August 04, 2016 2 min read

Jade is highly revered in China, with a cultural significance that dates back thousands of years and a value that was cemented by China’s Qing Dynasty emperors. However, much confusion has been created over the use of the name jade. To clarify, most jade items that you may see from museums that seemingly have oriental roots, the ones that do not look like jewelry but more like carvings, these are mostly nephrites. Pictures below are some examples for you to see.

 

Chinese nephrite: hetian white jade carving

So is nephrite a form of jade? Yes it is. More precisely,jade is a common family name of the gemstone and is further distinguished under two forms: nephrite and jadeite. To help you understand the difference, let’s first take a look at some pictures of jadeite below.

 

Burmese jadeite: natural premium jade ring, earring, pendant jewelry

 As you can see, typically nephrite is found in shades of white or green and its color is mostly pale and opaque, and not so vibrant and lustre-like compared to jadeite. In fact, what’s special about jadeite is that it can come in a wide range of attractive colors. The picture below illustrates the variety of colors that jadeite may come in.

colours of jadeite jade

Owing to the nature of the material, the type of jade that is used for making jewelry is almost always jadeite instead of nephrite. This is especially true for the high end exquisite pieces that you typically may see or hear about at the famous auction houses of Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

In comparison, nephrite is a much more abundant type of material compared to jadeite which is much more rare and precious. Strangely, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) remains the only place in the world that produces high quality jadeite rivalled by none other places. Our article "Where jade comes from?" will go deeper about the roots of jade, to learn more click here for the link.


At Jadeite Atelier...

Every piece of jade that is used in our jewelry is guaranteed to be from origin Myanmar (Burma) and of certifiable jadeite grade in type A. That is 100% natural and free from any form of chemical treatment. We have another article about jade certification that you can read to learn more, click here for the link.


Jadeite Atelier: modern style jade jewelry


To ensure that our products are controlled at a high quality and of ethical origins, we source our jade in raw form directly through official channels from Myanmar (Burma). Each and every piece of jade that we use is hand cut by ourselves here locally in Hong Kong. Ready to see what sort of jade jewelry we have to offer? Click here to see our Aqua | 水 collection.

 

Jadeite Atelier: green jade earring stud