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    

A Large Chinese Carved Antique "spring Water" Jade Oval Plaque, Yuan/ming49 Mm (1.9") Dark Green Nephrite Jade Sphere Ball From Afghan**estate 18k Yellow Gold Jade Bracelet 15.7mm Sections 6-3/8" Long 21.7 Grams Beautiful Antique Chinese Carved Jade Sterling Silver Tea Strainer With Box**estate 14k White Gold 11x5mm Jade 16pt Diamond Ring 4.5 Grams G-h Vs2 Size 2.5A Fine Antique Chinese Jade Small Circular Spring Box ,18th/19th COld Chinese Yixing Pottery + Pewter Teapotw Jade**ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold Jade Pearl Brooch 1x2-1/8" 5-6mm 9.5 Grams Antique Chinese Jade Carving Of Bamboo And Flowers, 19th CenturyVintage 18kt Gold Diamond Carved Jade Buddha Pendant Jadeite**estate 14k Yellow Gold Beaded Green Jade Necklace 36.9 Grams 29" 8mm **estate 14k Yellow Gold Jade Pendant 6.6 Grams 2-1/8" 6.7mm Antique Vintage Deco 14k Gold Chinese Carved 12 Mm Green Jade Jadeite Necklace!**estate 18k Yellow Gold Jade Dangle Drop Earrings 7mm X 1.5" 6.5 Grams **estate 14k Yellow Gold Lavender Jade Bangle Bracelet 50.3 Grams 2-3/16" 9.5mmVintage Chinese Export Gold Gilt Silver Filigree & Carved Jade Pin Brooch | G T**estate 14k Yellow Gold Lavender Jade Ring 19.5x26mm 13.7 Grams Size 7 **estate Carved Orange Green Jade Bangle Bracelet 52.9 Grams 2.25" **antique Carved White Jade Cup With Handle 82.6 Grams 3.75" Antique Chinese Jade Pendant Mounted In 14k Gold With Horn Beads, Qing Dynasty.Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Natural/jade G10 Cpm-m4 (factory Second)**estate 14k Yellow Gold Carved Lavender Jade Pendant 13.0 Grams 1-7/8 X 3/4"Gorgeous Vintage Chinese Gilt Silver Filigree Enamel & Jade Bracelet | Rs Ax14ct/ 14k Gold Purple Jade Ring, 585Fine 9ct / 9k 375 Rose Gold And Facetted Jade Victorian Necklace Fine Old China Chinese Carved White Jade Pendant Scholar ArtAntique Vintage Art Deco 14k Gold Chinese Jade Jadeite Bangle Estate Bracelet!Fine Antique Chinese Round White Jade Qing Pierced Pendant Or PlaqueArt Deco Antique 14k Gold Jade Bezel Set Watch Chain Necklace 66" Long Estate Fine Big China Chinese Jade Tree Cloisonne Enamel Planter Scholar ArtArt Nouveau 14k Solid Gold Green Jadeite Jade Lavalliere Link Chain Necklace **ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold Jade Pearl Brooch Pendant 22.0 Grams 1.75"Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Jade Bangle Bracelet No Reserve**estate 14k Yellow Gold Multi Colored Jade Pendant 31.0 Grams 2" RoundAntique Chinese White Jade Pendant Or Plaque In The Form Of A Basket Of Flowers**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Pendant 11.5x15mm 4.0 Grams**estate Carved Green Brown Jade Fish Pendant 10.0 Grams 1x2" **estate 14k Yellow Gold Beaded Jade Necklace Carved Pendant 103.6 Grams 22.5"Estate Diamond 2.36ct Jade 18k Yellow Gold Link Bracelet 26.9 Grams NrParker Duofold Centennial Mark Ii Jade 18k Gold Exotic Nib Mint In BoxSpyderco Paramilitary 2 C81gm4p2 Natural/jade G10 Cpm-m4 Elegant 14k Solid Yellow Gold Apple Green Jade & Diamond Necklace Pendant NoresAntique Chinese Jade Carved Coin & Bats Pendant, Qing Dynasty, Provenance. Rare.**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green White Jade Earrings 7.2 Grams 22mm RoundRare Old Pawn Navajo Sterling Silver & Carved Jade Butterflies Cuff Bracelet |rsVintage Jade Bangle Bracelet No Reserve**estate 14k Yellow Gold Carved Flower Jade Ring 14.7x18.6mm 8.3 Grams $1,500 7.67ct Natural Pink Jade & Rhodolite Garnet Ring 14k Yellow Gold ** Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold Jade Earrings 12mm Round 3.8 Grams **estate 14k Yellow Gold Carved Green Jade Pendant 22.8 Grams 1.25 X 2"Greek Key Design Jade 14k Gold Vibrant Green Vintage Jadeite Sz 7 RingA Jadeite Jade Graduated Bead Necklace -carved Bird Floral Clasp/pendant SilverAntique Chinese China Silver Filigree Brooch & Earrings Jade**estate Large Carved 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Pendant 2-3/8" 49.3 GramsArt Deco Peking Jade BraceletAntique Chinese Celadon Green Jade Carved Dragon Necklace Pendant 14k Bale Bnw Diamond Jade 14k Gold Drop Filigree Earrings 8.8 Grams NrLarge Antique Chinese White And Gray Jade Plaque Decorated With Bats And CoinsFine Old Chinese Carved Jade Lao Tzu Shou Star Xian Buddha Sage Sculpture SignedAntique Chinese Export Sterling Silver Carved White & Green Jade Brooch Pin Bnw