Types of Jade and Chemical Composition
Nowadays scientists have identified two types of Jade:
The first is Nephrite, also known as “Chinese Jade”. This variety is very popular in Asia, mainly in markets of China, Japan and Thailand. The largest source of Nephrite in the world is located at British Columbia, Canada but is also found in large quantities at New Zealand where is known as “The Green Stone” and is related with their culture.
The other type of Jade identified by gemologists is “Jadeite” which is scarcer and hard to get, it´s basically found in four countries in the world, Burma or Myanmar, Russia, Japan an Guatemala. The most important difference between these two qualities of Jade besides the chemical composition is the hardness. Nephrite oscillates from 6.0 to 6.5 in the mohs scale, where the hardest element it´s a diamond which is 10 (chemically crystallized carbon). The hardness for Jadeite is from 7.0 to 7.5.
The colors of Jadeite Jade vary from a light white grayish called “Moon Jade” that according to gemologists is the formation color being chemically an aluminum and sodium silicate, when this base is pushed up to the surface, a process of thousands of years by the way, gets different invited elements in it´s chemical composition turning to different colors, Titanium causes pastel shades specially lavenders and opal colors, Iron causes from very deep green to black, scientifically known as “Chloromelanite”, indeed found in Guatemala only, Chromium causes green shades but among these, the most valuable is the bright, lime green color known as “Imperial Jade”, Being a vein or sometimes a core inside some rocks, scarcity is it´s most important characteristic, reason why nowadays it´s a color almost extinct. There´s a variety rarely found considered a phenomena, called sometimes gold Jade it´s most precious distinction it´s the pyrite inlaid in the stone. All these different shades and colors makes Jade Guatemala´s biggest proud.