Difference Between Jade and Jadeite

Jade vs Jadeite

Minerals obtained from under the surface of the earth and used for jewelry or other adornments are called gemstones or simply gems. One such gemstone is jadeite that is very popular in all parts of the world for making jewelry. There is another term jade that confuses buyers of gemstones because many think it to be the same or synonymous term for jadeite. However, the two are not the same as will be clear after reading this article that attempts to highlight the differences between jade and jadeite.


Jade is a generic term that is applied to two different types of gemstones namely jadeite and nephrite. In fact, the rocks containing aggregates of both these gemstones are collectively known as jade. The buyers however remain confused and think of jadeite or nephrite when the word is used in front of them. Most of the Jade that is available in the markets is in the form of nephrite and, in fact, jade as jadeite is quite rare. When jade is in jadeite form, it is translucent and emerald green. It looks royal and classy with some people referring it as Imperial Jade.

Jade is a term that has traditionally been applied to many different materials that appear similar to jadeite and nephrite but do not contain either of these gemstones. This is the reason why people remain confused between true jade and materials that are superficially called jade. There is Indian jade, Chinese jade, Mexican jade, and so on but these are not true jade as they do not contain either nephrite or jadeite. For example, Korean jade contains serpentine while Indian jade contains aventurine. In China, the word jade has mistakenly been used to refer to many different materials like soapstone and calcite that resemble true jade.


Jadeite is also called soft jade. It is one of the two forms that jade is found in nature, the other being nephrite. Jadeite is aluminous pyroxene that is rich in sodium. Jadeite is found in many different colors ranging from grey to pink to yellow to green. One can even find black and intense green jadeites. There are many jadeites that show up more than a single color. In fact, the range of colors shown by jadeite is much more than the other variant of jade, the nephrite. Jadeite is harder than nephrite, and its hardness is between 6.5 and 7 on Mohs scale. Jadeite is rarer of the two forms of jade and is more expensive than nephrite.

What is the difference between Jade and Jadeite?

• Jade is a term used to refer to two different forms of minerals namely jadeite and nephrite.

• Jadeite is just one type of jade and not a different gemstone.

• All jadeite is jade, but not all jade is jadeite.

• Most of the jade found in the markets is nephrite and jadeite jade is rarer and expensive.

• In many countries such as China, India, Mexico, Korea, Japan etc., the term jade has traditionally been used to refer to materials that resemble jade such as calcite, soapstone, aventurine, and serpentine.