Published July 2014  •  Updated August 2022  •  Read Time: 11 minutes
Green Jade is a popular gemstone and a famous healing crystal.  Green Jade can be a type of Nephrite or Jadeite.  Nephrite is more common and usually comes from the Americas or Siberia.  Jadeite is rarer and is found in Burma and China.  Jade’s name is synonymous with “precious gem” in Chinese and in the Aztec language and there are many legends and traditions associated with this pretty stone.  Green Jade energy is both happy and peaceful.  It is a wonderful stone for relationships and to keep within a home.  It is also a stone for good luck and prosperity.  If something is wrong, Green Jade can help us stay hopeful and to “work the problem.”

Green Jade Gem

Green Jade Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Green Jade has a wonderful energy, both peaceful and joyful. It encourages us to enjoy the simple fact that we are alive, to love, to struggle, to learn, and just to be what we truly are – spiritual beings on a mortal journey. Green Jade teaches us how to live in harmony, both inside our own skin as well as with the larger world. It also attracts financial abundance and good luck, from the standpoint that when our physical needs are attended to properly, we have the time and energy to devote ourselves to developing our spiritual self. Green Jade dismisses both scarcity-thinking and greed, reminding us that we deserve to live well and that we don’t need to take from others in order to take care of ourselves.

Metaphysical Properties Green Jade
Chakra Heart
Element Earth
Numerology 5 and 11
Zodiac Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Libra

Emotional Healing Properties

Green Jade has a calm, soothing energy that helps us to look on the bright side and not be discouraged by difficulties. Green Jade attracts true friends and loyal partners, helping us build a strong emotional support system. It reminds us to actively love and nurture the important people in our lives – including our own self! Green Jade is also very good for healing dysfunctional relationships when both people are dedicate to the process, for example, a couple undergoing marriage counseling. But, when only one person is willing to do the work for a healthy relationship, Green Jade encourages us to stop giving the unhealthy relationship our attention and energy. Instead, Green Jade reminds us that we are self-sufficient in ourselves and worthy of true love. It asks us to give our energy to relationships that feed our heart and soul. When we focus on giving and receiving emotional nourishment like this, our lives naturally become playful and peaceful.

Mental Healing Properties

Green Jade has a thoughtful energy, helping us to see situations clearly and objectively, and not be distracted by habitual negative thinking. It is a hopeful stone, but also one that encourages us to look at life from a logical point of view, to see systems and patterns, and problem solve accordingly. Green Jade encourages tolerance, inclusiveness, and practicality. It helps us to break down complex ideas into smaller and more manageable chunks, so they can be acted upon more easily. Green Jade is also a stone of sudden inspiration, that “Eureka!” moment of understanding which moves us into positive action.

Physical Healing Properties

Green Jade is recommended for anyone who needs to prioritize the health of the kidneys, spleen and other parts of the digestive and elimination systems. Green Jade reminds us that in order to have peace and wellbeing in our life, we have to continually filter out the waste which can accumulate over time. This can mean filtering out toxic people and removing ourselves from ongoing toxic situations, as well as making sure that literal waste products are effectively expelled by the body. Green Jade is also a fantastic talisman for the adrenal glands, which are located right above the kidneys, and help us to respond to stress and regulate our metabolism and immune system. Green Jade reminds us to take practical action to remove unnecessary stress from our lives so that our adrenal glands aren’t exhausted or, at the very least, have a real chance to recover. Green Jade is also a good talisman for anyone with an autoimmune disorder that is triggered in part by stress. Because of its associations with good luck, Green Jade is also recommended for anyone actively trying to get pregnant.

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Green Jade Mineralogy

Where does Green Jade come from?

Green Jade can be either Nephrite or Jadeite.  Both varieties can be found in Russia and the United States, but most countries have only one variety.  Nephrite Jade is found in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Germany, Greenland, Italy, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, South Korea, and Switzerland.  Jadeite Jade is found mainly in Myanmar, with additional deposits in Guatemala, Japan, Poland, and Turkey.

Mining and Treatments

Both variety of Jade are often found as pebbles and boulders in secondary alluvial deposits.  It can also be mined at its primary location in rocks and sheets.  Most commercially mined Nephrite is mined at its primary location.

Many of the cheap to moderately priced “Jade” sculptures and ornaments on the market are fake (made of glass and plastic) or have been dyed. When the Jade is authentic, it is often Nephrite since true Jadeite can be very expensive!

