JADE NEPHRITE BLOCK
Stunning Jade Nephrite Block ready for slabbing or carving. Colour is dark green to black, showing slight translucency. This variant of jade is popular and is used, in particular, for carving into super-lustrous pendants and jewellery. One of the toughest rocks on the planet. The Black colour is from an inclusion of Iron of up to 8%. The stone has parallel faces which makes it easy to hold in a vice for diamond saw cutting. The slight translucency that I can see is with a strong Jade torch. This stuff is best polished with aluminium oxide then diamond to get the mirror finish.
Cowell, South Australia, Australia.
7.2cm x 6.1cm x 6.2cm, 722g.
The Name Jade
Jade is a name that was applied to ornamental stones that were being brought to Europe from China and Central America. It wasn’t until 1863 that it was realized that Jade was being applied to two different minerals. The two minerals are both exquisite for the purposes that jade is put to task and are hard to distinguish from each other. Now both are called Jade.
Toughest Natural Stone in the World
The toughness of Nephrite Jade is remarkable. It has a strength greater than steel and was put to work by many early civilizations for axes, knives and weapons. It was later that jade became a symbolic stone used in ornaments and other religious artifacts during the eons.
Today jade is still valued for its beauty. Its many colors are appreciated, but its the emerald green color that jadeite produces so well, that is highly sought after by artwork collectors. This emerald green jade called “Imperial Jade” is colored by chromium. Other colors are influenced by iron (green and brown) and manganese is thought to produce the violet colors. Nephrite is found in few colours black, green and creamy white, while jadeite can have the full range of jade’s colors.
There is some miss leading info in the net so I thought it is important to advise that there are three places in Australia where I know good Nephrite Jade comes from. These locations are Tamworth New South Wales, Cowell South Australia and Pilbara Western Australia. Jade is valuable and many unscrupulous people out there are selling fake Jade, AKA Serpentine, Glass and other imitations. This is genuine Jade.
A variety of actinolite, Nephrite is one of the two minerals called jade. The other jade mineral is jadeite. Jade has been used for eons in China and Central America as an ornamental and religious stone of deep significance. The nephrite jade was used mostly in China and New Zealand, although both have been used in both regions. Nephrite is more abundant than jadeite and has few color varieties, ranging only from creamy white to green to such a dark green it becomes black.
Actinolite is a relatively common mineral in some metamorphic rocks. It belongs to a series with the minerals tremolite and ferro-actinolite. A series occurs when ions can freely substitute between each other. In this case, when iron is predominant the mineral is ferro-actinolite and when magnesium is predominant the mineral is tremolite. Actinolite is the intermediate member.
So just to sum that up Nephrite is a variety of Actinolite but not all Actinolite is Nephrite.