Jadeite gemstone pyroxene mineral (NaAlSi2O6) Jadeita (Piroxênios) Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil
Chemical Formula: Basic calcium magnesium aluminum silicate
Crystal Structure: Monoclinic; intergrown fine fibrous aggregate
Color: Light to dark-green, black, yellow to brown, pink, white and other colors.
Hardness: 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.600 to 1.627
Density: 2.90 to 3.03
Transparency: Translucent to opaque
Double Refraction or Birefringence: -0.027; often none
Luster: Vitreous, dull to greasy
Jade is one of the oldest and most important gemstones, with a history dating over 7,000 years. It is especially prized throughout Chinese and Latin American cultures, often holding more value than gold. The term ‘jade’ was derived from ‘Piedra de Ijada’, a Spanish phrase meaning ‘stone for the pain in the side’ because Spanish explorers saw natives of Central America holding pieces of jade to their sides, believing that it could cure ills. The name ‘nephrite’ was derived from the Greek word for ‘kidney’, which refers to its supposed ability to cure kidney disease. Nephrite is one of two distinct mineral forms classified as jade (the other is jadeite) and up until 1863, nephrite was believed to be one and the same as jadeite.
Nephrite is a fibrous aggregate variety of tremolite-actinolite, a basic calcium magnesium iron silicate, whereas jadeite is a pyroxene mineral. Nephrite is more common than jadeite and although it is slightly softer than jadeite, it is considered tougher due to its denser structure.
Playlist filming some minerals:
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