Jade Vs. Emeralds

Jade Vs. Emeralds

Emeralds and jades are both green.  They’re prized for that calming, beautiful color, dating far back into human history.  They are both green, and they have some similarities. 

However, the compositions, source, hardness, and the symbolisms of both are very different, which we’ll go over here.

What are Emeralds 

Emeralds are basically a gemstone that’s a green that dates all the way back to ancient Egypt.  It’s got a brilliance that can’t be beaten. The most desired emeralds are those that are Columbian, as they have a color, distinct greenish hue, and a clarity that other emeralds don’t have. Columbia emeralds are also more prevalent than other types, attributing to almost 90 percent of the total emeralds in the world. 

There are also lab-grown ones that are mimicked to look like these too, which explains why they’re so pretty. 

This green gemstone is great, and it is considered to be the mystical birthstone for January in Tibetan astrology, and for traditional astrology and birthstones, it’s May’s.  It’s a great alternative to diamonds, especially for engagement rings. 

What is Jade? 

Jade is known as the “imperial Gem” in Chinese, and it’s one that is quite rare.  In fact, faceting them is something that still isn’t’ common practice. 

The jade stones are fashioned into decorative items, ritual objects, and also pendants too. The mineral was a treasure one that was amongst the Mesoamerican culture. 

Jade is a more generalized term and is usually referred to specifically as nephrite or jadeite.  Only one there is more than half of it being sodium aluminum silicate is it considered a jade. 

Nephite is a more common, softer one that comes in white, green, or yellow. It’s also less hard than emeralds. 

Jadeite is also harder than nephrite, and is rarer than nephrite too, along with coming in many colors. 

Jade is the mystical birthstone of march, but in traditional birthstones, it’s not there. this is because it’s known as a precious mineral, and it’s more special in Asia and Latin American cultures, especially compared to America, where they used the more modernized birthstone chart. 

The Difference

There are some major differences between jade and emeralds, which we’ll go over here. 

The composition 

Silicates are also known as minerals, and when combined together, they create ethe two most abundant types of elements, which are silicon and oxygen. Emerald is considered a silicate that’s made of aluminum and beryllium. 

Mentioned earlier, jade is actually two different minerals that are similar, but distinctly different. Nephrite is made of silicate and magnesium and calcium and tends to have a grainier look to it.  jadeite is comprised of aluminum and sodium, and it has a more tightly interlocked sort of structure. Jadeite is also the more durable of the two due to the structure of the crystals. 

Opacity and Clarity 

Opacity and clarity are important in gemstones.  They usually convey a vivid green color because of the transparency that’s heightened. Jade tends to be opaquer, so it’s much more muted. 

Emeralds also tend to have inclusion in their green hues, due to the bubbles of gas trapped inside, liquids, and other types of emeralds that’ll cloud the appearance of such. 

Location of the Source 

The gem quality emeralds are sourced from Zambia, Brazil, Columbia, and Australia.  The different locations of these emeralds also have some variations to this. so yes, the place you get the emeralds from does matter. 

For instance, the blue emeralds that you see tend to be from Zambia, but if you want the rich host one, they tend to as well come from Pakistan. 

Jade only occurs in volcanic, metamorphic rocks. There are tons of deposits of jade in Guatemala, China, Canada, Myanmar, and also Siberia. 

The colors of both jade and emerald is green of course and both of them have green from the chromium in there. however, emeralds tend to have a more saturated, rich color, especially when contrasted to jade, having a more translucent opaqueness, so light doesn’t go all the way through these.  This does give a various white, violet, and an orange-erred hue that’s distinct from the blurry, soft look to this.



Emeralds are definitely much more sought after than jades, since they are ranked among sapphires, rubies, and diamonds as some of the most sought after types of stones. 

The prices do vary, with some of the highest quality ones being priced at a hundred grand for a carat.  They’re a lot more expensive than jade is. 

Most of the time, lab grown emeralds may be the same quality, but for far less prices, but that’s not always the case. Jade depends on the transparency, color, and the texture, but also how it’s crafted, and what went into this carving. 


The hardness also varies too. Emeralds tend to be much harder, sitting at around 7.5 or 8 on the Mohs scale.  The jade stone, however, tends to be a lot softer at about 6.5 to 7 on this. that’s because nephrite tends to be a lot softer than jadeite, being about 6 on the scale. 

But the thing with emeralds is that they do have imperfect cleavage, so they’re far more likely to chip. Jade, however, rarely has the cleavage that emerald has, and it usually does have some minimal fractures that give it almost a sugar like sort of sparkle to this. 

The lack of cleavage that jade has does make it far more resistant to the wear and tear that comes with this. 

Lab grown types of emeralds tend to be stronger, due to the fac that they’re created in a hydrothermal growth method, and they are properly curated to ensure this. 

Jades and emeralds are both precious natural elements that have a unique series of colors that are both meaningful symbolisms of fertility and harmony, and even life. However, they do have some differences worth mentioning, which we definitely went over here, and the unique facets of both these.

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