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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Nephrite

nephrite

See our: nephrite jewelry.

The less valuable and more abundant of the two gemstones generally referred to as jade. It is less hard than jadeite, the other variety of jade. Its colour is subdued, and ranges from white to the more usual dark green (sometimes called 'greenstone') and shades of grey or brown to black. It is translucent with a greasy lustre when polished, and is of great toughness and durability.

It is used today for carved (i.e. ground) art objects and beads more than for jewelry. It is the variety of jade that has been used by the Chinese since Neolithic times and long before the importation of jadeite c. 1780, having been imported from Turkestan and the Baikal region of Siberia and later found in various regions of China and Taiwan (Formosa).

A dark-green variety was discovered in the 19th century near Lake Baikal; other sources included New Zealand.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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