Nephrite gemstone

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Physical properties of nephrite

Hardness: 5.5-6.5 out of 10 on the Mohs scale
Luster: glassy, greasy
Transparency: translucent, opaque
Color: yellowish green, emerald green, grass green, dark green, white, gray, rarely red, blue

Characteristics of nephrite

Nephrite (jadeit, kidney stone) is a hard and viscous stone of green (most often dark green, less often grassy green) or white color with a characteristic oily sheen and wax translucence.

Previously, nephrite was confused with jadeite. However, they are really very similar - both of these stones used to be called jade.

Nephrite. Gemstone. Nephrite cabochons and ring

A unique feature of nephrite is that if you hit it, it makes a melodic sound. Among the stones, this is a very rare property. It is thanks to this feature that the unique instrument “Kin” appeared in China, which is made of nephrite (according to the principle of operation, it resembles the well-known xylophone).

Varieties of nephrite (in descending order of value):

  • Red nephrite. Rare, especially rich shade. Not available for general sale. Dearest.
  • Blue translucent nephrite. Color - gray-blue, shade unsaturated. Occurs infrequently. It is highly valued - like amethysts, citrines or aquamarines. Occasionally issued for ornamental aquamarine.
  • Intense green nephrite, without yellowish. Valued well.
  • White, yellowish, cream and brown nephrite.
  • Yellow, black, dark green and olive nephrite.
  • Grey, dirty green nephrite, other dirty color shades. The cheapest.

The Chinese are not indifferent to nephrite to this day. They call it "Stone of Earth and Sky", "eternal stone", "stone of tranquility". They literally deified him. Only in China could a treatise on nephrite appear, consisting of 100 volumes, in which there were 700 color illustrations (and this is in the 12th century!). And they distinguished real nephrite from other stones in that it has some transparency - they looked through the stone into the fire, and if the light passed through the stone, then this is nephrite.

However, not only the Chinese treated nephrite with reverence. In the East, nephrite has always been an expensive stone. The Indians of the Americas preferred nephrite to gold. And many other nations also appreciated this gem. Even Queen Victoria of Great Britain had a magnificently carved nephrite scepter (sent, however, by the Chinese emperor).

The strength of nephrite has long been known. Even ancient people made axes, knives and arrowheads from nephrite. Even the name of the nephrite was - "stone of axes." Later, the Chinese made nephrite coins, special marks for imperial envoys, various carvings, rings (the strength of nephrite is twice that of steel).

How much does nephrite cost

Nephrite prices can vary greatly depending on the quality. Regular nephrite beads will cost between $30 and $60. The cheapest nephrite is small, opaque, gray-green in color. This can be purchased for 15-20 dollars per string of beads. However, good quality blue nephrite is priced much higher - the price can go up to $100 or more.

The high price can be for nephrite carvings. Even a small nephrite carving can sell for $500 or more. But in this case, the cost depends more on the complexity of the work, and not on the quality characteristics of nephrite.

Onyx gemstone
See also: Cubic zirconia gemstone
Obsidian gemstone

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