When people think of jade they usually visualize a beautiful translucent to opaque green stone.
Jade color can actually vary in its hues of ranging from; pale to forest green, amazing shades of reds, oranges and yellows, the extremely rare violets, white and black, to the fascinating shades of blue that imitate the depths of the oceans.
What does jade’s color represent?
The different colors and hues of jade have been attributed to different meanings throughout the past. Once example comes from ancient China where blue was attributed to the heavens, yellow to the earth, green to the east, red the south while white and black jade were attributed to the north.
Jade has had more mystical qualities attributed to it than any other gem material in history.
Jade Colors and Meanings
What gives jade its color?
Different amounts and types of trace elements that can change the color of jade.
The colors of jade can vary depending on the amount of iron oxide and magnesium.
More iron in jade causes darker color. These can range from dark green, grey-green, red, and black jade. Australian Cowell jade can contain almost 8% iron oxide!
Magnesium rich jade (which has less iron oxide) is lighter in color. These can be white, light green and lavender.
This is the common color visualized when people think of jade. Green jade gets its color from Chromium, an element in all living things.
Yellow nephrite jade has a small amount of iron oxide. Yellow jade is said to have the element Ta.
Red nephrite jade has a large amount of iron oxide. This is what gives red jade its “rusty” color.
Black nephrite jade consists of both iron oxide and graphite. This color of jade can be deep black to a very dark green.
Blue jade is rare and beautiful. This kind of jade comes from all over the world, the nephrite version commonly found in Big Sur California while the jadeite version now being found in Guatemala. Blue jade was thought to be a symbol of the heavens by the Chinese.
This is a term given to two different types of jade. Fire jade usually refers to jade that has been used as a cooking stone which gives it a black “burned” look.
Vulcan jade is a rare type of jade that is said to only be found in California. This jade has a coating of iron oxide which gives it a very rusty look. This coating can be red, orange, yellow and brown.