I'm pretty sure many are familiar with jade. The gem of choice by Asians for luck. Carve even more auspicious characters and figures on them and it becomes even more fortuitous to possess. It is generally said to protect the wearer from harm.
Here are some things you probably know (or don't, but still interested to find out) about jade. There are two types of stones we call jade; Nephrite and Jadeite. Most common in the market are Nephrite. At best translucent in thinner pieces but mostly opaque. Jadeite, on the other hand, is much more rare. It can be cut into cabochons or beads and even whole carvings and still remain translucent. Most prized samples with color of a vivid apple to emerald green are called "Imperial Jade" and are priceless. A whole strand of evenly matched beads are even more so. It's also interesting to note that jadeite comes in several other fabulous colors (namely lavender, black, white & yellow) besides green.
However, the problem with jade is that it is too much associated with antiquity. But here are attempts at giving it a bit of an updated twist.
L-R: Bi-color jadeite ring in hammered yellow gold. Black jadeite ring in yellow gold with diamond eternity micro-pave. Green jadeite ring in yellow gold with diamond eternity micro-pave.
Pendant of antique nephrite jade dragon carving with multi-colored sapphires and seed pearl in yellow gold. Strung on black coral beads. I got this carving from an old man while walking along some alleys in Hong Kong. The carving was just too interesting to let go.