Jade has a unique history. Confucius compared its qualities to the likeness of virtue, wisdom, compassion, modesty, justice and courage. In the past jade was used by cultures for tools, weapons, art and funeral ornaments. The Chinese believed that an elixir made of jade and water gave the person who consumed it eternal life. The Maori believed that a pendant of jade protected the bearer from evil spirits.
There are actually two stones which are titled ‘jade’. These two forms of jade are known as nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is the stone which the Chinese have called the stone of heaven for thousands of years. This stone is much more common than jadeite, found in locations such as the United States, China and British Columbia.
Jadeite is a rarer form of jade and for that reason it can be much more expensive in price. This stone is found in commercial amounts in Burma and has recently been discovered in Guatemala in large amounts. Guatemalan jade is a rare type of blue jade which has amazed archaeologists around the world. Apparently the jade which has recently been discovered in Guatemala is a high quality jadeite which is of the same mineral composition of many artifacts found all over Central and South America. This jade proves that there was an ancient trade route throughout this area at the time of the Mayans. Guatemalan jade was traded throughout the lands and these mines were hidden from the world at the time of Spanish invasion in the land.
The jade stone has been a part of the worlds cultures for thousands of years. Today the jade stone is used to decorate homes as decorations and used for some of the most elegant jewelry in the world. Today jade doesn’t quite have as many uses, though it is still considered to be very valuable to certain cultures and many collectors. Some of the most luxurious jewelry items are jade earrings, bangles and pendants.