July 22, 2021

Jadeite Stone vs. Jade: What is the difference?

Jadeite Stone vs. Jade: What is the difference?

For a long time, most individuals can't tell the difference between jadeite & jade. They were regarded as the same gem till 1863, when Alexis Damour, a French mineralogist, discovered that the two gemstones were chemically distinct. Both gemstones are the signature green shade we know & love, yet there are significant differences upon closer inspection. Before buying jadeite coffee mugs, read this blog to get more info about the differences.

In China, jade stands for clarity & purity, & jade gem-carvings exalted the ancient gemstone to global recognition as a divine art form. In ancient Aztec & Mayan civilizations, jade was a curative crystal & symbol of pride. From stone-age caves to intricate carvings & ornate jewelry, this gemstone has been utilized for thousands of years. In this blog, we are looking at the differences between jade & jadeite. 

What is Jade?

Jade is one of the oldest & most precious gemstones in this world. However, what we know & love about jade nowadays is far distinct from how our prehistoric forefathers valued this archaic gemstone. Once the optional material for Stone Age caves, huts working tools, weapons, & ritual & cultural decoration is now a marvelous ornament widely used in trinkets &jewelry. Beyond its material usage, jade is one of the most symbolic & crucial gemstones well-known across multiple cultures & countries.

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Deposits of jade come from:

  • New Zealand,
  • Australia,
  • Canada,
  • Brazil,
  • Russia,
  • Sinkiang China,
  • Zimbabwe,
  • Taiwan,
  • Alaska.

What is Jadeite?

Well, this gemstone is a pyroxene mineral & a high-quality jade suited for use in jewelry. In comparison to jade, jadeite is more transparent & has a greater hardness. Jadeite is also rare & more expensive.

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Jadeite comes in a wide range of colors – varied shades of green, yellow, reddish-orange, grey, white, brown, black, & lavender. However, green jadeite is the most precious one. Amongst these green jadeites, the most valuable & rarest is the imperial jade. Its transparency &color rival emeralds, even though imperial jade has a slender yellow tint than emerald.

Other precious varieties of green jadeite include apple jade (a dark yellowish-green shade), moss-in-snow jade (transparent white with light green spots or veins) & kingfisher jade (a bit less profound than imperial jade).

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Jadeite deposits can be found in many places all over the world, including:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • The Ural Mountains, Russia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Near the mountains of Kotaki& Omi Japan
  • Myanmar

Difference Between Jadeite & Jade

1. Composition

Jadeite is a silicate of aluminum& sodium & is classed as pyroxene. Meanwhile, jade is a silicate of magnesium & calcium falling within the amphibole group of minerals & is properly considered as tremolite.

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2. Colours

The easiest way to differentiate between jadeite & jade is by color.

You are probably most accustomed to the jadeite’s green color, but this gemstone comes in a wide range of colors. Jadeite can be pale apple-green, white, lavender, dark blue, & even pink. Of course, the most precious color is dark green or imperial green.

Jade also comes in a variety of colors, including deep to light green & even black. Because of its high magnesium level, jade can also be transparent white to bright yellow.

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Jade comes in various shades of green, white, yellow, black & grey. On the other hand, jadeite has a higher range of colors – different shades of green, yellow, reddish-orange, grey, white, black, brown, & lavender. Moreover, the colors of jades are more muted compared to jadeites.

3. Hardness

Jadeite has a greater hardness compared to jade. On the Mohs scale, jade is 6-6.5 & jadeite is 6.5-7.

4. Cleavage

In jadeite, cleavage usually can’t be seen due to small grain size & splintery fracture. On the other hand, jade is prismatic, yet cleavage also can’t be seen due to small grain size & splintery fracture.

5. Refractive Index

The refractive index of jadeite is between 1.66-1.68 (1.66 spots). Meanwhile, jades have a refractive index of 1.60-1.63 (1.61 spot).

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6. Luster

Jadeite has a higher luster ranging from vitreous to sugary. Meanwhile, jade can be vitreous, silky, greasy, & waxy.

7. Rarity and Prices

Jadeite is rare & more expensive. Meanwhile, jade is more common & less valuable.

8. Density

The density of jadeite ranges between 3.30 to 3.38, whereas jade’s density ranges from 2.9 to 3.03.


As you can see, jadeite & jade are among the oldest gemstones in this world & has a fascinating history, heartfelt symbolism & many functions. And while we have explored the differences between jadeite & jade, they also share some commonalities in their ability to attract people, say an incredible story, & stand out throughout time.

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