Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Jadeite jade [G2179]

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Jadeite jade (G2179) from the National Gem Collection

Photograph of a carved deep green jade (G2179) from the National Gem Collection


Photo by Chip Clark


Hover over color tiles above to learn what this object tells us about the history of the Earth

Catalog #MineralCountryWeight 
G2179Jadeite (Jade group)Burma More info »
G2179 (Jadeite jade) was purchased (Chamberlain Fund) in 1940.

About this object

The name jade is applied to two different minerals that have similar physical properties, nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite ranges from creamy white to green to almost black in color. Jadeite is white or green, rarely purple, and sometimes all three colors within a single piece. Translucent, emerald green jadeite, colored by chromium, is called imperial jade and is the most precious of all jade. Jade is valued for its color and also its toughness, or resistance to breaking. The latter property has made jade useful historically for making weapons and tools, as well as for delicate carvings. This small (13.7 carat) carved piece of imperial jade from Burma shows excellent color and translucency.

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On Exhibit denotes specimens currently on exhibit

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