Jade is actually an umbrella term for two different minerals, both of which are typically green. The first mineral, nephrite, can be found in several shades of green, as well as translucent white and pale yellow. The other mineral, jadeite, runs from greenish-white to dark green, but can even be found in blue-green. Jade is used in handicrafts and the jewelry industry. It is common in China, where its name means “loin stone”; it was once considered a cure for kidney pain. On the Mohs scale, it has a hardness of 6.5 - 7.
Jade is the name given to jadeite and nephrite, types of metamorphic rocks made of silicate minerals. That's the boring description. But it says nothing of the beauty of this ornamental stone, which has fascinated people for thousands of years, and forms a cornerstone of Chinese decorative art.