10 Nephrite Gemstone Symbolism Facts & Meaning: Zodiac, Superstitions, Dreams, and Myths

Nephrite Gemstone Symbolism Facts & Meaning: Zodiac, Superstitions, Dreams, and Legends

Nephrite Gemstone Facts and History

The Nephrite Gemstone is a variety of amphibole minerals or actinolites and is typically composed of calcium, magnesium, and iron. This historic mineral is one of two minerals referred to as jade, the other being jadeite.

Nephrite comes in deep greens, browns, yellows, and white with the white-yellow color, called mutton fat jade, one of the most highly prized colors for the Chinese.

Nephrite Gemstones have a unique texture, often described as fibrous or granular. Nephrites are typically tough stones with a score of 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale and are not prone to fractures or scratches, unlike the softer jadeite stone.

The Nephrite Gemstone has been used since neolithic times in different parts of the world. The first specimens were dated back to Neolithic Europe, where they were used for tools and weapons. Excavations revealed that Nephrite tools were once used for chopping.

Ancient Chinese, Southeast Asia, the Balkans, Mesoamerica, and New Zealand were also very fond of this tough stone, making weapons, ornaments, or jewelry out of Nephrite Gemstones.

Nephrite Gemstones were so valued that there was a thriving trade system in ancient Southeast Asia and its neighboring regions with the Nephrite as its sole trading good.

The sarcophagus of Russia’s Czar Alexander III was made entirely of carved Nephrite stone.

In China, the Nephrite Gemstone has centuries of significant cultural value. The Chinese called it the Yu stone or stone of heaven and is often referred to as the Emperor Stone. The Chinese used Nephrite Gemstones, and later jadeite gemstones, in their ceremonies, for ornaments, jewelry, and more.

The jadeite gemstone was only introduced to China in 1730 as an alternative to Nephrite and the Chinese were already aware that Nephrite and jadeite were two separate but similar gemstones. It was not until 1863 were the two minerals officially differentiated by the mineralogist Alexis Damour.

The Nephrite Gemstone’s name comes from lapis nephriticus, derived from the Ancient Greek nephrós líthos, both are translated to “kidney stone” because of the ancient belief that Nephrite Gemstone can cure kidney diseases.

Other names of the Nephrite Gemstone include greenstone, grave jade, spinach jade, and lisht.

Today, Nephrite Gemstones are still highly valued and play a significant role in different cultures around the world. Mines of quality Nephrite Gemstones can be found in China, New Zealand, the United States, Russia, and Canada.

Nephrite Gemstone Uses

Since ancient times, Nephrite has been the ideal mineral for tools due to its toughness and durability. Excavations have discovered artifacts of Nephrite tools including those meant for carving and chopping dating back to Neolithic times.

Nephrite Gemstones are popular materials for carving, especially with their symbolic properties. Skilled artisans make traditional and modern Nephrite carvings for decor or aesthetic purposes.

For centuries, Nephrite Gemstones have been used in jewelry. Their hardness and toughness make them suitable for everyday use and can be carved into different shapes. Popular Nephrite jewelry includes bangles, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and rings.

Nephrite Gemstone Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

The Nephrite Gemstone has many symbolisms and meanings across many cultures. It is believed to symbolize harmony, love, and protection.

In China, Nephrite Gemstones represent the balance of Yin and Yang, as well as the five virtues: Courage, Wisdom, Generosity, Honesty, and Integrity.

The Nephrite Gemstone has always been a symbol of status, wealth, and nobility. It also represents eternal life.

Nephrite Gemstone Symbolism of Different Shapes and Forms

White Nephrite Gemstones are a variety of Nephrite with a white and milky appearance. This form of Nephrite symbolizes a stronger connection with the spiritual realm and higher forms of consciousness.

Yellow Nephrite Gemstones are a form of Nephrite with a dark to medium yellow appearance. This variety of Nephrite Gemstones symbolizes courage, independent thinking, and defiance.

Brown Nephrite Gemstones are a form of Nephrite with a reddish-brown color believed to be symbols of the earth and are used to enhance the connection with earthly elements.

Mutton Fat Nephrite Gemstones are the most valued form of Nephrite. It comes in a creamy pale yellow-white color and is believed to symbolize nobility, divinity, peace, and eternal life.

Nephrite Gemstone Symbolism in Different Cultures

In Ancient China up to modern times, Nephrite is considered to be the most important stone in the country, playing a huge significant role in the culture. The Chinese believed Nephrite to be a stone of heaven and symbolizes purity and divine morality.

Ancient animists in Taiwan and Southeast Asia also viewed Nephrite as a precious stone, creating a marine time trade system just for Nephrite.

In Mesoamerica, Nephrite is also a valued stone, meant for the aristocrats and royalty to wear to indicate their elite status.

The Maori of New Zealand placed a high significant cultural value on carved Nephrite Gemstones. Families pass down Nephrite carvings down generations believing them to be embodiments of their familial ancestors.

Nephrite Gemstone in Combination with other Gems

Rose Quartz is one of the best stones for love. Combining one with Nephrite will enhance self-love, compassion, and calmness.

Blue Calcite is highly connected to the throat chakra which allows for clear communication. Combining blue calcite with Nephrite increases the ability for sincere and honest communication along with spiritual growth.

Black Obsidian is a protective gem that is useful against negative energy. Pairing black obsidian with Nephrite brings protection while maintaining a positive outlook.

Nephrite Gemstone Birthstone and Zodiac Sign

The Nephrite Gemstone is not a traditional birthstone. However, it is the birthstone of March in the Tibetan calendar.

The Nephrite Gemstone or jade is also associated with the zodiac sign Pisces. It is effective in bringing Pisces much-needed harmony and happiness.

Nephrite Gemstone in Dreams

The Nephrite Gemstones are said to be useful for dreamwork, especially for the ability to lucid dream. They can enhance the ability to interpret dreams and even gain insight on past lives.

Nephrite Gemstone Omens and Superstitions

One Chinese superstition is to place Nephrite trinkets or ornaments on their departed loved ones because these Nephrite objects can grant them eternal life and prevent, or at least slow down, the decomposition of their bodies.

Nephrite Gemstone Mythology and Folklore

One myth features Nephrite in the form of a mythical location called the Jade Mountain, said to be the residence of The Queen Mother of the West, the Chinese mother goddess.

The Jade Emperor is also a major figure in Chinese mythology and Taoist religion, said to be a representation of one of the Chinese primordial gods.

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