What is Jade?

According to modern mineralogy, the term jade applies to two different rocks, Nephrite and Jadeite. However, jade stone definitely has broader meaning.

Jade has many different interpretations due to different eras and different disciplines. The ancient definition of jade is very vague and broad. In China, jade in ancient literature was defined as “the elites in all the stones can be called as Jade” (“Shuo Wen”-Xu Shen Donghan Dynasty).  A great numbers of jade art crafts in ancient literature are actually not real jade according to the strict definition of jade in the scope of modern mineralogy. Especially, modern archaeologists are still applying the ancient definition to the excavation findings. So don’t be surprised when you see some stone-like jade art crafts in the museum.

This confusing application lead to a lot of misunderstandings about jade, while also nurturing a team of malfeasant jewelers at the same time. Some smart scholars found a very smart solution to reconcile this conflict. They kept the modern definition of jade, while they put the rest of the family members in the ancient interpretation under the umbrella of “Jade Stone”.  Therefore, you usually can call agate, turquoise, quartz, Calamine, Serpentine, Shou Mountain Stone, Qingtian stone, chicken blood stone, Balin Stone, Prehnite as Jade Stone.

Thanks to modern technology, some jewelers really exert the ancient interpretation to the extreme. Now they can shape, fill, polish and dye a normal stone to appear as jade. If you are lucky enough, they will call it jade stone not jade. In this case, you cannot call them liar but yourself as a loser.

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