly the subject of enthusiastic praise by poets of China and other lands" (unattributed Gems & Gemology, 1934, 81). Along this line, the following information is given by Kunz (1913):
"A series of oblong pieces of jade, of the same length width, usually about 1.8 feet long and 1.35 feet wide, and numbering from 12 to 24, constitute a chime, the difference in the notes emitted by the material when sharply struck depending upon the varying thickness of the separate pieces. ... [and] the 'stone chime' used in court and religious ceremonials, is composed of 16 undecorated stones, while a series known as the singers' chime consists of from 12 to 24 pieces carved into fantastic shapes."
Jade was chosen as the Mothers' Day gem by the American Gem Society in 1934. According to Bell (1934) reasons for this choice (over, for example, amethyst -- questioned as "more suitable for a grand-mother? Is it not associated with lavender and old lace?") were:
[It is] "a gem which could be procured in a wide price range -- one which could be used as a ring stone, for earrings, clips, brooches, beads, as a color accent to costumes. The smarter and deeper green shades of Jade can be selected for the younger mother -- the white, lighter green and lavendar shades for the older mother. ... it offers opportunities for successive gifts during the years. [and] The Chinese rank Jade above all precious stones and they believe it unites in itself the five cardinal virtues – Charity (which is love), Modesty, Courage, Justice, and Wisdom. These virtues are surely the attributes of Mother."
otherwise defined, was named
state gemstone of Alaska.
The "Emblem [Order?] of the Blue Jade" has been referred to as China's
highest honor; it received widespread attention in the United
States because of a book that reported its being awarded to Minnie
Vautrin, a native of Illinois, who as a missionary in China is said to
have been responsible for having saved as many as 10,000 people from
the marauding Japanese army when it invaded China in 1937;
Vautrin's medal is now in the collection of the Illinois State Museum
in Springfield, Illinois.
SIMULANTS: Since time immemorial, possession of something fashioned from jade has been widely desired. Consequently, because of its relative rarity, many materials that either resemble jade or could be made to resemble jade have gained their places in the marketplace as jade substitutes. The following list gives those compiled by Jill Walker for the book "Jade," edited by Keverne (1992) along with noteworthy additions of which I have become aware. A few of these are illustrated in the book about jadeite by Ou Yang (2003). One or more relatively easy ways to distinguish each of the simulants from jade by mascroscopic examination or some simple test is given in square brackets ([ ]) following most of the listed simulants. Along this line, however, it seems only prudent to note that some of these materials are not homogeneous, so their properties may differ markedly from specimen to specimen as well as from one to another part of individual specimens. Some people have learned how to distinguish jade from its simulants and even jadeite from nephrite, by merely examining specimens -- such expertise reflects their experiences over relatively long periods of time and involves acute observational powers and exceptionally fine memories of interdependent properties such as luster, texture, character of fracture surfaces, presence or lack of inclusions, feel of polished surfaces etc. Most of these experts, however, willingly -- and prudently -- admit that truly positive identifications may require the use of relatively sophisticated equipment. Therefore, anyone who wants a reliable identification of a jade piece should seek the aid of an expert who has both the experience and the availability of the appropriate equipment.
Several of many jade simulants follow:
Agate - The designation "Japanese jade" has
applied to "an opaque, nonvitreous, milky-white agate with
spinach-green splotches" (Messchært,
1966-67). - [inferior specific gravity].
Agalmatolite - name frequently applied to rocks made up largely of "pinite" (i.e., micro- or cryptocrystalline muscovite), pyrophyllite, ... See Appendix A. - [inferior hardness and specific gravity].
Agate - "an opaque, nonvitreous, milky-white agate with spinach-green splotches" (Messchært, 1966-67). - [inferior specific gravity]
Alabaster - see ALABASTER entry. - [inferior specific gravity].
Alaska jade - see pectolite rock.
