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by Amanda Applebyinfo@amandaappleby.com

Jade - The Ornamental Gem

Few gemstones are as easily and quickly identified as the milky-green or deep emerald jade. This precious material, usually associated with The East, comes in two forms, nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is more easily available and thus less expensive. Jadeite is also known as ''Imperial Jade", and has been used in the making of fine jewellery by the Chinese since the 1700's. It comes in a range of colours - from deep emerald to apple green. This colour variety is due to the levels of chromium oxide in the rock. Before jadeite was discovered, nephrite (a stone that ranges in colour from dark green to cream), was the most prized stone in the Chinese court, and was commonly used in traditional religious rituals.

Jade became fashionable many centuries ago, and was cut, shaped and polished into beads for necklaces, or carefully carved for settings in rings and pendants. In The East, the stone was thought to be magical and represented the connection between evil and good (yin and yang). It was also used to show high rank or authority within Chinese society.

The Western World embraced the beauty of jade during the Art Deco period when it became popular due to the trend of Chinoiserie (a blend of Eastern and Western styles and aesthetics). The stone was popular among the upper echelons of 1920's and 1930's society. Actress Barbara Hutton was a big fan, and she had a custom-made jade ring fashioned for her by the jewellery superpower, Cartier.

Jade is a prized and well-loved material, sought after for its distinct colour and often intricate settings and carvings.

View products in the following categories:

Art Deco | Jadeite | Necklace | Ring | Pendant

View blogs with the following tags:

Art Deco | Gems | Royal
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