The term jade is generally used for two gemstones, similar in appearance but different in structure: nephrite and jadeite.
Nephrite is the most common one. The name nephrite originates from the Greek word "nefros" (kidney). The name jadeite originates from the Spanish "piedra de ijada". Both nephrite and jadeite are known and used from the prehistoric times, in fact there was no distinction between them till the 19th century.
As both gemstones are tough (jadeite a bit softer than nephrite), they have been used for making tools, weapons but also for ornamental, religious and ceremonial purposes. In ancient China, jade was considered to be a symbol of power and was valued even more than gold. It is still believed to be the symbol of purity, serenity and peace.
Jade comes in many colors, from off-white to green mainly for nephrite and in a great variety of shades for jadeite, such as white, pink, red, brown, orange, yellow, lilac, green among others.
Jade helps in stabilizing our personality. It eliminates negative thoughts and tranquilizes the spirit. It boosts creativity and makes each assignment appearing less complicated.
Jade is also believed to be the stone of dreams. Placing a piece of jade on the forehead helps us enter in the spiritual sphere and ease intuitional dreaming. It also helps us in recognizing our true self and this way try to become what we really are.
It is finally considered to be a good luck, longevity, love and wealth stone.
Jade is a cleansing stone. It removes the toxins and is especially beneficial to the kidneys and to the immune system. It also enhances fertility and helps during child birth.
Jade is associated with the Heart chakra.
Jade is associated with the Cancer, Aries, Pisces, Scorpio, Leo, Taurus and Virgo signs.