The large family of jade encompasses a wide variety of gems. The only pure forms of jade are jadeite and nephrite, though some now consider omphasite a variety of pure jade. Jadeite is the rarer of the two official varieties of jade, and as a result, it is considered more precious. The most valuable variety of jadeite is a striking, emerald-green color known as "imperial jade". There are varieties of nephrite which are also quite valuable, such as the white 'mutton fat' color nephrite.
Jade gemstones can be found in a range in color, including green, white, orange, yellow, lavender, grey and black. In many cases, jade gemstones occur with more than one color in a single gem. Jade gems with color that is evenly distributed is the most highly valued. However, color preferences vary depending on the region. For example, in the West, deep and vivid green jade is preferred, but in the Far East, pure white or yellow jade with a pink tone is prized, along with green 'imperial jade', which is found only in Burma. Lavender color jadeite is also a rarity, and most material is found only in Burma (Myanmar).
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