Albite jade (also called Water Mill Stone)
- "albite, with small amounts of barium feldspar, pyroxene and
amphibole minerals" (Ou Yang, 2003); the material Crowningshield
(1957, p.36) described as "a combination of white albite feldspar and
green actinolite" seems also to belong here. - [lower S.G;
of it has been
fashioned into bangles, which do not ring like jade bangles (ibid.).].
- said to be aventurine (q.v.) in a filler in the Michigan
Mineralogical Society's Conglomerate (November 2012), with citations that I have been unable to obtain to get
original sources of the statements.
Amazonite (amazon stone) - sometimes referred to as Amazon jade or Colorado jade; see Feldspar.
American jade - see Vesuvianite; some material marketed as American jade is said to be a rock
that consists of idocrase and grossular (Michigan Mineralogical
Society's Conglomerate, November 2012); the "article" is a filler that includes
references that, to date, I
have not been unable to obtain to see if original sources of the data
Andes jade - name used in marketing a serpentinite -- shown to consist largely of antigorite and lizardite, along with magnesite and minor magnetite and garnets -- from central-western Argentina (Laurs, 2007).
Andradite - see Garnet.
Antigorite - see Serpentine.
Aragonite dyed, for example, green. -
[inferior hardness and effervesces with dilute HCl].
Aromatic polyester resin - The one described, "a new rough nephritic imitation," has other consituents as well as the resin. The one of which a photograph is shown includes steel discs, apparently to increase its overall specific gravity to more closely agree with that true nephrite. And, as the authors also note, other foreign materials -- e.g., concrete and stone, not otherwise described -- have been found in similar specimens. This complete note should be reviewed by anyone with any questions as to the identity of rough nephrite -- See Feng, et al., 2011.Aventurine quartz, dyed purple - recorded by Crowningshield (1960, p.51) as "purple beads sold as purple jade ... [but] not too attractive and, under any name, would not have had much value." -- see Quartz/Quartzite.
Aventurine quartz/quartzite (Henan jade, Indian jade, silver jade) - see Quartz/Quartzite.
Beryl - nontransparent green varieties. -
[lower specific gravity].
Black jade - some material so-labeled has
determined to be serpentine (Liddicoat, 1965, p.284). - [inferior
hardness]. See also remarks under Omphacite.
Bonamite - see Smithsonite.
Bowenite - see Serpentine.
Calcite (especially onyx marble -- see under TRAVERTINE entry; see also Marble on this list.) - dyed (in some cases, selectively) green, etc. This simulant is sometimes called by such misnomers as Imperial Mexican jade, Mexican jade or Tecali. - [effervesces with dilute HCl; inferior hardness].
Californite (or California jade) - see
Ceramics - polished ceramics of appropriate
colors. - [Appearance should suffice.].
especially chrysoprase, plasma or prase varieties - e.g., Australian jade, Nanyang jade, and Queensland jade. - [lower specific gravity].
other varieties (dyed) - [as preceding listing].
see also Yü on this list.
Chalchihuitl - this Aztec word for green stone is applied widely in Mexico to jade, BUT also to, for example, carvings made of other green gemrocks -- e.g., marble, serpentine, smithsonite, and turquoise.
Chlorite - see Serpentine.
Chrysoprase - see Chalcedony.
Cordierite - two carvings orginally thought
gray jadeite were determined to be cordierite (Liddicoat,
1967-1968, p.249). - [lower
gravity and superior hardness].
Dianite - name used, especially in Russia, for the material listed here as Siberian blue nephrite (Johnson et al., 2000, p.66-67).
Diopside-rich rock from Central America - perhaps this should not be considered to be a substitute in that diopside is a pyroxene with a composition close to that of jadeite. See also Omphacite, below. An apparently similar rock that consists largely of chrome diopside plus lesser amounts of chromite, pectolite and uvarovite garnet, from Hokkaido, Japan has been called hidaka jade.