Green Jade Placeholder
Green Jade

Mineral Family

The term “Jade” can refer to either Jadeite or Nephrite, two different silicate minerals. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures in different ways to form various minerals and rocks. One of the main groups of silicate minerals are the inosilicates.  The tetrahedrons in single-chain inosilicates share two oxygens atoms with two other tetrahedrons and form long chains, similar to how a group of people might hold hands in a long line.  With single-chain inosilicates the ratio of silicon to oxygen is 1:3.  Double-chain inosilicates are more complex, with two chains lining up side by side and connecting the two chains to each other with a third oxygen atom.  The ratio for double-chain inosilicates is always 4:11.  Green Jade can be either Jadeite or Nephrite.  All the Green Jade sold at Moonrise Crystals is Nephrite.

Green Jade’s energy works well with its family – other inosilicate minerals.  Try it in combination with Astrophyllite, CharoiteDiopside, LarimarRhodonite, and Shattuckite.  Try it also with other varieties of Nephrite Jades like Black Jade and White Jade, or Jadeite Jades like Blue Jade, and Purple Jade.

Green Jade Formation and Crystal Associates

Nephrite Jade is typically formed by contact metamorphism. Contact metamorphism occurs when an igneous intrusion disrupts existing rocks, and the heat and pressure from the intrusion causes the stones to melt and recrystallize. This process creates new minerals, and the rocks to become metamorphic. Nephrite is particularly likely to appear if the original stone was magnesium-rich Limestone, which during the metamorphic process becomes marble.

Green Jade’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Opal and Pyrite

How to distinguish Jadeite from Nephrite Jade?

Colors like blue and purple, are only found in Jadeite.  While colors like green, black, and white can be either variety of Jade. When examined closely, Jadeite is composed of interlocking round crystals and has a granular or sugary texture.  Nephrite’s crystals are more fibrous, and the texture is fibrous or silky.

Mineralogy Green Jade (Nephrite)
Chemical Formula Ca2(Mg, Fe)5(Si8O22)(OH)2
Cleavage Perfect
Color Green
Crystal System Massive
Form/Habit Massive
Fracture Splintery, brittle
Hardness – Mohs Scale 6.5
Luminescence None
Luster Dull to waxy
Mineral Family Double-chain Inosilicates
Specific Gravity 2.9-3.4
Streak White
Transparency Translucent to opaque

History of  Jade

Jadeite and Nephrite are two distinct minerals, both of which are commonly called “Jade.” Jade has been treasured since the dawn of history in Eastern Asia and Mesoamerica, where the two most important Jadeite deposits are found. In China and Japan, as well as in the Aztec language, the words for “Jade” and “precious stone” are, in fact, identical. In Eastern Asia, Jade has much of the same allure that diamonds do in the West. In fact, the most desirable form of Jade, “Imperial Jadeite” (vibrant emerald green), has been sold for millions per carat on the modern market. Only a single gemstone, the vivid “Pink Star Diamond,” has commanded a better price per carat!

Long before the dawn of civilization, early man was attracted to Jade, for both utility and beauty. Jade can hold an edge better than most stones, and so was made into prehistoric ax-heads, hammers, carving implements, and other sharp tools. The oldest known Jade tool has been dated between 8000-9000 BCE! Because Jade can be easily carved and polished, it has also been used to make statues and charms for thousands of years. Jade carvings often carry deep meanings, making them more than just simple decorations. For example, in China a carving of a Jade mountain symbolizes the wish for a long life, while a Jade butterfly symbolizes the immortality of the soul and power of love.

Because Jadeite and Nephrite look very similar, they were not scientifically distinguished as two separate minerals until 1863. However, master Chinese craftsmen have long noticed that some Jade (specifically that from Myanmar/Burma) is harder and denser, and also is somewhat easier to carve and takes a higher polish. As a result, it became the preferred variety, especially since it has a wider range of vivid colors. This type of Jade is now known as Jadeite. The more common variety is called Nephrite.

The greatest source for Jade lore comes from China. According to one legend, Jade is the petrified tears of dragons who have cried whenever China was conquered by invaders. Another story relates that Jade is the concentrated essence of true love. As a result, Jade is traditionally often given to newlyweds,  and is said to assure the quick and easy birth of an heir. Newborn babies in the East have worn Jade amulets to protect them from childhood diseases for centuries. Countless generations of businessmen have carried Jade in their pockets to help them during negotiations, while many farmers traditionally bury Jade near their crops to protect them from both heavy rain and drought.

