Jade Varieties

Discover this hard stone, well-known and much appreciated worldwide, notably in China where it has gained a major foothold in the age-old history of the country.

Jade, a Historical Stone


Contrary to popular belief, jade is not the name of a single type of stone, but a larger term used to define several gems – each one having different characteristics and colours. 

They can be classified on the basis of many features, notably their hardness determined by the 0-10 Mohs Hardness Scale. Thus, hard jades are distinguished from “soft” jades.


Among hard jades which are over 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, nephrite was the first one handled and transformed by ancient civilizations such as the Chinese and South American peoples. With a hardness of 6 to 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, nephrite is not only durable, but also said to cure nephritic disorders, hence its name. 

While large jade deposits are located in China and Taiwan, high-quality jade stones come from Canada and Russia. Today, the most beautiful varieties of deep – almost translucent – green nephrite are extracted from Siberia’s Lake Baikal area. This is also from there that white jade comes. Much appreciated by the Chinese, white jade is very – sometimes amazingly – expensive.

In the Ming period, another variety of jade was identified in Yunnan, bordering Burma. This was named “jadeite” or “Burmese jade”. It has a hardness of 7 to 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and a much appreciated colour worldwide, which is either white or lavender. However, the much sought-after jadeite stones are the apple green and translucent ones. In Burma (Myanmar), related auction sales are still organized every year, and widely reported about. Be they rough or worked into jewels, those stones can be sold at incredibly high prices.


Known for its shaded colours, Henan jade is part of “soft” ones as it has a hardness of 4 to 6 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This type of jade can only be found in the Luoyang area, near Yellow River, and is actually pretty difficult to work. Indeed, as a Henan jade stone consists of up to five different colour shades (from black to white including pink and green), this makes it a real challenge for artisans and artists. 

Xinshan jade or translucent green serpentine jade is the most common. It is only extracted from Liaoning Province, in the north of China and, along with Henan jade, its extraction has been regulated for many years. 

Some of our pieces

Discover more…

If you are interested, please contact us by email or phone.
We will be delighted to answer all your questions.