Olive Jade or Serpentine | Gemology

Olive Jade Schmuck Halbedelstein Schmuckstein falsche Jade Serpentin Jade sterling silber gold plated serpentine fashion jewelry Modeschmuck design Köln Cologne stone gem semi precious gemology image by Sharareh Shahedali

These beautiful faceted stones in the image above are serpentines also called olive jade. This gem comes in a variety of green colors. Sometimes it’s a deep emerald tone which caused naming the stone after the Latin word for snake in ancient times.

Other examples of serpentine. Source: geology.com

In above picture the stones are opaque and uniformly colored. Together with the drop cut and light faceting it makes them appear like delicious sugar candy. But Serpentine can also occur translucent and with inclusions of dark hematite or white flecked, too.

When serpentine is opaque and colored light green with brown undertones exactly like an olive, I prefer to call it olive jade. Which actually is a common synonym for this gem. Retailers like to use this term because it implies another much pricier precious stone. Namely the widely known though very rare real jade. Just as the serpentine, jade comes also in a wide variety of greens though usually people associate a whitish green color with it. Both minerals can be carved but as there is no sparkly shine, figure sculpting is more widespread although real jade is very hard and needs skilled craftsmanship to shape it.

The similarity of both stones leads to a lot of fraud. So, if you’re on the look out for real jade be careful what you buy. Jade is a complete different mineral yet the name is not protected. Just like the Serpentine the real jade naturally occurs in different types of structure and many other stones became called jade as well.

A good indicator is hardness. Jade is amongst the hardest of minerals and in complete opposite serpentine is very soft making it difficult to use in jewelry especially set into rings. If you happen to wear serpentine jewelry… well, just don’t drop it on the floor for it will easily break.

I like to discuss the world of gems from time to time here at this place and offer some light insights. But I am not an actual expert so I will put down some links below if you’d like to inform yourself further on this beautiful olive gem. And don’t worry none of the links lead to esoteric sites, I don’t believe in any healing powers or whatsoever of gem stones.




Alternate terms: new jade, false jade, China jade etc.

Necklace by Apricot Room, one stone unfortunately broke off.


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