Geology / History

Nephrite is a type of Jade & a variety of the calcium & magnesium-rich amphibole mineral Actinolite. The other mineral species known as jade is jadeite, which is a variety of pyroxene. Nephrite jade possess mainly grays & greens with occasional yellows, browns or whites. Jadeite Jade, can also contain blacks, reds, pinks & violets. Nephrite Jade is an ornamental stone used in carvings, beads & cabochon cut gemstones. Canada is the principal source of modern lapidary nephrite. Nephrite Jade was used mostly in pre-1800 China as well as in New Zealand.

The name Nephrite is derived from lapis nephriticus, which in turn is derived from Greek, which means kidney stone. Accordingly, Nephrite Jade was once believed to be a cure for kidney stones.

Nephrite has the following synonyms & varieties: aotea, axe-stone, B.C. Jade, beilstein, kidney stone, lapis nephriticus, nephrit, nephrita, pounamu, New Zealand greenstone, New Zealand Jade, spinach Jade & talcum nephriticus. Tomb Jade or grave Jade are names given to ancient burial Nephrite pieces that have a brown or chalky white texture as a surface treatment.

Metaphysical Properties

A type of Jade. Stone of longevity. Brings strength, fortitude, courage, protection, persistence & completion. Helps us to stand our ground.  Balances heart chakra & is deeply relaxing. Nephrite is said to bless whatever it touches. It is the ultimate "Dream Stone".

Revered in ancient cultures as well as today to access the spiritual world, gain insight into ritualistic knowledge, encourage creativity and dream-solve. It is cherished as a protective talisman, assuring long life & a peaceful death. Also considered a powerful healing stone.An amulet of good luck & friendship, Jade signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility & oneness, dispelling the negative & encouraging one to see truth.

Mineralogy

Group: Amphibole Mineral

Crystal System: Monoclinic

Composition: Ca2(Mg,Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2

Form/Habit: Massive Fibrous

Hardness: 6- 6.5

Cleavage: None

Fracture: Splintery to granular

Lustre: Vitrious, silky, waxy

Streak: Colourless

Specific Gravity: 2.95 (+.15, -.05)

Transparency: Translucent to opaque

R.I: 1.606 - 1.632

Colour: Translucent to opaque & often mottled. Light to dark green, yellow to brown, white, gray, black

Birefringence: Usually not detectable

Pleochroism: None

Fluorescense: Inert