Dolostone - fine grained and dyed. - [ inferior hardness; Dolomite effervesces, albeit slowly, when attacked by dilute HCl.].
Emerald - that used as a jade substitute is typically translucent to subtranslucent and not of the quality used for transparent emerald gemstones - [inferior specific gravity].
Feldspar (amazonite variety of microcline) - Amazon jade and Colorado jade. - [Appearance suffices.].
Fibrolite - see Sillimanite.
Fluorite - "Crudely worked ornaments of green fluorspar, possibly a cheap substitute for jade, have been found in China" (Ford, 1955). - [inferior hardness (H. 4)].
massive green (and several other colors -- see Webster, 1963, p.35) grossular - e.g., Garnet jade, South African jade, Transvaal jade and White jade - [hardness is greater than that of jade].
dark green andradite - Transvaal nephrite. - [Hardness is greater than that of jade.].
Ghost jade - a relatively coarse-grained (and, for this reason not considered jade), largely nephrite rock from western Nevada (Johnson et al. , 2000, p.67) - [large grainsize]. See AMPHIBOLE -RICH ROCKS entry.
Gibbsite dyed green - this simulant is recorded by Hurwit in Moses et al.(2001). - [inferior hardness and lower specific gravity].
***Glass, colored appropriately (usually some shade of green) and manufactured to be translucent - marketed as jade under such names as pate de riz. - [inferior hardness; common presence of gas bubbles or swirled striae, which can sometimes be seen by using only a handlens; vitreous rather than waxy or greasy luster].
Also devitrified glass including Iimori stone or Meta-jade - apparently a partially devitrified apatite-composition glass (see Walker and Mayerson in Moses et al., 2001). - [inferior hardness and conchoidal fracture].
See also volcanic ash on this list.
Goodletite - see GOODLETITE entry.
Greenland (Grønlandite per Johnson et al. (2000,p.74)) - a green to bluish green quartzite, the color of which is dependent upon the presence of fuchsite (a green, chromium-bearing mica) from the Nuuk (Godthåbsfjord) area of Greenland. - [superior hardness.] See also QUARTZITE entry.
Greenstone - this term is widely applied to several diverse rocks and a few minerals (e.g., metamorphosed basalt and chlorastrolite), most of which do not have characteristics that make them lilkely substitutes for jade. However, one so-designated rock, from the Langhko district, Shan State, Myanmar (formerly Burma), has apparently been so-used; it consists of "radiating aggregates of green-to-yellow long, prismatic fibrous crystals [-- apparently tremolite-actinolite --] imbedded in a fine- to medium-grained limestone" with diopside and quartz as sporadic minor constituents (Hliang, 1992) - [Appearance suffices.].
Grossular - see Garnet.
Grossular-vesuvianite (recorded as grossularite-idocrase) - two so-to-speak paired carvings, one with grossular predominant, the other with vesuvianite predominant are illustrated by Crowningshield (1967, p. 137-138). - see Garnet.
Gypsum (massive alabaster, light green) - Oriental
alabaster - [inferior hardness].
Hidaka jade - see Diopside-rich rock
Hydrogrossular - diversely colored polycrystalline, predominantly hydrogrossular masses have been carved and made into beads that have been marketed as rare jade (e.g.,McClure & Kammerling, 1992, p.264 and Hurwit in Moses, Reinitz & McClure, 2000, p.63-64). - [higher specific gravity].
Idocrase - see Vesuvianite.
Inky jadeite jade - see
Ivory - Walrus ivory is recorded (Ahrens, ca. 1986, p. 24) to have been used to "imitate" imperial jade. - [Close examination should suffice.].
Jade matrix (also called snowflake jade) - a rock consisting largely of a greenish amphibole, probably tremolite, plus an off-white feldspar, probably albite. - [Appearance suffices.].
Jadeolite - see Syenite.
Jasper (naturally or stained green) - e.g., Hsui yen, Jasper jade, Oregon jade and Swiss jade. - [Texture is typically relatively coarse compared to that of jade; specific gravity is less than that of jade.].
