One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A hard, pale green or white mineral which is one of the forms of jade. It is a silicate of calcium and magnesium.
- ‘Those made under Perkhin tend to be in the rococo Louis XV style and often have bodies of hardstones such as nephrite or bowenite.’
- ‘Reflecting his dominant emphasis on design rather than gemstones for visual impact, Tiffany chose beads of nephrite for the grapes.’
- ‘Usually of a pale green or grey-green nephrite, they are worked to a high standard and are generally dated to the eighteenth century largely on stylistic grounds.’
- ‘Hewn from jade, nephrite, marble, and hardstone, the oddly shaped blades lack an obvious prototype in any functional tool or weapon.’
- ‘Of the two kinds of jade, jadeite and nephrite, the former is harder than the latter and cannot be scratched with a penknife blade.’
- ‘The table, one of only eight recorded pieces of furniture by Faberge, stands out for its sheer elegance and the subtle orchestration of silver, nephrite, and exotic palisander wood.’
Late 18th century: from German Nephrit, from Greek nephros ‘kidney’ (with reference to its supposed efficacy in treating kidney disease).
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