Yes, there is a difference between jade and jadeite. Jade refers to two different minerals, jadeite and nephrite, which have similar properties but different chemical compositions.
Nephrite is a calcium magnesium silicate mineral that is softer than jadeite and is typically found in shades of white to dark green, although it can also be found in other colors. It has a more fibrous and granular structure than jadeite, which gives it a more matte appearance.
Jadeite, on the other hand, is a sodium aluminum silicate mineral that is harder and denser than nephrite. It is typically found in shades of green but can also occur in other colors, including white, black, yellow, lavender, and red. Jadeite has a more crystalline structure than nephrite, which gives it a more lustrous and translucent appearance.
While both nephrite and jadeite are considered to be forms of jade, jadeite is generally considered to be the more precious and valuable of the two, due to its rarity, translucency, and vibrant colors. Jadeite is also considered to be the "true" jade in Chinese culture, where it has been highly prized for thousands of years.