Kosmochlor (formerly called ureyite) - some jadeitic jade from, for example, Myanmar (formerly Burma) is made up of relatively large percentages of the pyroxene kosmochlor; some gemologists -- e.g., Htein and Naing (1994) - have advocated applying the name jade, with no modifiers, to these rocks. See MAW-SIT-SIT entry. See also statement in red type under Description suheading, this entry.
Kyet Tayoe - a relatively light apple-green variety of Maw-sit-sit. See MAW-SIT-SIT entry.
Longxi jade - tremolite rock from Sichuan Province, China (Johnson et al., 2000).
Malachite - Silver Peak jade. - [inferior hardness, effervesces with dilute HCl].
Malaysian jade - see Quartzite.
Manchurian jade - see Talc.
Marble (usually dyed) - especially marble with patterns similar to those of some jade; apparently some of this material has been marketed as Mexican jade -- see Michigan Mineralogical Society's Conglomerate (November 2012); in which a filler "article" includes references that, to date, I have not been unable to obtain to see if original sources of the information are cited. - [inferior hardness, effervesces with dilute HCl]. -- (See also Lai, 2015.)
Maw-sit-sit (jade-albite, an ill-chosen misnomer). - [multi-mineral makeup can be seen with naked eye in most cases, and with aid of 10x handlens in essentially all cases.]. see MAW-SIT-SIT entry.
***Meta-jade - an Iimori glass. - [see Glass].
Metavariscite - [inferior hardness (H. 3-4); lower specific gravity ~2.55; Appearance usually suffices.].
Microcline (variety amazonite) - see Feldspar.
[[Nephrite has apparently sometimes been represented in the marketplace as jadeite?!?]]
Nunderite - brown-spotted green rock consisting of jadeite plus plagioclase feldspar from Nundel, New South Wales, Australia. - [easily seen to be made up of two or more minerals].
Omphacite - rocks composed of largely of this pyroxene -- which is closely related to jadeite, diopside and aegirine -- have been used in lieu of jade for carving of such things as masks in Central America for decades; more recently, it has become common, both as smooth pebbles (rough) and fashioned cabochons and small carvings, in Hong Kong and Chinese markets. The Central America material, according to William Foshag (1957), an old friend from the Smithsonian, has been called diopside-jadeite (see also Diopside-rich rock ... listing); the material marketed in Asia as "inky jadeite jade" is described in detail by Mei et al. (2003) as consisting greater than 85 per cent omphacite plus jadeite, kosmochlor, opaque metal oxides and "specks of graphite or possibly a black organic material." This "jade simulant" has been simulated by dark green to nearly black nephrite jade and black, or nearly black, serpentine. - [Omphacite rocks do not really look like any typical jade, but it may be wise, when "black jade" is encountered to have someone who has the appropriate equipment check its refractive indices.]. See also statement in red type under Description suheading, this entry.
Oregon jade - "1.European misnomer for a variety of green jasper. 2.Massive green grossular rock found in Oregon; term also applied to other green, jadelike rocks, e.g., plasma, found in Oregon and California" (Mitchell, 1985) - [see Garnet and Jasper on this list].
Pectolite rock - name sometimes used for a tough massive fine grained pale green pectolite-rich rock that somewhat resembles jade. That from the vicinity of Point Barrow, Alaska has sometimes been called Alaska jade - [inferior hardness; decomposed by warm dilute HCl].
Pinite - see Agalmatolite.
Plasma - see Chalcedony.
Prase - see Chalcedony.
Prehnite - Japanese jade. - [gelatinizes with HCl].
Pseudophite - see Styrian jade.
Pyrophyllite - see Agalmatolite
Pyroxene jade - see remarks under Omphacite.
