NEPHRITE
  • This stone is really well-known, it was very popular in ancient time , especially in Egypt and
    China. Many centuries ago people carved amulets from nephrite, they even made nephrite
    coins.

  • Nephrite is in fact a fine-grained, calcium-rich, magnesium, iron, aluminous amphibole. It is
    composed of  highly intergrown, interlocking (matted or felted texture, like asbestos or felt)
    crystals. Though this stone is not very hard (its hardness is from 5 to 6,5 Moh’s Scale
    depending on the deposit), nephrite is one of the toughest gem minerals known because of the
    intergrown nature of the individual crystals.

  • There is a story that a big boulder of Siberian nephrite was put once on the anvil and hit by
    the heavy steam hammer. The boulder did not get a scratch, though the anvil was broken in
    pieces.

  • Nephrite gets its name from Greek “nephros” – kidney, ancient people believed nephrite to
    treat kidney diseases. Numerous deposits of this material are spread around the world, there
    are mines in British Columbia (Canada), in China, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and
    Alaska. Nephrite can have all shades of green color – apple-green, grass-green, olive,
    sometimes bluish or yellowish. There is also white nephrite, but pure white color is very rare.

  • The history of nephrite in Russia begins in 15th century, when  it was brought from Central
    Asia by merchants. First nephrite mine in Russia, in Sayany mountains near the Baikal lake,
    was found only in 18th century.

  • Several varieties of Russian nephrite are really unique – for example, there is so-called
    “Ulan-Khodinskiy” nephrite, which has a color much similar to chrysophrase.  Sometimes
    Russian nephrite has a cat’s eye effect, and this in combination with beautiful green color
    makes it even more attractive. However, really good cat’s eye nephrite is very rare, and it is
    much more expensive then regular one.

  • The astrologers say that nephrite is connected with religion and rebuilding of the whole life.
    Nephrite talismans protect life, save from poisoning, give cheerfulness, cure physical
    diseases. Nephrite saves from earthquakes and lightning, reflects the evil eye and
    misfortunes, helps in family life and labors. A carved nephrite as a present is a sign of special
    love and friendship, eternal gratitude and favor.
Nephrite block, pre-cut
for making a sphere
Cat's eye nephrite