Zircon separates from one jadeitite sample (JJ) from Tone, Japan and one from Guatemala (GJ) were studied for mineral inclusions, age dating, trace-element determination and Hf isotope analysis. These zircons can be categorized into two types. Type I (igneous) zircons are characterized by the presence of mineral inclusions, among others K-feldspar, which is not present in jadeitite matrix. They also show higher Th/U ratios, larger Ce anomalies and higher 176Lu/177Hf ratios. Type II (metasomatic/solution-precipitate) zircons contain omphacite/jadeite inclusions and exhibit lower Th/U ratios, smaller Ce anomalies and lower 176Lu/177Hf ratios. Both types of zircons display high εHf(t) values, slightly lower than the depleted mantle evolution line. The JJ sample contains both type I and II zircons. SHRIMP and geochemical data indicate that this jadeitite sample was formed through the mechanism of whole-sale metasomatic replacement at ~80 Ma from an igneous protolith of juvenile origin with an age of 136 ± 2 Ma. The GJ sample contains only type II zircons and may have formed through a mechanism of, or close to, vein precipitation at 98 ± 2 Ma. The two samples therefore testify that both mechanisms may have been in operation during jadeitite formation. Based on Hf isotope composition of type I zircons and the back-calculated REE pattern of the presumed protolith, the geochemical characteristics of the protolith of the Tone jadeitite were shown to be similar to those of oceanic plagiogranites derived from partial melting of cumulate gabbros or subduction-zone adakitic granites originated from partial melting of subducted oceanic crust. The latter, however, is a more probable candidate because the former is known to be poor in K2O, which, in contrast, is a notable chemical component in Tone jadeitite. On the basis of the available data, it is also suggested that the protolith, the physicochemical conditions and the extent of jadeitization may all play a role in dictating the chemical variations of jadeitites.