Cochise College           Student Papers in Geology

Geology Home Page                   physical geology  historical geology  planetary  gems           

Roger Weller, geology instructor

by Kelcie Hughes
Physical Geology
Fall 2015



            When you think of jade your mind instantly travels to Asia where jade is commonly known over there. Over 12,000 years ago the first jade gem was found in the Immortal Cave in Haicheng of Liaoning Province. Jade has a lot of meaning, power and significance in the Chinese culture. To the Chinese culture they believe greatly in the supposed powers jade possesses. Jade encompasses both yin and yang, earning its name The Stone of Heaven.


History of Jade

        Since the neolithic age the Chinese have been working with jade and it still continues today. From 1600 B.C. to 1050 B.C (Shang Dynasty) jade was only used for those of royalty and ceremonial objects such as jade knives, daggers, scepters, and burial suits. In the 200 A.D Chinese dictionary jade is defined as the fairest stone and is blessed with 5 virtues: charity, rectitude, wisdom, courage and equity. However, towards the end of the Tang dynasty the uses of jade changed and it was used for more material objects in the royal court.


Two Types of Jade

        There are two different types of jade: nephrite jade and jadeite, each are a version of jade, but have distinct differences. Nephrite jade is made up of calcium, magnesium, and silicate, whereas jadeite is made up of aluminium and silicate. Each are both equally beautiful, valuable and tough. Nephrite jade is typically a creamy white to a deep olive green color and can sometimes be brown and black. Its surface is typically smooth and has a waxy polish to it. Jadeite is white-gray green, blue or blue-green, emerald, lavender, pink, orange, red and a greenish black or black. Wow! That’s a lot of colors. It is rarer than nephrite, which is why it tends to be more on the expensive side.


Jade's Color Meanings

       Black Jade- strong, protective energies to ward off negative assault, physical or psychological to include self limitation.

       Blue Jade- calms the mind, encouraging peace and reflection, and is valuable in promoting visions and dreams.

       Brown Jade- is said to be grounding, it connects to the earth and provides comfort and reliability.

       Lavender Jade- it alleviates emotional hurt and provides spiritual nourishment, its energy is of the highest etheric spectrum.

       Orange Jade- brings joy and teaches the interconnectedness of all beings, it is energetic and quietly stimulating.

       Purple Jade- encourages mirth and happiness, and purifies one’s aura, it dispels the negative and increases one’s level of discernment.

       Red Jade- a stone of life-force energy, dispelling fear that holds one back, and urges one to action.

       White Jade- filters distractions, pulls in relevant, constructive information and aids in decision making.

       Yellow Jade- is cheerful and energetic, a stone of assimilation and discrimination.

Information pulled from:



Common Uses & Purposes

            It is said that jade is the calm in the middle of a storm. If you were to keep jade in your pocket and stroked it from time to time, it is believed that it will recharge your energy and will guard you against illness. At times it can be used to calm shock or fear in anyone old or young while in the hospital, away from home or family. Jade has many uses including being able to cure pathological normality, feelings of guilt and defeatism. When people travel they tend to bring jade with them because it prevents illness and can protect children and animals from straying off or getting injured. Jade harbors chi, which is your life force energies and is great for relaxing outside, hiking, or even gardening; it calms the soul.

            Being called the crystal of love, it gives support when it comes to new love and increases

fidelity and trustworthiness. Jade not only helps everyday people, but is helpful in the career world as well. It aids nurses, doctors, veterinarians, and any healer in making good diagnosis and applications. When it comes to educators there is support for them as well and uplifts all military personnel. When jade is in the form of a pendant or necklace it serves as protection against deception and abuse for financial or sexual gain. Jade is the symbol for peace and strength, so whenever you are feeling weak or out of peace, turn to jade. It is the do-all gem!



Oh, the Places You’ll Find Jade

            Jade is commonly known in China, but here in your United States of America you can find it as well. In central Wyoming, mining for jade has become so popular that they nicknamed it “green gold”. When jade is mined it is usually found with hydrothermal alteration minerals such as: sericite, chlorite, epidote, zoisite, and clinozoisite. If you find a cluster of these minerals, you know you are near jade, you’ll just need to keep on digging. However, it is not high quality jade that you will find, most of the jade gems found are cobbles, boulders and pebbles that surround Crooks Gap and Jeffrey City. Nephrite Jade doesn’t like to show its outside structure unless you are in central Wyoming, where it is sometimes found in pseudomorphic quartz.



Is it Really Real?

            Sometimes when buying jade you may not be able to tell if it is actually real or just a fluke. These steps will allow you to see if what you are buying is actually worth the money asking for.

       Step 1- research the different types of jade, if you are more knowledgeable of the product you are buying you are less likely to be hoaxed.

       Step 2- learn what minerals or materials can be passed off as jade such as: serpentine, prehnite, grossular garnet, Malaysia jade, & aventurine quartz.

       Step 3- try to hold the jade up into the light and see if you can see granular intertwinings.

       Step 4- make sure you are aware of the different techniques people can use to manipulate other objects into looking like jade, such as by dyeing, bleaching, or creating jade doubles.

       Step 5- test how heavy the object actually is, jade tends to be heavier than it looks.

       Step 6- if you tap jade against another stone and it sounds plastic then it is typically fake.

       Step 7- test how the jade feels in your hands, it should feel cold, smooth and soap-like.

       Step 8- scratch jade against an object, it will scratch glass and metal.

       Step 9- test jades weight, it will have a very high density.



In conclusion, jade is all around us and has been here for thousands of years. We use it for many purposes and some we never even thought of. Jade comes in all different shapes, sizes, and even color. It is a precious gem and is very valuable!