There is often confusion between the terms jade and jadeite. They each have different mineral compositions, but are interchangeable in their esoteric use. In fact nephrite jade is created from compacted needles of Actinolite crystals, which are long bladed and fibrous - typically deep green or black. Simmons defines jade as "nephrite" jade (deep green, white or brown) or "jadeite" (all other shades). I choose to only refer to the pale spring green material as jadeite, and call all others jade and according to their type, source or colour.
Jade is an ancient and wise mineral. It holds a pattern very well, and this is often well utilised by using it in carvings, which not only hold a "physical" pattern in the shaping, but also an "energetic" imprint of the desire and intent behind the creation. Actinolite (Nephrite) is also said to be a great shielder and protector, and so can be used to greatly expand the energy field facilitating greater connection to All That Is. All forms of jade are a special gift of the Earth to us, who uses Jade in its many forms to strengthen and enhance our connection with her and show us that she loves and cares for us in so many different ways. Accordingly it is also an excellent gift to make from "parent" to "child" (or similar relationships). The colours emphasise the way in which their gifts may best be used (connected with the spectrum colour of the tradition chakras / energy bodies: green = the heart; black = the earth star / outer aura; blue = thought processes; lavender = the spirit.)