An Investigation of Nephrite Jade by Electron Microscopy

M. Dorling and J. Zussman
Department of Geology, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL

Abstract: Two specimens of tremolite and one of richterite, all with nephrite jade texture, have been examined by transmission electron microscopy using ion-thinning for specimen preparation. The specimens contain clusters of very small lath-like crystallites with z-axes approximately parallel but in a range of azimuthal orientations. It is suggested that these clusters which are themselves in varied orientations are the result of post-tectonic recrystallization of strained amphibole crystals, the new crystals inheriting the z-axis orientations of the old. The extreme toughness of nephrite jade is attributed to a number of the sub-microscopic features observed, including the sizes, habits, and orientations of its crystallites, and the nature of its grain boundaries.

Keywords: electron microscopy • nephrite jade • tremolite • richterite

Mineralogical Magazine; March 1985 v. 49; no. 350; p. 31-36; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1985.049.350.04
© 1985, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (