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Ch. 8: Other Stones Used in Jewelry

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Jade, or Nephrite.               209
is an extremely favourite one. It is a hard, compact, translucent, and very tough stone, breaking with a splintery fracture and glistening surface. The colour varies from a creamy white to a dark green ; the hard­ness is 6.0 to 7.0; specific gravity, 2.9 to 3.1; it is slightly unctuous to the touch, and fuses with difficulty before the blowpipe at the thinnest edges.
Its composition is variable ; as it is not a distinct mineral, two analyses are given here :—
Jade is found in Egypt, New Zealand, Corsica, in North America, and in China. The name nephrite is derived from the Greek νεφράs, a kidney, from the power it was reputed to possess of curing diseases of that organ. In India, China, and Turkey it is carved into dagger- and sword-handles, cups, ornamental vases, etc., and frequently inlaid with precious stones. The most favourite colour is the pale greenish-grey, good spe­cimens realizing a large price. Some fine examples of jade are exhibited in the South Kensington Museum, and large quantities of ornamental objects in this sub-
Ch. 8: Other Stones Used in Jewelry Page of 295 Ch. 8: Other Stones Used in Jewelry
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