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    

Beautiful Early Chinese Export Sterling Silver Jade Jadeite Cabochon Pin**estate 22k Yellow Gold Green Jade Pendant 0.75x1.5" 9.2 Grams 1.00cts Diamond Jade 14k Gold Drop Filigree Earrings 8.8 Grams NrSolid 14k Yellow Gold & Jade Hinged Bangle Estate Bracelet As Is Needs Repair NrChinese Antique Bronze Incense Burner With Wood Stand And Lid, Jade On TopFine Chinese White Jade & 14k Dragons & Shou Pendant Qing Dynasty --- No ReserveRare 13-14 Mm Old Chinese Carved White Jade Bead Necklace W/14k Yg Clasp-deadly A Grade Untreated Natural Lavender Jadeite Jade Pearl Diamond 14k Gold RingAntique Chinese White Jade 2 Brooches Pair Of Earrings Marked SilverHuge Chinese Jadeite Jade Natural Seed Pearl 14k Gold Antique Pendant Pin Ca1910Chinese Antique Bronze Incense Burner W/ Wood Stand And Lid, Jade Figure On Top**estate 14k Yellow Gold 60pts Diamonds Jade Ring G-h Si1 4.4 Grams Size 6**estate 14k Yellow Gold Carved Jade Earrings 3/4x1.25" 6.1 Grams Fine Antique Chinese Carved White Jade Imperial Court Robe Belt & Buckle Pendant**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Hinged Bangle 62.0 Grams 10.65mm 7"Vintage Italian 94.80ct Jade 18k Yellow Gold Oval Link Bracelet 67.2 Grams NrFine Antique Chinese Carved White Jade Double Dragon Wedding Bracelet Bangle Fine Antique Chinese Carved White Jade Silver Pierced Vase Pendant Brooch Pin**estate 14k Yellow Gold Carved Green White Jade Bangle 44.4 Grams 8.7mm 7"**estate 14k Yellow Gold Lavender Jade Hinged Bangle 42.4 Grams 8.8mm 6.75"Nice Old Chinese Carved Jade & Gold Ring Marked 10k Apple GeenVintage 14k Gold 0.20ct Diamond Jade Amethyst Handcrafted Flower Pin Brooch RareEstate Jade 14k Yellow Gold Pendant 14.4 Grams NrOld Chinese Bright Apple Green Jade Beads 18k Gold Diamond Necklace (0619170350)Late 18th Or Early 19th Century Chinese White Jade Eggplant CarvingChinese Antique Jade Carved Elephant And ChildFine Old Chinese Pair Carved Jade Serpentine Birds Carving Sculpture ScholarFine Antique Chinese Carved Pierced Apple Green Jade Silver Floral Pendant PinCollection Of Antique Jade White Green Yellow Pendants Snuff Bottle Finials Bi'sFine Antique Chinese Carved White Jade Silver Pierced Vase Pendant Brooch PinJade 14k Yellow Gold Chinese Hoop Earrings - No Reserve - 0.99 Cent Auction! WowFine Quality Vintage Chinese Carved Green Jade Flowering Branch Sculpture Bba NrVintage Chinese Export Silver Vermeil Gilt Filigree Jade Bracelet Heavy 53 GramsUltra Fine Jadeite Moss In Snow Jade 9k White Gold Antique Art Deco Bar Pin Antique Vintage Deco 18k 20k Gold Chinese Imperial Jade Jadeite Diamond BraceletAntique Carved Jade Mother Of Pearl 1912 Silver Mount Page Turner Letter Opener11 Fine Authentic Pre-columbian Jade Beads & Pendant From The Leesman CollectionVintage Fine Chinese Silver Jade Clip On Earrings BeautifulChinese Export Jade Plaque Brooch Antique Old Stock Natural Red Coral Cabochons Others Amber Turquoise Jade Sale Very Fine Green Jadeite Jade Bracelet 7 Carved Discs Set Yellow Karat Gold W/giaBest Collection 7.65 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade(type A) Imperial Green-white FlowerJade Shou Hand Carved Necklace Chinese Estate Jewelry Longevity Gemstone LotRecommend 5.45 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Light Green-white Cloud TextureDainty Ruby Jade And Sterling Briolette Earrings From Sundance CatalogJade 14k Yellow Gold Chinese Hoop Earrings - No Reserve - 0.99 Cent Auction! WowNecklace Butterfly JadeRecommend 17.75 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Green Fancy Pendant No-dyeing7.15 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Pendant Green-white No-dyeingFine Antique Chinese Sterling Silver Art Deco Jade Tilt Stand Teapot 1416 Grams Nice 5.10 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Deep-green Cloud Texture CabochonBeautiful Antique Asian 23ct Gold Jade Ring Chinese?Vintage Art Deco Czech Molded Jade Green Floral Glass Enamel Brass Link BraceletAntique Chinese 19th / 20th Century Pale Celadon White Jade Pendant Bat ShouAntique Chinese Carved Green Jade Pebble Snuff Bottle & Stopper Mythical BeastFine Antique Chinese Sterling Silver Art Deco Jade Teapot 816 Grams Nice 24.2 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Flower Pendant Honey-brown No-dyeing14.15 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Pendant Green-gray-white No-dyeingAccessories 6 Pcs 60.55 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Green-white No-dyeingNice 45 Ct Genuine Jadeite Jade (type A) Coin Pendant Green-white No-dyeing