The Emerald is a member of the Beryls family. The green color of an emerald comes from the presence of chromium in the gem.
In ancient cultures, jade was categorized as the ‘dream stone’ that opens the doors of spiritual knowledge and helps in establishing a connection between the soul and mind through dream clarity.
A charm of friendship, an amulet of protection and a talisman of peaceful death, jade is the ultimate powerful stone that can balance several areas of life.
Sources of Emeralds
The first emeralds were believed to be mined from Cleopatras mines in ancient Egypt, some two thousand years BC. These mines provided the bulk of the world’s emeralds until 1750 when the mines were mined out.
At this time a vast shortage of emeralds occurred in Europe, but new sources were found from the Inca civilizations in South America. Columbia still produces the highest quality emeralds in the world, but Brazil, India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan and Zimbabwe all produce emeralds.
Emeralds are now manufactured in labs to make up for the short fall between the natural emerald and market demand.
There are two separate types of Jade, jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is made of aluminium and sodium and is generally a light apple green color. Nephrite is made of calcium, magnesium and iron and is a darker green color. Jade is generally a polished gem and not a cut gem.
The most highly prized Jadeite is an emerald green color known as imperial jade. In the current market, Mynmar is considered the only true source of gem quality Jade although other sources exist in China, Japan, Mexico, and South America.
Nephrite is occasionally used for jewelry and is commonly used in carvings by gemstone artists. They can come in black, brown, gold or green. Nephrite can be found in many areas including China, Japan, Mexico, Mynmar and the United States.
While jade is important to the oriental cultures, it is also of importance to the Aztec cultures. In both cultures, it is not uncommon to bury jade with the dead in order to bring good fortune in the after-life.