So what's the difference between Jade and Jadeite?

So what's the difference between Jade and Jadeite?

Jade carving and rounded green jade stoneI had a customer ask me this question ... so a quick answer is this.  "Jade" refers to a green carvable stone, and depending on where it is coming from it will be either Jadeite or Nephrite.

What are the main differences between Jadeite and Nephrite?

First of all Jadeite and Nephrite are very different minerals.

They have different properties:  

  • densities
  • hardness
  • crystal structure
  • chemical composition
Gemstone Properties Jadeite (rarer) Nephrite
Hardness 6.5 - 7 on Mohs Scale 6 - 6.5 on Mohs Scale
Specific Gravity 3.30 - 3.50 2.90 - 3.02
Chemical Characteristics Sodium & aluminium Calcium & magnesium
Colour Wide variations in colours. The well know green but also yellow, pink and lavender.   Usually found in green or dark green but also white jade or even reddish jade.
Mined Burma China
quality factors Nephrite Carvings


 Information source GIA

Interested in having your own Jade?  


  • Carol Palko

    Thank you Yves for the insight!

  • Yves

    Short and interesting guide, as many people are often confused between Jade and Nephrite.

    One has to remember that nephrite is softer than jadeite, the luster is weaker, and the price is much lower than jadeite.

    A good quality jadeite bangle may cost you US$10,000, while a good quality nephrite may cost only US$500.

    That is why as a tourist in the Far East (namely, China, Hong Kong Taiwan, Singapore, etc.), you may be conned to pay for the price of jadeite when you are given a nephrite.

    Most of the time, they are selling you jadeite look-alikes.

    Good quality jadeite can never be cheap!!! It is in short supply, and price appreciates yearly.

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