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Geosciences LibreTexts

16.42.01: Jadeite

  • Page ID

    Chemical composition NaAl(SiO3)2
    Crystal system Monoclinic
    Habit Polycrystalline
    Fracture Flintery
    Hardness 6.5 -7
    Specific gravity 3.30 - 3.37
    Lustre Greasy to vitreous

    Jadeite is made up of interlocking pyroxene crystals. It occurs in a vary wide range of colors like green, lilac, white, pink, brown, red, blue, black, orange and yellow. The most prized color is a rich emerald green and is called Imperial Jade. Its green color is due to its chromium content and can be distinguished with a Chelsea (jadeite) filter. Jadeite is believed to prevent/cure hip and kidney ailments.



    Common enhancements to jadeite:

    • Fracture filling - wax - conceal cracks and fractures
    • Coatings - wax - to improve luster
    • Staining - color improvement through dyes
    • Bleaching - removes stains
    • Polymer impregnation - improves luster and to stabilize piece after bleaching


    The most important source of jadeite is Myanmar but Guatemala, Japan and the USA (California) are also important sources

    Sources consulted

    • Smithsonian Handbooks, Gemstones, Second Edition 2002

    G&G Articles on Jade 1934-1980

    The GIA has published all the G&G's from 1934 until 1980 online. The organization of the list by subject was done by Joseph Gill.