Jade is a semi-precious stone which is mostly green and is derived from various silicates. The name “jade” – “loin stone” – comes from the Spanish term “piedra de ijada,” attributed to the stone’s reputed efficacy in curing ailments associated with the area, especially the kidneys. Jade is divided into two categories: Jadeite, which is the scientific name for precious jades; and Nephrite, which is the name used for darker jades. The stone has a Mohs scale hardness of 5.5-6.
Burma is the world’s sole producer of precious jades. Other jades can be found in Guatemala and Canada. “Imperial Jade,” which is the highest classification of jade stones, is the most precious gems in the world, with market value similar to that of a same-carat diamond.
Jade plays a central role in Chinese culture and its popularity has led to “jade” becoming the generic name for all gems. For thousands of years and to this day jade is used in Chinese culture in a wide variety of ways, including jewelry production, statues and more.