Black jade is one of the many colors in which nephrite and jadeite can appear in. This is a popular color with modern jade lovers and the new generation of jade collectors. Black jade is valued today as green jade has been in the past.
Kinds of Black Jade
There are many different colors in which jade can appear. These colors of jade can be red, black, brown, blue, the rare lavender and the priceless white jade (just to mention a few).
Jade also comes in two different varieties and these are nephrite and jadeite. These two forms of jade appear similar and are both very dense finely grained stones but come from different mineralogical groups.
The colors of these stone can vary depending on the amounts of iron oxide and magnesium. Iron rich varieties of jade are darker in color from dark green jade to grey-green jade, red jade, orange jade all the way to black jade. Iron rich black Cowell jade can contain almost 8% iron oxide!
Jade that has less iron oxide therefore have more magnesium and are lighter in color. These can be white, light green and lavender.
Black Jade Color
Black Jade is a lovely, dark version of the multi-colored stone. The black color of jade comes from high amounts of iron and/or graphite.
Black Nephrite Jade
Nephrite jade is a common form of jade found all over the world. Nephrite jade belongs to the amphibole group of minerals and has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale.
Though nephrite is softer than jadeite it is actually much tougher. Nephrites fracture strength is about 200 MN/m2 whereas jadeites is about 100 MN/m2. This can be an explanation of why nephrite jade is commonly known as the “toughest natural stone on earth”.
This form of the jade stone has been used for thousands of years because of its valued toughness and density which is the reason it has been used for everything from weapons to tools.
When the term toughness is used it is in regards to how brittle a material is. This is a large difference from the term ‘hardness’ used for stones which relates to how easily a mineral or material scratches.
Nephrite jade is a tough stone because of its finely interlocked fibers. These are actually microscopic needle-like crystals which bind the stone together. These fine needles are randomly grouped together where the best quality nephrite has a large amount of. When these small crystals are more coarse the jade is less tough.
Jadeite is a harder jade which is found in fewer locations throughout the world. It is rarer and in effect can be much more expensive than nephrite jade. Jadeite belongs to the pyroxene group of minerals.
Where is black jade from?
Black jade can be found all over the world from California and Wyoming, Canada, Southern Australia, Taiwan, Burma, Guatemala and other locations.
Where is black nephrite found?
Black nephrite is the most common stone of the two varieties of jade (as is all nephrite when compared to jadeite). Black nephrite comes out of California, Wyoming, Canada, Southern Australia and Taiwan.
Nephrite is often called the “most dense natural stone on earth”.
Where is black jadeite found?
Black jadeite comes out of Burma and Guatemala. Jadeite is the hardest and rarest of the two types of jade.
Black Big Sur Jade
Black is a semi-common color of Big Sur jade. This is found among the coves and cliffs of the jade cove area. Big Sur jade is of the nephrite variety.
Black Taiwan Jade
Black jade is also found in Taiwan. Taiwan jade is of the nephrite variety of jade. It is also known as Fongtian jade.
New research shows that Taiwan was a center point for sea based trade in the prehistoric world. This same research shows that there is a very distinct type of jade earring that was distributed throughout Southern Asia. These have been found to have been made from Taiwanese jade.
Of 144 jade artifacts from 49 sites the researchers analyzed using non-invasive scanning equipment, 116 specimens from 38 sites were made from Taiwan jade.
“This is very strong evidence that ancient populations in different regions had very frequent contact and communication,” said Hung, of the university’s Department of Archaeology and Natural History. She says this shows contact between Taiwan and the Philippines stretches back 4000 years.
When this study is compared to that of Guatemalan jade (which was recently discovered to be distributed throughout Mesoamerica and was traded through extensive trade routes) it becomes apparent that jade has been revered by many cultures throughout time.
Black Canadian Jade
Canadian, or British Columbian Jade, is contains some of the best quality nephrite in the world. The jade from this location can be various shades of green with black flecks inside of it, which can be quite beautiful.
Black Burmese Jade
Burmese jade can be the very rare black. This is of the jadeite variety and is extremely valuable.
Black Wyoming Jade
Wyoming jade can also be black in color. This is a beautiful stone and is of the nephrite variety of jade.
Black Maori Jade
Maori pendants are sometimes made with the black jade stone. There is a common misconception that these pendants are actually Maori jade which is false. The black nephrite jade that is used in Maori pendants is actually from Southern Australia.
Black Australian Jade
Black Australian jade was first discovered in 1965 by Harry Schiller while prospecting his farm. Well over 100 different outcroppings of Australian nephrite have now been discovered.
South Australian nephrite comes in three commercial grade colors; green, black and premium black nephrite. This jade is commonly called Cowell jade.
To date about 3,000 tons of nephrite has been produced in Southern Australia.
To find out more about black Australian nephrite check out PIRSA Minerals on Black Nephrite at the Southern Australian Governments website.
Black Guatemalan Jade
One of the most exciting discoveries for jade enthusiasts if the finding of jadeite in Guatemala. Black jadeite is now being found in Guatemala as well. These ancient mines were once lost after Spanish invasion are now being rediscovered.
The following is a quote from the Lapidary Journal on Guatemalan jade.
Guatemala is now producing the world’s newest jadeite colors, including “rainbow jadeite” (several colors in one slab or boulder). Ward is particularly fond of the black jadeite. “Black jadeite from the Motagua Valley area,” he says, “represents the creamiest, richest, and best black jadeite in the world, far exceeding Burma’s darkest, which is gray and can only be sold as charcoal.”
What gives black jade its color?
The black color comes from both graphite and iron oxide in the stone. It is actually considered to be a very deep green but because of the high iron content, it appears black. This is why when one sees black jade there is often a slightly recognizable green hue. This green hue is seen mostly through any parts of the jade that might be transparent when put in front of light. This transparency is usually found in the edges of the given piece, which seem to glow a very dark green. As these pieces of jade are very black you tend not to be able to see through most of the stone.
Black Jade Meaning
The meaning of black jade has been attributed to the properties of protection, power and control (of ones self).
Black Jade Properties
The metaphysical properties of black jade consist of offering protection from negativity and fostering the wise use of power. As with all black stones, black jade gives protection for attack and helps us to control our greed or need for control by instilling wisdom in the use of personal power.
Some sources say Black jade is a stone to purify and cleanse one’s energies. It is said to be capable of discharging any amount of negative energy, and able to keep all negative energies in one’s surroundings away from the wearer.
When holding a jade stone in your hand, one may experience feelings of calmness or serenity. Others have experienced the feeling that black jade brings out the wisdom that is hidden in each of us.
Black jade has also been said to have water energy that brings the flow of the water element to focus on your potential.
- Chakra (of black jade): This color of jade is known to be associated with the root or base chakras.
- Zodiac: The zodiac sign associated with this stone is Taurus.
- Planet: The planet that is symbolized in this stone is Venus.
- Beneficial for: Black jade is calming, helps with reflection and prayer, gives protection against negative energy, is a grounding stone and is used to channel power.
- The Color Black: The color black is related to power, grounding, fearlessness, confidence, solidity. Black is technically not a color at all and instead absorbs color which explains its relation to power.
- Chakra (of the color black): Black does not belong to a specific chakra. It is considered the color of all the chakras or as the chakras less mentioned such as the 12th chakra located below the feet or an upper chakra located high above the head.
1/7/09 – Due to the popularity of this article we have updated it with much more information as well as links to other references on the popular black jade stone. Feel free to browse the site and learn more about the jade stone. Below is a list of the most related pages to this one which you might be interested in.
Also, if you liked this page please leave a suggestion and/or comment below. We would love to hear from you.