Well thanks to the help of some kind people on Etsy.com, I was able to get some information on the stones I purchased in Tucson.(see this post) Apparently both the dealers were correct when they told me that it was Afghan Jade, which is a type of serpentine. I was very pleased with the way the first piece of jewelry made with these interesting stones turned out. The smoothness of the stones and earth toned colors seems to be further enhanced by the carnelian center bead and the two kinds of brass findings I used to finish the piece.
I gave this necklace to one of my closest friends for her birthday and she was very pleased. There is nothing like a handmade gift for a special occasion. I look forward to making another piece of jewelry with the remaining stones and will share them here when I do.