One of the birthstones for the month of August is jade, a stone often known for its intense green color. Jade has been known for more than 7000 years, and while one might assume it has mainly been used in ornaments, it started out as a very practical stone used for tools because of its extreme toughness. Jade consists of two separate minerals known as jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is very tough and resistant because of its tight growth of tiny interlocking grains. Nephrite, a variety of the mineral actinolite, is even tougher, due to its composition of fibrous crystals inter-twinned in a tough compact mass. The mix of these two minerals makes jade the toughest gemstone in nature, and even though nephrite and jadeite are relatively easy to scratch and softer than diamond, their resistance to chipping is extremely high. Diamond is the highest gemstone on the hardness scale in nature but can be broken by a hard blow. As a matter of fact, Jade is even tougher than granite and more difficult to carve than steel, making it an ideal weapon.
Jade can come in many colors, ranging from a grey-green to the very sought after emerald green also known as "Imperial Jade". The color of jade depends on the country it is from, as it has to do with the amount of chromium, iron and manganese in each stone. Most jades show blemishes and imperfections and only the finest stones show an evenly distributed color. However, in some cases the imperfections are not regarded as flaws rather than as very valuable patterns, sought after by many collectors. One design we make which features this beautiful stone are the above Satellite Studs with Jade .
Like most gemstones, jade comes with its fair share of mysterious believes and stories. For example Asians highly value jade because they believe its energy is closely related to the human body. It is common for them to give a jade piece that they used to wear a lot as a gift because they believe that the jade has become part of them and by giving it to a close friend or family member they are giving a part of themselves. Jade is also known to be the gemstone for the 35th wedding anniversary and has been said to help with kidney diseases.