Difference Between Jade and Jadeite

Difference between jadeite and nephrite

Jade is a mineral that is mined in many places around the world, and it is popularly used for jewelry. However, jade doesn’t necessarily refer to the creamy green stone you have in mind. First, we will need to establish that there are two types of jade - nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is typically white and light green, while jadeite comes in an array of colors like blue, black, dark green, red, yellow, brown, and lavender. Jadeite is still however more popularly known for being the milky green stone we mentioned earlier.

Jade in general is cherished in many cultures from around the world, especially with the Chinese. Let’s take a look at jadeite vs nephrite.

What is Jadeite?

Like other valuable stones and jewels, jadeite forms within metamorphic rocks that have been exposed to high heat and pressures deep below the surface of the Earth, and it only surfaces as a result of the movement of tectonic plates or erosion. Jadeite is deemed as a rare, high quality jade and is a pyroxene material used in a variety of jewelry. Burma or Myanmar is the biggest supplier of jadeite, supplying roughly 70-90% of the world’s jadeite, while other countries like the USA, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Japan make up for the remaining 10-30%. The value of jadeite differs by the color.

What is Nephrite?

Similar to jadeite, nephrite is also formed within metamorphic rocks, but with less pressure than jadeite. Due to this key difference, nephrite is a lot softer than jadeite and is available in many more countries around the world. Nephrite is made from magnesium, calcium, tremolite, and actinolite. As mentioned earlier, the colors usually range from white to light green, but you can occasionally find other colors like brown and grey. The color of nephrite is not as vibrant as jadeite, and it is more widely available in the gem market at a lower value than jadeite. Nephrite can be found in countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, and Taiwan.

Now that we have established what jadeite and nephrite is, let’s take a look at the key differences.

Key Differences between Jadeite and Nephrite

Difference between jadeite and nephrite