Quartz/quartzite (green aventurine variety) - has been marketed as imperial yu, Indian jade, Regal jade, and silver jade. These quartz-rich gemstones have been described variously as quartz or quartzite; in my opinion, the most dependable description (Webster, 1949) indicates that at least the one termed Indian jade, is a quartzite with fuchsite inclusions. - [lower specific gravity; conchoidal fracture]. See also Chalcedony and Jasper and QUARTZITE entry.
Quartzite dyed green (sometimes marketed as Malaysian jade), pink or yellow OR selectively dyed to resemble moss-in-snow jade. - [same criteria as given for Quartz/quartzite].
Queensland jade - a chrysoprase chalcedony. - [see Chalcedony].
Red jade - reddish quartzite. - [see
Resin - replicas of hand-carved jade items such
as talismans that have been "cast in quality, translucent resin with a
jade finish" are advertized in mail order catalogs. See also Aromatic polyester resin.
Rhodesian jade - see Verite.
Saponite and/or talc; several other names --e.g., lardite, lard stone, pagodaite, Honan jade, and Souchow jade -- have been applied to these rocks. - [inferior hardness].
Saussurite (also called Dushan jade, jade tenace, Nanyang jade, and Swiss jade) -This alteration product of some basaltic composition igneous rocks, or more particularly to their plagioclase feldspar component, consists largely of albite (sodium-rich plagioclase feldspar) and epidote and/or zoisite (both epidote group minerals) and commonly also includes lesser percentages of calcite and sericitic mica plus or minus one or more of the zeolite group minerals and/or prehnite. Some saussurite appears macroscopically homogeneous -- indeed it was once considered to be a mineral species. - [Distinguishing saussurite from jade by macroscopic means can be difficult -- e.g., both its typical hardness and specific gravity fall within the range of those of jade; thus, it is fortunate, and noteworthy, that saussurite is rarely found in pieces of desirable color that are large enough to be carved (etc.) so it has found little use as a jade substitute.].
Serpentine (in some cases dyed or otherwise treated). Several serpentine-rich rocks and mixtures of serpentine and other minerals, especially chlorite, have been called jade. (Interestingly, a coated nephrite carving is recorded by Wentzell (2004) to mimic serpentine.) So far as the serpentine rocks that have been called jade in the marketplace, most have some modifying (redeeming?) adjective --commonly based on their source area -- modifying the jade designation: Among these are Korean jade (see below), Marble Bar jade, New jade, Oceanic jade, Pilbara jade, Qilian jade, Styrian jade (see separate listing), Sushou (Souchow) jade (see below), Xiuyan jade and Xinyi jade. Marble Bar jade and Pilbara jade, by the by, are two designations given one and the same serpentine-chlorite rock that comes from the vicinity of Marble Bar, Western Australia. - [inferior hardness (H. <5); characteristic waxy luster not characteristic of jade (especially jadeite)]. Four serpentine family members follow:
antigorite - Korean jade.
bowenite - this variety of serpentine from several localities has been used as a jade substitute. Examples are Milford Sound, New Zealand where it is commonly called New Zealand jade or, less commonly, tangiwai -- tangawaite or tangiwai is a Maori term meaning tears; Afghanistan, where it was originally called sang-i-yashm and only recently equated with bowenite; and China, where it has been given the names Sushou jade and Korean jade. In addition, bowenite from its type locality in Rhode Island has been referred to as Rhode Island jade.
verde antique (serpentine marble) - see SERPENTINE entry.
williamsite - massive variety of antigorite, commonly containing chromite (see Fig. C on SERPENTINE entry).
Serpentine-calcite rocks - selectively dyed and commonly coated with, for example, wax or paraffin - [Wax or paraffin can be detected by heating; both serpentine and calcite have inferior hardnesses; calcite effervesces with dilute HCl.].
Siberian blue nephrite (also called dianite) - a massive blue (diverse hues) quartz, tremolite, magnesio-arfvedsonite rock, the texture of which resembles nephrite jade from an unspecified location, in Siberia (Johnson et al., 2000).
