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jade | Santa Muerte


Known and loved for over 7,000 years, jade is one of the most popular green gemstones on the market today. When the stone was discovered, it was used to create a variety of weapons and tools due to its incredible durability. For this reason, jade was once more valuable than gold in some regions of the world. The name of this gemstone is said to come from the Spanish expression "piedra de ijada," which translates to "stone for pain in the side." Many historians believe that jade was named this way because the indigenous people of Central America used to hold pieces of the stone on their sides, hoping it could cure illnesses. In China, jade is called "yu," which means "imperial"; for this reason, Chinese culture considers jade as the imperial gemstone. Thousands of years after the discovery of this stone, it turned out that jade was not a single mineral. In fact, it was two distinct minerals that we now know as jadeite and nephrite.


jade braceletJade Bracelet by Santa Muerte



How to identify jade?

In most cases, jade can be identified by its hardness and density. However, it is often difficult to distinguish the stone by its appearance alone. This is why there are many gemstones on the market today being fraudulently sold as jade. For qualified professionals, the most reliable way to distinguish jade from similar materials is to test its specific gravity. When it comes to identifying jadeite from nephrite, the simplest solution is to perform a ring test. Unlike jadeite, when striking a nephrite specimen, it produces a musical sound.

There are a variety of substances that have a similar appearance to jade, so it is important to be able to identify the stone. Some of the most commonly confused substances are serpentine, agalmatolite, actinolite, amazonite, and californite. Serpentine is generally much softer than jade, it is also less dense and has a greasy outer coating. Agalmatolite and actinolite have a different chemical composition from jade, making them easily distinguishable by professionals. Amazonite has a much lower density than jade. Californite has a tetragonal crystal system, whereas Jade has a monoclinic structure.


jade bracelet Jade Bracelet by Santa Muerte



Various colors and types of jade

As mentioned earlier, two distinct minerals can be identified as jade. Among the two, nephrite specimens are more common. The color of nephrite usually ranges from medium green to dark green, although the stone can sometimes exhibit white, yellow, or red tones. Measuring 6.5 on the Mohs scale, nephrite is slightly softer than jadeite, which scores 7. Another difference between the two minerals is their chemical composition. Jadeite is a sodium and aluminum silicate, while nephrite is a calcium, magnesium, and iron silicate. The minerals also have different crystal structures: jadeite is made up of granular crystals, while nephrite is made of interlocking fibrous crystals. Due to the dense structure of nephrite, this mineral is considered the more durable of the two.


Where is jade found?

Today, nephrite is more common than jadeite. Nephrite deposits can still be found in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, China, Canada, Russia, Zimbabwe, Alaska, and Poland. Most of the jadeite on the market today is mined from Myanmar, although smaller deposits can also be found in Canada, Japan, Guatemala, Russia, Turkey, Cuba, and the United States.


Healing properties of jade

Often considered a stone of serenity and purity, jade is popular in crystal healing. It is believed that this stone enhances love and nurturing, making it popular among new parents and families. A protective stone, jade shields the wearer from illnesses and injuries, and brings harmony in all aspects of life. Additionally, it is believed that this stone attracts luck and fosters lasting friendships. By promoting self-sufficiency and stabilizing personality, teenagers and young adults going through hormonal changes can benefit from wearing a piece of jade. With the ability to calm the mind and dispel negative thoughts, jade is also beneficial for individuals suffering from anxiety and depression. By helping to release unwanted emotions, a good quality jade piece can assist the wearer in combating various mental illnesses.

Great for individuals with kidney diseases, jade enhances the body's filtration and elimination organs. The gemstone can also be used to balance body fluids and acid/alkaline ratios. By promoting the elimination of toxins from the body, the stone is ideal for individuals engaging in various types of body cleansing. The gemstone is also believed to combat reproductive disorders, especially in men. Additionally, jade is said to facilitate childbirth, helping to alleviate pain and ensure a smooth process. Jade is also popular post-childbirth, especially among new mothers who fear not knowing how to raise their child.

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