Nephrite comes in a creamy white form and several shades of green, while jadeite boasts a wider range of attractive colours. Nephrite’s colour tends to be more muted than jadeite’s, and they’re often mottled or streaked.
Nephrite are sourced all over the world, including China, Russia, Canada, Turkey, etc. But Jadeite is a lot rarer since it has only been found in Myanmar (Burma). Based on its origin, Nephrite can be further named. The most well known and best quality nephrite is named “Hetian Jade”, since it is mainly produced from the Kunlun and A’erjin Mountains, located in Hetian, Xinjiang in northwestern China. The area is known for yielding the famous top-quality white “motton fat” jade. British Columbia in Canada is another major origin of nephrite. Today there are more than 50 nephrite occurrences adjacent to Fraser River area in southern BC, the Mount Ogden area in central BC, and the Cassiar jade fields in the far north. Nephrite mined in BC are called “BC Jade” and usually have a very obvious green hue, called “green nephrite” (“BI Yu” 碧玉in Chinese). Green nephrite can also be found in Siberia, Russia. Although it entered the China market only about 10-15 years ago, green nephrite from Russia has gained a great reputation because of its bright colour and good transparency. Both white and green nephrite are mined in Russia.