Sillimanite (variety fibrolite) - [Distinguishing this material from jade can be difficult in hand specimen. Fortunately it is relatively rare in pieces large enough to be carved (etc.), and consequently has been so-used only rarely.].
Silver peak jade - misleading name sometimes given malachite - [inferior hardness (H. 3½ -4); effervesces with warm dilute HCl; appearance].
Smithsonite (apple-green variety also referred to as bonamite) - [inferior hardness, effervesces with warm dilute HCl].
Soapstone - see Talc.
South African jade - see Garnet.
Steatite - see Talc.
Styrian jade - rock consisting largely of an aluminous serpentine (sometimes incorrectly called pseudophite), plus pinite (name sometimes applied to massive fine grained mica, typically muscovite) and clinochlore (a chlorite). Much, if not all, of this rock that has been carved into ornaments and marketed as a jade substitute has come from east of Graz, Styria State, Austria - [inferior hardness].
Syenite (marketed as jadeolite) - a deep-green chromiferous syenite from Bhamo, Myanmar (formerly Burma). - [Appearance is sufficient to distinguish this multi-grained rock from jade.].
Talc (as soapstone or steatite) - e.g.,Fujian jade, Honan jade, Manchurian jade, Shanghai jade, and Souchaw (=Suzhou) jade. - [inferior hardness].
Transvaal jade - hydrogrossular from Bufflesfontein - [higher specific gravity].
Turkish jadeite - this material is described as "a hard purple rock from Turkey with a moderately high jadeite content." The "moderately high jadeite content" is, however, described as typically less than eight (a "typo" for eighty?) percent jadeite (Ward, 1999).
Verde antique - see Serpentine.
Verite (also called Rhodesian jade) - a greenish rock composed largely of the green mica fuchsite along with scattered grains of rutile and one or more clay minerals - [inferior hardness].
Vesuvianite jade - a massive compact vesuvianite also called californite and frequently marketed as either American jade or California jade. - [Although some of this material easily fractures in so-to-speak random directions, for the most part, if the resemblance is good, it is difficult to distinguish from jade. Consequently, optical mineralogical tests, such as index of refraction determinations, are requrired.]. To find further information, recall that vesuvianite is recorded as idocrase in some books. See VESUVIANITE entry.
***Victoria stone - name sometimes given
stone -- see Glass.
Volcanic ash - "green volcanic ash in silica" is
recorded by Weldon (2007). I am not sure what this is because no
description is given; perhaps it is glass.
***Wax (as in candles) - some wax figures, especially those with shapes that mimic Chinese genre jade carvings, closely resemble jade - [inferior hardness; different "feel"].
White jade - actually a composite of quartz and albite with small amounts of nephrite from central Wyoming. - [Multi-mineral makeup suffices to make distinction.].
Williamsite - see Serpentine.
Yü - "The Chinese
which is translated to the strict term Jade in English (i.e.,
and Jadeite) is much more loose in the original Mandarin and
only any hard green/greenish stone that can be worked for lapidary
purposes but also carnelian (Man Ao). ... Man Yü and sometimes Man
Ao is a reference to a red form of Agate or Carnelian which is very
popular in China" (Jeffrey de Fourestier, personal communication,
2004). - [depends on stone used; if agate or carnelian, see
Zoisite - the variety thulite is said to have been substituted for pink jade - [see ZOISITE entry].
In addition, gemstone doublets or triplets have been made of such materials as quartz and glass along with jadeite, and in some cases dyed. Also, carvings (etc.) that are so-to-speak assemblages that consist of "thin, hollowed-out shells of natural-color green jadeite jade and filled with a transparent, colorless plastic" have been marketed (Kammerling and Fryer, 1995, p.266-267).
REFERENCES: Foshag, 1957; Gump, 1962; Hobbs, 1982; Keverne, 1992; Ou Yang, 2003.
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