Gemstone Education

Nephrite Jade:

Nephrite jade is mainly located in the northern mountains of British Columbia and in the Yukon, making Canada the major source of jade in the world today. Colors range from green and white through rich greens to black. It is a hard, tough stone that transform well into jewellery and tactile carvings. Nephrite jade has been revered for many centuries throughout the world for its healing powers and worshipped for its mystical properties. Care for your jade with a soft cloth and occasionally use furniture polish for your carvings and they will withstand the test of time.



There are two different types of jade, nephrite and jadeite. High grades of both are sought after by collectors and are used for jewellery and decoration.



Geologically, nephrite is a carbon silicate with iron, magnesium, chrome and calcium. Due to its interlocking fibrous structure, nephrite jade rarely breaks and is the toughest natural material known. It can vary from green and white through to swirling greens to black. The amount of iron within the rock determines its colour, which ranges from white (no iron) to green – the more iron is present, the deeper the green.

Nephrite jade is also found in Australia, China, Russia, California, South America and New Zealand. However, the largest deposits are found in British Columbia, Canada. Coincidentally, British Columbia is the world’s largest producer of nephrite. Nephrite from this province is world-renowned as being the hardest, clearest, and greenest nephrite mined.



Jadeite is a silicate of sodium and aluminum, and is mined in mainly in Burma, Guatemala, and Russia. Structurally, jadeite is composed to interlocking crystals, which makes it less tough, but harder than nephrite. Whereas iron is the cause of nephrite’s green colour, in jadeite, this is due to the presence of chromium. In addition to green, jadeite can also be found in shades of white, brown, grey, blue, orange, red, black, and lavender.



Jade is said to possess all the virtues. It is also tough, translucent, smooth and coll to touch. Early civilization used articles of jade for ceremonial purposes , weapons and supernatural talismans. Jade has been credited with preventing disease and used as medicine. It is considered good luck to give and to possess. It is recognized as the gem of Alaska, the Yukon and British Columbia. It is also the 35th wedding anniversary gem.

Reference: Ward, Fred. 1996. Jade. Gem Book Publishers, Bethesda, Maryland.



There is no agreement on one standard for judging the quality of jade. Due to its enormous range of shades, it becomes a matter of personal taste. However, there are some points to keep in mind when buying jade:

1) Colour – Bright apple green is highly sought after

2) Translucency – Usually, a high degree of translucency is desired

3) No fractures – Cracks indicates an inferior stone



Jade is extremely durable and lasts thousands of years. Periodic dusting with a soft cloth is all that’s required to keep it looking bright and polished. You may use furniture polish or baby oil to maintain the lustre, but be sure to keep water away from the polished areas. We’re sure you will enjoy your jade piece for decades to come.


Pink Rhodonite:

This “stone of love” is found mainly in British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska. Derived from the Greek word “rhodon” meaning pink, rhodonite‚Äôs pattern and its hue of pink may vary considerably, giving each piece its own special uniqueness.


Fossil Mammoth Ivory:

Large amounts of fossil mammoth ivory are found in Alaska and the Yukon. These pieces are hand carved from Fossil Ivory of prehistoric North American mammoths. These elephants like enormous animals, sometimes had tusks that weighed as much as 200 pounds each. This mammoth ivory has been preserved in the permafrost of the north for thousands of years. Colors range from hues of white, cream, tan, dark coffee brown, and blue. Avoid direct contact with cosmetics, perfume, hair spray, or any corrosive solutions. The luster is enhanced from frequent wear and contact with natural skin oils. Care for your fossil mammoth ivory with a soft cloth and store separately from other hard gemstones, and they will withstand the test of time.

*This ivory is a fossil and is legally traded worldwide.