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An ornamental stone, jade is a name applied to two different silicate minerals. Nephrite is a form of the amphibole actinolite (a mineral that also includes a form of asbestos). The second, the mineral jadeite, is a pyroxene. Nephrite has the formula Ca2(Mg, Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2. Jadeite has the formula NaAlSi2O6. The two are quite similar in appearance and it wasn't until 1863 that the two forms of this gemstone were distinguished.
It is an exceptionally tough material, and was first used for things such as axe heads, knives, and weapons. Later, as other materials could replace jade as a weapons material, it became appreciated for its beauty. Jade has a Mohs scale of Mohs hardness of between 6.5 and 7.0.
Nephrite can be found in a creamy white form as well as a green color, while jadeite shows more color variation. Of the two, jadeite is rarer, and is the form of jade mostly used in Central America. Nephrite jade was used mostly in China, Myanmar and New Zealand.
In White Wolf games, jade can specifically refer to:
- Jade, one of the Five Magical Materials in Exalted
- Jade, a magical substance used by the Dark Kingdom of Jade in Wraith: The Oblivion, and variations such as White Jade and True Jade
- The Jade Caste of the Alchemical Exalted in Exalted
- Jade Shintai, a Kuei-jin Discipline in Kindred of the East
- JaDe Associates in Trinity