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Dragon among clouds, carved jade medallion or button, Ch'ing dynasty, probably late 18th century —Courtesy of the board of trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Wells Legacy
Either of two tough, compact, typically green gemstones that take a high polish. Both have been carved into jewelry, ornaments, small sculptures, and utilitarian objects from earliest recorded times. The more highly prized of the two jadestones is jadeite; the other is nephrite. Both types may be white or colourless, but colours such as red, green, and gray may occur.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on jade, visit Britannica.com.