Jade Glossary


Geermu Jade is a jade mined in Geermu, Qinghai province, also known as Golmud.  It is of a high quality although it is does not have as much of the unctuous oily sheen as Xinjiang jade.


Hongshan is a name for a culture which existed in northeast China (now Liaoning Province) approximately from 4700 - 2900 BC.  There are vastly different dates given to the Hongshan period and this date is taken from Wikipedia. There are adjacent cultures in the timeline which are sometime included and sometime not.  Jade had an important place in this period and it was considered an important stepping stone for future jade cultures.  Bowenite, which is similar but less dense than nephrite was also used in the Hongshan culture. The most well known form was the "pig dragon". 

Khotan Jade

Mutton Fat is a term for a nephrite from Hetian which has a natural oily surface and translucency which resembles mutton fat.  It is one of the most valuable jades.

Qinghai Jade - is mainly mined in Geermu, Qinhai Province, also known as Golmud.  It is a high quality stone although it has taken a beating do to the fact that it is not Hetian Jade. It is however a valuable and high quality stone.  It tends to have less of the desirable natural oily surface.

Radish Flower is a term for a natural white pattern found in mountain mined nephrite. It resembles white flowering radishes.  It is generally considered a defect.

Sinkiang is the old postal map spelling for Xinjiang

Xinjiang Jade is a jade from Xinjiang province in western China and although there are several locations in Xinjiang where jade is mined or found,  people often use this term but actually mean Hetian Jade which is a found in southern Xinjiang Province.  The Tianshan area of Xinjiang is known for its deep green jade.

Unctuous is a term used for a desirable soft oily sheen found on some jades.

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