Jadeite is classed as a pyroxene and is a silicate of sodium and aluminum. It is a cryptocrystalline mineral and its minute crystals are interlocked to form a compact aggregate. It ranks 6.75 or 7 on the Moh scale of hardness. Chinese lapidaries do not appear to have worked with jadeite on a regular basis until the Qing dynasty. Most of the jadeite used in China came from the region around Tawmaw in Upper Burma. While both nephrite and jadeite are found in a range of different colors, depending the presence of small quantities of iron, chromium or magnesium, the brilliant green stones used in fine Chinese jewelry are jadeite.
Jadeite is a sodium aluminum silicate and has become the most popular form of jade. It comes in a variety of colors from the popular greens to orange, yellow, brown, blue, purple and black. On Mohsâ€™ scale of hardness, jadeite is 6.5-7. It has a greasy luster and primary sources include Burma (Myanmar), China, Japan, Canada, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Russia (Siberia), and California. (See Jade Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)