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see jadejade,
common name for either of two minerals used as gems. The rarer variety of jade is jadeite, a sodium aluminum silicate, NaAl(SiO3)2, usually white or green in color; the green variety is the more valuable.
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(Greek nephros, “kidney”; in antiquity it was believed to be a remedy for kidney disease), a mineral variety of actinolite and tremolite, occurring as a compact microcrystalline aggregate with a minutely fibrous, felted structure. Extremely tough, nephrite readily acquires a polish. Its color varies from milky white or greenish to dark green, sometimes exhibiting mottled patterns owing to the inclusion of other minerals. It has been valued as a semiprecious stone since antiquity; tools and art objects have been fashioned out of it in various countries, particularly China, Burma, and India.

Nephrite is formed during the metamorphism of basic rocks, such as serpentinites and pyroxene and amphibole schists. It is generally extracted from alluvial deposits, where it occurs in the form of pebbles and large boulders. Major deposits of the mineral are found in the USSR (Vostochnyi Saian, the Baikal Region), China (Kunlun Mountains, basins of the Ho-t’ien and Yarkand rivers), New Zealand, and Polynesia.


An exceptionally tough, compact, fine-grained, greenish or bluish amphibole constituting the less valuable type of jade; formerly worn as a remedy for kidney diseases. Also known as greenstone; kidney stone.
References in periodicals archive ?
39) In terms of economic value and aesthetic appeal, jadeite is usually more appreciated than nephrite (the other kind of jade) for its rarity, finer translucency and more vivid green colour; see Zhou Jinglun, Yunnanxiang yu xue [Study of jade] (Taibei: Haojiao Chubanshe, 1992).
The rooms at the Dulwich exhibition glow with the silver-gilt accessories of tea-drinkin g, as well as pure gold utensils such as his teapot and grandiose toasting fork; with his scintillating porcelain and his jewelled spoons wrought from nephrite, agate, cornelian and other semi-precious stones.
Silk was the basis of Chinese exports, but the Chinese also traded bronze mirrors and imported lazurite, nephrite, horses, furs, and manufactured goods of Mediterranean origin such as glass and wool.
In the novel The Nephrite Belt death is personified as "the indetectable agent of darkness" (neulovimyi razvcdchik t'my) (Nefritovyi poias 116).
He also noted a jade obelisk, more than 8 feet tall, carved by a single boulder of deep green Yukon nephrite in Canada.
White translucent nephrite was a favorite not only for vessels of incredible delicacy but also for amulets which could be easily inscribed with protective blessing formulas.
The long distance trade in low bulk prestige goods such as metal, amber, nephrite, and rare furs would have promoted local trading activity and competition for wealth, and drawn the various regions together into an integrated trading sphere.
This is precisely what happened to the concept of jade as nephrite after 1863, when A.
A) Consider jade: we are told that jade, as it turns out, is not a mineral kind, contrary to what was once believed; rather, jade comprises two distinct minerals with dissimilar molecular structures, jadeite and nephrite.
The old known producing areas are the Urals (jasper, agate amethyst, alexandrite, almandine garnet, emerald, malachite, rhodonite), the Transbaikal area (topaz, beryl, polychrome tourmaline, nephrite and lazurite) and Altai (jasper, quartzite, etc.
One of New Zealand's natural resources is nephrite, otherwise known as greenstone or jade.