Among the Chinese royal and noble classes, Jade’s allure was even more marked. In the Chinese writing system, the original word for “king” took the form of a string of Jade beads. Confucius wrote about the “eleven virtues of Jade,” which corresponded with the ethical behavior of the feudal upper class. For example, Jade’s soft glossy texture symbolized the importance of “benevolence.” Confucius himself was closely linked to Jade. According to legend, his birth was announced by a unicorn who gave his mother a Jade tablet, and proclaiming that he would be the greatest of all philosophers, and a “throneless” king.

Chinese religious ceremonies and Feng shui also call for Jade ornaments, of specific shapes and colors. A piece of round Green Jade symbolizes heaven, while a square of Yellow Jade symbolizes earth. When used together, they symbolize the soul in balance. Black Jade was for the North, Red Jade for South, White Jade for West, and Green Jade for East, when used together they are thought to bring harmony to a person or space.

Jade Emperor, Green Jade

Jade Emperor and the Heavenly Kings

Jade holds an especially important place in the Tao religion. For example the supreme god is known as the Jade Emperor, who lives in a Jade Palace, on top of a Jade Mountain, 3000 feet in circumference and height. At the foot of the Jade Mountain, is the Jade Lake, near which blooms the Jade Tree, which can give immortality. The Jade Emperor has the power to grant earthly prayers and it is to him that most devotees address their pleas.

Jade also holds an important place in traditional Chinese medicine. It is typically powdered or reduced into pebbles the size of rice grains, and ingested. It is said to relieve heart-burn and asthma, strengthen the lungs and heart, as well as increase the sheen of the hair. When Jade is made into a tonic with rice and dew-water, it is said to strengthen the muscles, improve flexibility, and calm the mind. When mixed instead with gold or silver, it was said to prolong life itself.

Similarly, Jade was given special meaning in Mesoamerica. It was used for medicinal purposes, buried with nobles, and used to bring man into peace and harmony with his environment.  Jadite from Guatemala was used in carvings by the Mayan, Aztec, and the mysterious Olmec civilizations.  Jade amulets were passed down for generations, believing that they protect the family against diseases and poison. A similar tradition was also followed in New Zealand among the Maori. They believed that nephrite Jade could only be found with the help of a wizard, who was aided by the spirits of the dead. When a piece of Jade was found, it would be carved to represent ancestors, and passed down through the male line as a source of power and strength.

Because Jade wasn’t introduced to Europe until the 16th century, it was not included in ancient or medieval European lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. It is thought that Marco Polo described Jade in his travels, possibly even visiting a Nephrite mine in central Asia in 1295. Marco Polo refers to the stone as a “jasper,” a generic term during the medieval period referring to any variety of green stone. In the 14th century lapidary by Chevalier Jean de Mandeville, there is a stone called Silente which most likely was a reference to Jade. Accordingly, Silente, “waxes and wanes like the moon. It protects pregnant women and helps them deliver on time. It brings peace and agreement and helps to reconcile lovers. It raises the morals and lessens inflammation.”

Olmec Jade Mask, Green Jade

Olmec Jade Mask (900-400BCE)

Jade was properly introduced to Europe by explorers returning from the New World, and it is from this period that we can trace the etymological origin of the names, Nephrite and Jadeite. In Europe, Jade was originally called by the Greek names, lapis nephriticus (stone for the kidneys) and the Spanish name, piedra de hijada (stone of the flank) since Jade was used by the Aztecs to treat kidney and bowel conditions. Over time, piedra de hijada became first l’ejade, and then simple “Jade.”  When gemologists discovered that Jade was actually two minerals in the nineteen century, they called the more precious variety “Jadeite” and used “Nephrite,” from lapis nephriticus, for the more common variety.

The foundation for European beliefs about Jade can be traced to a 16th century medical book. In 1569, Dr. Nicolas Monardes of Seville, a Spanish physician and botanist, made the first European reference to Jade in his Historia medicinal de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales (Medical Study of the Products Imported from our West Indian Possession). Dr. Monardes described the physical appearance of Nephrite Jade and how it was commonly carved in Central America. He then wrote, “The Indians used to wear them attached for kidney or gastric pains, for they had marvelous efficiency for both these infirmities…This stone has an occult property by means of which it exercises a wonderful prophylactic effect [preventing diseases].”  To further illustrate his point, he included descriptions of various European gentlemen and noble ladies who had worn Jade to overcome various illnesses or reduce pain. For centuries afterward, many physicians and noble patients wore Jade bracelets or beads to cure numerous ailments. Some recommended that Jade be worn constantly, while others cautioned against overuse, so that the body wouldn’t become too tolerant of it, causing it to be less effective over time.