The beautiful gemstone Jade has been used for more than 5,000 years. It has been used historically for manufacturing weapons because of the stone’s unmatched durability. Its use has been linked historically to healing, good fortune, protection, and blessing. Its name derives from French l’ejade which refers to the kidneys or loins, as Jade was thought to heal these areas of the body with high efficiency.
1. The Physical Properties of Jade **
It is important to clarify that Jade comes in many colors and is not always green as is commonly thought. Both variations of the stone are rarely semi-transparent and more often are translucent or opaque. There are two different categories of Jade geologically speaking. These are nephrite and jadeite, although the two stones are similar, they vary in appearance and composition. Jade is a sturdy stone; on the Mohs scale, it ranks 6.5 - 7 jadeite and 6 - 6.5 nephrite.
Jadeite may be found in many colors, mainly ranging from white to dark green. On occasion, this stone may be found in other colors such as gray, pink, lilac, red, blue, yellow, orange, black or others caused by impurities considered to be pyroxene which is rich in sodium and aluminum.
Nephrite is more often in tones ranging from cream-white to dark green. It is a mixture of three types of minerals which contain calcium, magnesium, and iron.
2. The History of Jade **
Jade has been part of Chinese history for hundreds of years. This beautiful stone was in jewelry, ornaments, and decorations long before the rock was in other countries.
The Chinese, however, were not the only culture to use this beautiful stone for diverse purposes. For the Aztec, Mayan and Olmec people there was nothing more highly valued than Jade. Mesoamerican cultures also treasured this stone. Additionally, in India a 5-foot statue made entirely of Jade may be found in honor of Mahavira.
3. The Lore of Jade **
Legend tells of dragons weeping for the Chinese people during the Mongol invasion of China. Their tears fell to earth and turned to jade when hitting the ground. Also, to the New Zealand people, Jade is referred to as Pounamu. The legend there tells of a giant water-being who took a local woman as his wife but feared her husband coming to retrieve her. He decided that no one would have the woman, if not he, so she turned her into the water and laid her in the river. Her children are said to be the jade stones found in the river.
4. The Metaphysical Properties of Jade **
Jade is thought to have a positive effect on the person wearing it, some of the many benefits of using this stone are peace, clear-mindedness, protection, and harmony. Often thought of as a good luck charm and a powerful healing stone. Jade is said to encourage creativity, balance the nervous system and soothe cardiac rhythm. It is also thought of as a symbol of growth vitality and longevity.
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