No one material may better epitomize the Chinese arts than jade—a stone that comes in a wide variety of majestic colors, from yellows to greens to purples. Chinese jade mines are long depleted so today the stone is mined in Burma, Central America, Brazil, Canada, and India. Still, Chinese culture has mastered the art of jade carving in a way no other region can match.

According to Chinese mythology, jade is a magical stone, a link between the physical and spiritual realms, as it possesses qualities both yin and yang, day and night, good and evil. Carved jade ornaments of all shapes and sizes have been part of Chinese culture since at least the Neolithic Period, 9500-9000 BC.

Through the millennia, jade has been shaped into tools, weapons, and belt loops, but it is primarily carved into figurines and jewelry. Common jade figures are symbols of good fortune such as bats and gourds, as well as peaches (longevity), magpies (happiness), lotus plants (harmony), and lotus seeds (fertility). Officials wore jade representations of roosters and cockscomb flowers to assert their power, while artists carved jade into realistic images of other flowers, trees, mountains, animals, stars, and even legendary figures.

For collectors, it's important to beware of fakes, as it's easy to make ordinary glass that looks like genuine jade. The market is flooded with these cheap imitations made from molds and having a rough edge you can feel. They lack the density of jade, as well as the high relief and rounded sculpture of true jade carvings. Also, any pieces with air bubbles are not true jade. Real antique jade is difficult to date, and appraisers rely on details like the shape of a dragon's eyes, horns, feet, claws, scales, and tail.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Hall of Jades

Hall of Jades

The Field Museum houses an informative, permanent exhibition dedicated to Jade. Browse the highlights of the exhibi… [read review or visit site]

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

You can get happily lost searching through the 10,000 or so objects on the Asian Art Museum's website. For example,… [read review or visit site]

Gotheborg.com

Gotheborg.com

Jan-Erik Nilsson's extensive reference on antique Chinese porcelain. Jam-packed with information (e.g. on porcelain… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

V.fine Large 19c Chinese Qing Cloisonne Enamel White Jade Plaque Desk Table BoxLot Of (2) Vintage 1970's 14k Gold Carved Lavender & Green Jade PendantsGia Vintage 1940s Heavy 14k Gold Carved Jadeite Jade Enamel Dragon NecklaceAntique Chinese Gilt Export Silver Carved Jade Amethyst Brooch Pin 2 5/8" ChinaAmazing Antique Chinese Apple Green White Jade Jadeite Crane Bird W Lotus FigureA Super&original 19c. Chinese Jade Holder With AccessoryFine Old Chinese Carved Green Jade 14k Gold Panel Dangle Drop Pierced EarringsAntique Chinese Sterling Silver Jadeite Jade Dragon BraceletVintage High Art Deco Czech Faux Jade Green & Lapis Blue Art Glass Bead NecklaceFine Large & Heavy 18k Gold Jade BraceletVintage Green Cared Jade Pendant With 14k Gold BaleExceptional Chinese Carved Natural White Lavender Jade Jadeite Imperial MaidensFine Rare Chinese Ming Qing Dynasty White Jade Buffalo Form Libation Ryhton CupVintage Jadeite Jade Bangle Bracelet With 14k GoldLight Green Jade Bangle With 14k GoldVintage 14k Yellow Gold Translucent Green Jade Bangle 8.0 Mm Thick 36.8 GramsVintage 1960's 14k Yellow Gold Golden Jadeite Jade Bead Necklace - 19.25" LengthSuperbly Carved Chinese Celadon Jade Lidded Vase W Gourd Tree FoliageVintage 14k Gold Ring With JadeVery Fine Chinese Carved Jade Stone Pierced Dragon Figural Lidded Censer VaseAntique Chinese Silver Export Carved Pierced Jade Jadeite Brooch Must See 16.4gVintage Imperial Green Jade Pendant With 14k Gold BaleMing's Hawaii 14k Vintage 1960's Plum Blossom Black Jade Bead Necklace - 37" Antique Chinese White Green Jade Bat Enamel Silver Filigree Bracelet (01241507)Very Fine 16/17c Chinese Ming Dynasty Carved Jade Mythical Fu Lion Bixie FigureFine 19thc Chinese Qing Dynasty White Hetian Jade Bird Gourd Fruit PendantFine Complete Set Chinese Jade Jadeite Lapis Lazuli Agate Musical Instrument SetChinese Antique White Jade Buckle 19thVeryfine Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Elephant W Figures Clouds Bats Silver StandGorgeous Gia Certified Grade 'a' Jadeite Jade Ring With 1 Carat Twt DiamondsAn Antique Chinese Natural Red Coral Jade Jadeite Necklace With Hand Carved Man Fine Rare 17thc Chinese Ming Dynasty Carved Celadon Jade Bird Scenic Bamboo VaseAntique Chinese Carved Gilded Bronze Buckle Jade, Natural Pearls & Pink GemstoneSuperb Chinese Carved Jade Imperial Maiden With Root Form Table Mirror CarvingSuperb Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Elephant Figure Scholars Water Pot BowlAntique Chinese Export Figural Enamel Ruby Jade Sapphire Silver Bracelet Rlm NrVery Fine Chinese Carved Light Celadon Jade Scholars Water Pot Censer BowlAmazing 18/19thc Chinese Carved Natural White Jade Elephant Figural PendantV Fine Chinese Carved Icy Green Jade Jadeite Lidded Vase W Crane Birds Peaches Splendid Chinese Jade Carved Animal Figure White And Black JadeRare 19thc Chinese Carved White Hetian Jade Mandarin Hat Feather Finial PendantRare 18/19thc Chinese White Jade Turtle Form Scholars Water Pot Brush WasherRare Czech Art Deco Nouveau Jade Glass Filigree Enamel Dragon Pendant NecklaceVintage Green Jade Bangle 7.7 Mm Thick 32.7 GramsCertified Grade "a" Jade Pale Green Nephrite Jade BangleVintage Large Lavender Jade Pendant With 14 K GoldLarge Vintage Jadeite Jade Pendant With 18k Gold BaleAn Antique Qing Dynasty Chinese White Jade Hand Carved Flower & Word Jade Lock Superb 18thc Chinese Qianlong White Jade Boy Riding Water Buffalo CarvingFine Art Deco Jade 14k Gold RingFine 19thc Chinese Qing Dynasty Celadon Jade Butterfly Form Belt Hook BuckleFine Old Chinese Carved Green Jade Gold Vermeil Sterling Silver Necklace PendantGia Certified Tambetti Heavy 18k Vs Diamond Carved Natural Jade Cocktail RingVintage 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Earring 7 By 17 Mm Clip On Earring 5.4 GramsVintage Finely Carved Gia Ceritifed Grade 'a' Jade PendantHand Carved Natural Xiu Jade / Serpentine Cigarette HolderAntique Chinese? 9ct Gold And Dark Green Jade BroochLight Green And Lavender Jade Bangle With 14 K GoldCertified Grade "a" Jade Carved White Natural Nephrite Jade Pendant - Very Old!!Vintage Lavender/green Jade Bangle 14k Yellow Gold Clasp 8.1 Mm 37.5 Grams