I have been wearing my green jade bangle since the late 90's and have never taken it off - it's become part of my arm. Before that, I wore a lavender one for 6 years. I recently was given another beautiful bangle (white with dark green markings - very striking and unusual) as a gift but don't feel comfortable wearing more than one bangle at a time. I purchased the lavender one (approximately $600+) and green one (approx. $1500) in Chinatown, NYC (after negotiating them down, of course - I was only interested in quality, not crap). All are solid jade (no hinges) and fit snuggly - the green being the snuggist. I am used to wearing it 24/7 and would feel like part of me is missing if it ever broke. Jade is alive and absorbs your energy - it will actually grow more beautiful as you wear it - the color deepens and it becomes more translucent! I also have a lot of jade pendants and rings. Most non-asians (unlike me) just do not get the subtle beauty of jade. It will protect you and serve you well.
What do you mean by "jade is alive"? I'm really curious now!
Hard to explain "alive" - maybe "organic" is a better word, like wearing pearls or coral. If you wore metal jewelry e.g. gold or silver, or a gem e.g., diamonds, other than possibly tarnishing or getting scratched/nicked, the essence or appearance doesn't really change other than looking worn (except probably diamonds since they are the hardest gem on the mohs scale and less likely to show wear unless you bang it up). When you wear jade, your energy is absorbed within the material and can actually take on a more enhanced, beautiful appearance, including color deepening, increased translucency and, for some, the color can change completely (those are worth a lot). I've experience this color enhancement and increased transparency on my green bangle. My phone camera cannot really capture how special this looks. If you ask any Chinese person you notice wearing jade, they could probably explain it better. I've also been told that jade protects the wearer, i.e., if you fall and the jade breaks, your injuries would be less severe than if you hadn't worn it (haven't experienced that one yet). Hope this helps.
Can jade be easily scratched or scuffed by going about your daily activities? And is it high maintenance?
Jade is a pretty hard substance (I believe it can stratch glass); however, it can break if it is hit in the right spot or dropped (that happened to a beloved ring of mine - I dropped it and it broke in half, so I had it glued back together, but was advised by my Asian friends not to wear it since it's protective value is now lost - hey, the Chinese take their jade very seriously ). Otherwise, I never had a problem with any of my other jade - rings, pendants, bangles. Def not high maintenance. Just put it on and forget about it. If you do purchase a bangle, make sure it fits rather snuggly so you don't bang it all over the place. My green baby is on the narrow side and light, so if I'm typing on my laptop (like I am now), I just push it up my arm a bit. Never scratched or scuffed my jade (again, it is pretty hard substance so don't baby it, but don't drop it either).
Ambereyes - thanks for the pics. I like your white bangle with green streaks. Very unique! If i get a bangle, i'm planning to get a white one or a lavendar one, bcos i think those colours will match my wardrobe better.