Large sterling silver pendant featuring a highly polished jadeite cabochon. Jadeite and Nephrite jadeite are two stones both of which are found mostly in metamorphic rocks but each has a slightly different chemical make-up. Apart from the similarity in the name, each stone can share very similar characteristics to the point where even experts can sometimes struggle to tell one from the other. In some cases it's only possible to determine whether a stone is jadeite or nephrite through the use of technology. Both stones in the vast majority of cases are referred to simply as jade because the word has been widely used for so many years to describe both materials that it would now be far too difficult to start differentiating one from the other.
Nephrite jade is more common and less expensive than jadeite and mainly occurs in shades of grey and green but yellows, browns and white may also be present. The fact that this stone exhibits a lavender/lilac colour confirms that it is jadeite. The finest grades of jadeite can be more expensive per carat than diamonds. Chinese people once believed that if a stone was exceptionally beautiful it could only be jade.