The mechanical properties related to the toughness of jade are measured for both jadeite and nephrite. Fracture surface energies are an order of magnitude greater than most commercial ceramics about 120,000 ergs/cm2 for jadeite and 225,00O ergslcm2 for nephrite. Jadeite is the harder of the two minerals,but nephrite is the tougher and the stronger. Scanning electron microscopy of the fracture surfaces indicates that the exceptional toughness results from the fibrous texture of nephrite and extensive transgranular cleavage of the blocky microstructure of jadeite.

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