To explain what jade really is might take a day. Nowadays many people are deterred from buying jade because of “fake” substitutes flooding the market. Before we learn how to distinguish real and fake jade, we may want to know there is actually more than one type of jade – nephrite jade & jadeite jade.

Nephrite Jade & Jadeite Jade

Many people think that jade is from Mainland China. This saying can be right or wrong depending on what type of jade you are talking about.

“In modern mineralogy, the term “jade” is not considered to be mineral species. From a gemological point of view, jade encompasses aggregates of one of two mineral groups, jadeite and nephrite.” – A definition by Ou Yang Chiu Mei in her recently published Jadeite Jade – A Stone & A Culture.

In the jade trade, you will hear people dubbing nephrite jade as “soft jade” and jadeite jade as “hard jade” because of the difference in their physical hardness. Judging by the Moh’s scale, the hardness of diamond is 10 out of 10. The hardness of jadeite jade is 6.5-7 and that of nephrite jade is 6.