The name and character of Jade is associated with many cultures, all referring to its reputed medicinal property of curing calculus stones and disorders of the kidneys or bladder. Nephrite is from the Greek word nephros, the kidney. The Spanish named it Piedra de hijada when they conquered the New World (lapis nephrictus in Latin), meaning “Stone of the loin,” or “Stone of the flank.” In a later French translation, the term was misprinted and became “pierre le jade.”
Nephrite generally occurs in creamy white, mid- to deep olive green, brown and black. It has a smooth surface polish with a waxy sheen and is more commonly found. Jadeite may be a white-gray green, leafy green, blue or blue-green, emerald green, lavender, pink, red, orange, greenish-black or black. It is hard and lustrous, rarer than Nephrite, and usually more expensive. Translucent, emerald green Jadeite, colored by traces of chromium, is called Imperial Jade and is the rarest and most valuable.
Jade is said to bless whatever it touches, serving mankind across the globe for over 7,000 years. For primitive peoples in the British Isles, its toughness, and ability to polish and sharpen made it a favored stone for axe heads, knives and weapons. Indigenous tribes of Mexico, Central and South America, and New Zealand carved it into deity masks and ritual artifacts, even cast it into wells as an offering to the water spirits for fresh and plentiful water. Jade has been the most highly esteemed stone in China throughout recorded history, and was valued for its beauty and powers of healing and protection. An endless variety of gems, vessels, incense burners, beads, burial items and statues have been wondrously carved from Jade, as well as musical instruments and pendants inscribed with poetry.
Jade is most valued for its metaphysical properties. It is the ultimate “Dream Stone,” revered in ancient cultures, as well as today, to access the spiritual world, gain insight into ritualistic knowledge, encourage creativity, and dream-solve. It is cherished as a protective talisman, assuring long life and a peaceful death, and is considered a powerful healing stone. An amulet of good luck and friendship, Jade signifies wisdom gathered in tranquility, dispelling the negative and encouraging one to see oneself as they really are.
In scientific terms, Jade is the name shared by two distinctly different minerals – Nephrite, a calcium magnesium silicate and Jadeite, a sodium aluminum silicate. Though they have different compositions, hardnesses, densities and crystal structures, both are exceptionally tough stones, similar in appearance, and equally valuable in metaphysical properties. Both occur in the beautiful olive shades we’ve come to recognize as jade green, but have some distinctions.
As a professional support stone, Jade aids doctors, nurses, veterinarians, and all healers in making practical diagnosis and in their applications. It is a support stone for educators, and Jade, carved in the form of a faith symbol, is uplifting to military personnel.
Jade is the stone of calm in the midst of storm. Its action balances nerves and soothes cardiac rhythm. A piece of Jade kept in a pocket or on a pendant to stroke from time to time recharges energy, and traditionally guards against illness. Jade may also be used to temper the shock or fear of the very young or very old being cared for in the hospital or away from home and family.
Green Jade is a crystal of love. It is supportive of new love, and increases trustworthiness and fidelity. It also inspires love later in life.
Jade pendants and necklaces protect against deception and authoritative abuse for financial or sexual gain. Jade signifies peace through strength, and is also helpful in homes or occupations that encounter bullying or intimidation from violent children or teens.
Jade is excellent for healing feelings of guilt, and for extreme cases of defeatism. It also treats “pathological normality,” an excessive desire to adapt oneself to a group, even if it is sect-like, exaggerated militarism, a follow-the-leader attitude, or the compulsive desire to give in to general opinion to belong no matter the cost.
As a travel stone, Green Jade prevents illness while on holiday, is beneficial for those traveling alone, and protects children and pets from straying or being hurt while on a journey. Green Jade also fosters chi or Life Force energies and is excellent for hiking, gardening or relaxing out of doors.