Jadeite

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Jadeite
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.

Enhancements

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

Occurrence

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