While metamorphic rocks are the basis for both stones it is the difference in the silicate minerals within each stone that creates two types of jade. One mineral is Nephrite, while the other mineral is Jadeite. It is the iron content within the stones that create the green color of the stones. The darker the green the higher the iron content, as you can image this leaves jade open to many hues. Colors can also include white, mottled green and white, yellow, pink, purple and black in natural jade stones.
Most people associate and think of jade as only being deep green in color. This is understandable as the most valuable form of jade is mined in Myanmar and is known as imperial jade. Due to this misconception jadeite draws a higher price and is thought to be true jade, however color doesn’t play a part except in buyer perception. Nephrite is no less of a jade than jadeite. The reason jadeite draws a higher price is because there are only 12 known mines to exist in the world, making it very rare indeed. The rarer a gemstone is the more valuable it is.
Imperial jade had been used in China for centuries. Not just as a decorative gemstone, but also in the form of tools and currency. One of the most popular types of jade aside from jewelry is jade carvings, usually in the form of animals.
However, China is not the only country jade has played a part in history. Countries include Korea, New Zealand and Guatemala to name only a few. Jade is more than just a decorative gemstone, it has been found on archeological dig sites in the form of tools, bowls, and knives and used as currency in parts of the world.
There is a current debate about the New Canadian Jade that is on the market. From the calls I have made and the research I have done, it is a true jade. It is composed of metamorphic rock and contains the silicate mineral Nephrite.