Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A white to dark green variety of jade, chiefly a metasilicate of iron, calcium, and magnesium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A semi-precious stone, one of the two types of stone commonly referred to as jade, (the other being jadeite).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A hard compact mineral, of a dark green color, formerly worn as a remedy for diseases of the kidneys, whence its name; kidney stone; a kind of jade. It varies in color from white to dark green. It is the more common and less valuable variety of jade, the other being jadeite. Large deposits are found in Australia. Called also nephritic stone. See also jade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tough compact variety of amphibole (tremolite or actinolite), of a leek-green color, often found in rolled pieces: jade. It was formerly worn as a remedy for diseases of the kidneys. See jade.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an amphibole mineral consisting of calcium magnesium silicate in monoclinic crystalline form; a source of jade that is less valuable than from jadeite; once believed to cure kidney disorders

Etymologies

Greek nephros, kidney (from the belief that it cured kidney diseases) + -ite1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin lapis nephriticus, via Ancient Greek λίθος νεφριτικός, meaning kidney stone, because jade was believed to have cured kidney stones. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • For instance, there was been found scattered over Europe axes made of varieties of stone known as nephrite and jade.

    The Prehistoric World; or, Vanished races

  • It is a kind of nephrite or jade, a mineral which usually occurs in talcose or magnesian rocks.

    Roman Mosaics Or, Studies in Rome and Its Neighbourhood

  • Indeed, the most amusing piece in the collection is Prince Charles's sealing-wax stamp, a Kermit-like green frog carved from Siberian nephrite surmounting, with his left hind leg fully extended, a gold column enameled with pink guilloché the enamel is translucent so you can just make out the geometric pattern incised into the metal beneath it—and in this case looks like moiré silk.

    A Palace's Small Treasures

  • Bonhams will showcase a jeweled gold and nephrite imperial presentation snuff box, with a diamond-set monogram of Tsar Nicholas II, from circa 1890 estimate: £80,000-£120,000.

    Big Things in Little Packages

  • The windows were paned with sheer glass from Aleppo, in shades of jade and nephrite, the cool greens bringing the verdure of the outside inside, the color of the light percolating into the white marble in the chamber, so that it seemed as though Empress Mumtaz Mahal rested, indeed, in the garden of Paradise.

    Shadow Princess

  • Lastly for that kind of money I'd want something like fossilized mammoth ivory or slabs of Wyoming nephrite jade for the handle.

    A Knife for the Next Depression

  • Copper Alloy with gold gilding and polychrome enamel inlays (cloisonné) 14 3/4 x 10 x 7 1/2 inches Asian Art Museum Ornament depicting a lotus pond Green nephrite on a gold mount

    Art of the Ming Dynasty

  • Importantly, a sample that does not consist of either nephrite or jadeite is simply not jade.

    Natural Kinds

  • Indeed, the case of jadeite and nephrite is often referred to as an example of the latter.

    Natural Kinds

  • The pendant drop of this necklace uses a beautiful mix of gemstones, from ocean jasper, nephrite jade and green aventurine; to Czech fire polish beads, Swarovski crystals and Bali sterling silver.

    Archive 2007-10-01

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