What Is Black Jade?

Updated April 17, 2017

Known for its distinctive green colouring, jade jewellery is often handed down through generations, cherished for its value and beauty. However, jade comes in colours other green. Black jade is quickly gaining in popularity.


Black jade contains high levels of iron and/or graphite, making it different in structure than traditional green jade.


Iron and graphite give black jade its natural colour. It doesn’t have to be dyed like black onyx. Once cut, black jade remains totally black, with the finished piece displaying no other colour tones.


While still possessing material strength, black jade is easy to work, carve, and polish. It can achieve a high sheen much quicker than traditional jade.


A cabbing machine is used to carve and polish black jade into rings, pendants, jewellery, figurines, statuettes, and other keepsakes.


There are two forms of black jade: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is rarer and harder, making it more expensive and resistant to scratches. Nephrite is softer but tougher, meaning it isn't as brittle.


Found around the world, black jade is particularly prevalent in California, Wyoming, and parts of Canada.

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About the Author

William Lynch has been a freelance writer for the past fifteen years, working for various web sites and publications. He is currently enrolled in a Master of Arts program in writing popular fiction at Seton Hill University. He hopes to one day become a mystery novelist.