Jade, (Nephrite,) was adopted as Wyoming's official gemstone on January 25, 1967. Governor Stanley K. Hathaway signed legislation introduced by the 39th legislature which established jade (nephrite) as the State Gemstone of Wyoming.
Nephrite jade (also known as "Wyoming Jade"), was first described in the Granite Mountains area of central Wyoming in 1936 (Sinkankas, 1959; Sutherland, 1990). The most intense jade exploration and mining activity occurred there between about 1940 and 1960 (Madsen, 1978). Recent exploration activity indicates renewed interest in Wyoming Jade.
The famed Wyoming jade fields occur in a rectangular band that runs roughly from Lander southwest to Farson, down to the Red Desert in Sweetwater County, east to Seminoe Dam, north to Alcova, and westward back to Lander. Wyoming jade is black, olive green, emerald green, light apple green and sometimes gray to white. The lighter colors of jade, especially apple green, are most in demand for gemstones. Today, most people believe that Wyoming's jade fields have been scoured so thoroughly by six decades worth of jade hunters that the light green variety of nephrite can no longer be found.
The 1930s and 1940s were the "glory days" of jade hunting in Wyoming. Many sources cite 1936 as the year of jade discovery near Lander. From 1936 until 1945, jade hunting was principally done by Wyoming residents. The end of World War II plus a 1945 article in Popular Science titled "Green Gold of Wyoming" changed all that. Something akin to a gold rush was on in central Wyoming and competition for Wyoming jade became intense. Some 7,000 to 8,000 pounds of jade were collected during the summer of 1945 alone. The link to gold was not unfounded. Famed Wyoming jade hunter Allan Branham once stated that "...jade lures and lures as no other stone. It is as bad as the 'gold fever,' and once entangled with jade one seldom recovers."
The term JADE is a generic term that actually
covers three minerals. They are Jadeite, Nephrite, and Chloromenlanite.
Jade is chiefly valued by it's color and freedom from cracks. It should have a 'greasy' appearance when it is polished. Colors will range from the many shades of green, to yellow, red, black, and white. Lavender Jade is the most highly valued, and also the most rare forms of the stone.
Jadeite is composed mainly of silica and alumina, it's green color is determined by the amount of iron present. Jadeite is generally brighter and more vivid in color than nephrite. It's body is more translucent and sometimes partially crystallized. The white variety of Jadeite with the brilliant streaks of deep emerald green, gets it color from the element 'CHROMIUM'.
Nephrite is composed mainly of silica and magnesia, it is also dependent on its color by the amount of iron present. Nephrite is usually some shade
of green: it may range from sea green, gray green, celadon, lettuce green, grassy green, and spinach green. Other colors of nephrite include blue gray,
reddish gray, greenish gray, yellow, and black.
Chloromenlanite is a black variety of Jadeite, belonging to the same 'CLASS' which mostly is found in Burma. It was named by "DAMOUR" in 1865. Many black carving from remote regions of China come under this classification of mineral. Silica, alumina, and soda, being equally prominent in Chloromenlanite and Jadeite.
Jade is an ancient stone that has historically been used to attract love. Carved into a butterfly, in China it is a powerful symbol used to draw love.
Jade can be used to bring money into your life. Create a positive attitude towards money and visualize yourself using money creatively and productively while holding the stone in your power hand. When making an important business decision, use the prosperous energies of jade by holding it while contemplating your course of action. Jade strengthens your mental faculties and assists in clear reasoning.
Jade is also a protective stone, guarding against accidents and misfortune. Place a piece of jade between two purple candles and let the candles burn for a short while. Then carry the jade with you as a protection amulet.
The law designating jade as the official Wyoming state gemstone is found in the Wyoming Statutes, Title 8, Chapter 3, Section 8-3-109.
Title 8 General Provisions
Chapter 3 State Seal, Flag, Flower, Bird and Other Symbols
8 3 109. State stone.
Jade is the official gemstone of Wyoming