What is Jade?
The name "Jade" actually applies to two completely different stones, nephrite and jadeite. They are both strong, colourful gemstones that have been prized by various cultures around the world for thousands of years. British Columbia is home to the largest deposit of nephrite jade in the world.
Nephrite Jade, a silicate of calcium and magnesium, is found in many countries, predominantly in Western Canada. It is referred to historically as Chinese Jade, or The Stone of Heaven, revered by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. Nephrite is prized for its special qualities — its extreme toughness, (the toughest of any natural stone), its alluring translucency and its smooth polished feel. Colors of Nephrite Jade range from pure white to all different shades of green.
All of the products from Jade City Jade Store are 100% pure Canadian Nephrite Jade. No artificial colouring or dyes are used to enhance the colour of Jade. We guarantee it.
Jadeite Jade (a silicate of sodium and aluminum) is a comparatively new Jade introduced to China from Burma in 1784. Gem quality Jadeite is extremely rare and thus extremely expensive. Often mislabeled as "Chinese Jade," (it was never found in China), Jadeite is slightly harder than Nephrite. Colours of Jadeite range from white to black with intense greens and lavender being the most sought after. Jadeite is often colour enhanced and expert advice should be sought when investing in Jadeite jewelry.
Where does this Jade come from?
Right here from our mine in BC, of course!
We specialize in nephrite jade which 90% of the worlds market is currently in British Columbia.
How is Jade cut?
Nephrite Jade is an extremely tough material to work. It is fibrous in structure, similar to a handful of human hair. Due to this structure it cannot be cut with chisels, so it has to be ground using very hard, sharp abrasives — diamonds. All of the saw blades we use have diamonds imbedded in a soft matrix. This allows the soft matrix to slowly wear away exposing new diamond. It is the hardness of the diamond particles being dragged over the softer Jade that does the cutting.
Is Jade easy to carve?
We wish we could say yes, but sadly, no! Nephrite Jade is the strongest natural stone in the world. It can only be hand carved with diamond-tipped tools, making jade not only an extremely difficult and time consuming stone to carve, but a very expensive one. Everything we sell is hand carved by some of the most talented artists giving every piece its own unique charm.
Where are the carvings and sculptures made?
All of our Jade products are carved on site in Jade City as well as by the most talented carvers found all over the world. During the summer months our visitors to Jade City can stop by the saw tables and work area and see the cutting and polishing of jade bookends, coasters and other products available for purchase in the store.
What makes some pieces more expensive than others?
There are 3 main criteria that can make Jade more expensive.
Weight: This ones easy. The amount of jade in the piece can determine the price.
Quality: If you take a look at "What Determines Higher and Lower Quality Jade" located under this question, you can get an idea of what determines the quality of Nephrite Jade. Higher quality would obviously determine the price of the piece.
Effort: With Nephrite Jade being so strong, every line, every hole, and every cut you make in the stone is a lot of effort. Sometimes small pieces with a lot of detail are more expensive than larger pieces with less detail.
What determines higher and lower quality Jade?
Translucency: The more light that can pass through a piece, the higher quality it is.
Inclusions: While a lot of people like the different patterns that are created by various imperfections in Jade(iron inclusions, calcium veins), they are found quite commonly, and therefore not as rare(and therefore valuable) as a piece with none.
Colour: This is, again, a little bit subjective, with some people preferring certain shades of green over others, but in terms of rarity (and therefore value), a vivid and consistent green colour is best, rather than a pale green, yellow-green, brown-green.
Can I buy a piece of natural unpolished jade?
Jade City Jade Store offers the sale of raw or unpolished cuts of Jade in many sizes and qualities to suit a wide variety of needs. You can also purchase raw or unpolished Jade online or contact our store via phone or email.
Do you supply Dealers?
Jade City Jade Store can supply raw jade for the use of carving, landscaping, art and many other projects, please email us or contact us by phone to discuss your jade needs.
Nephrite Jade is the toughest naturally-occurring stone in the world. While it's common knowledge that diamond is the hardest stone, meaning it is the most resistant to scratching, it's less well known that diamond is actually quite fragile. Nephrite Jade is not as hard as diamond, but it is the least fragile stone, which allows it to be carved into such delicate and intricate pieces, as well as solid bangles, without fear that they'll break at the slightest touch.
Jade is a symbol of purity and serenity, signifying wisdom gathered in tranquility. Associated with the heart chakra, increases love and nurturing. It is a protective stone, keeping the wearer from harm. It is believed to attract good luck, and friendship. Jade releases negative thoughts as it soothes the mind. Jade removes toxins, rebinds cellular and skeletal systems, heals stitches, and balances fluids within the body. It assists in fertility and childbirth.
How Nephrite Jade Forms
There are many ways that nephrite jade can originate, but the following description is intended to give the reader a general concept of how jade in BC may have formed.
Nephrite Jade(Ca2(Mg,Fe2+)5(Si8O22)(OH)2) is a metamorphic stone: a rock that has been changed from its original form due to a change in heat and/or pressure. In order for Nephrite Jade to occur, the correct ratio of the following is required: calcium, iron, magnesium, silicate and water.
First magma rises to the sea floor forming fresh oceanic crust. This new crust cracks as it cools and ocean water begins to flow through, dissolving, altering and creating new minerals in the process. Some of the new minerals formed include serpentine, a hydrous(containing water) mineral rich in iron, magnesium and silicate.
As the ocean floor moves over millions of years, via plate tectonics, limestone( a calcium-bearing mineral) may eventually form on its surface. Eventually the sea floor will collide with a continent. During this collision mountains are formed, pressures and temperatures rise, and, where the serpentinite and limestone meet, new minerals such as Nephrite Jade may form. Just as you change your clothing to suit the climate outside, minerals change to suit their environment.
In Chinese Culture
It has been worn and revered for thousands of years, and for a long time was reserved only for royalty. Wearing Jade was believed to bring good luck and prevent harm from befalling the wearer. No stone is more significant in Chinese culture than Jade, featuring in their mythology, religion, philosophy, folklore, social life and art. Ancient Chinese culture depicts Jade as a religious object, representing wisdom and a treasure of a king. Coined as the "Stone of Heaven", Jade possessed a power to ward off evil, protecting the owner from bad luck. The character for Jade(玉) looks very similar for the character for king(王) and is to represent the connection between the earth and the heavens. It was believed to grant many health benefits and preserve bodies after death, so some even consumed powdered jade in their foods and drinks.
In Maori Culture
The Maori people of New Zealand also revere jade(known as greenstone in NZ) and the use of it has been traced back as far as the 12th century. Due to its strength, it was often made into weapons, but was also used for jewelry. In Maori culture, they believed by working a piece of Jade into a pendant, they were putting some of their life force, or "manna", into the piece, and therefore they would strengthen one another by exchanging pendants.