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]

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    

Estate Lot 3 Fine Chinese 14k Gold Carved Jade Jadeite Fu Lion Bead NecklacesAntique Chinese Carved Jade And Coral Necklace Set In Silver Filigree, OrnateAntique Chinese Carved White Jade Plate Yuan Dynasty / Ming DynastyGargantuan Estate Lot Pearl Stone Amber Agate Jade Necklace Brooches Pins+++Fine White Jade Statue Woman With Child On Wood StandMagnificent Finely Carved White Jade Covered Box 18/19th Century. A Beauty!18k 2-tone Gold Fancy 1.32ctw Vs1/g Diamond/green Jade PendantWonderfull Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Jade And Diamond Swan Pin Vtg Chinese Export Green & White Jade Jadeite Carved Gourd 14k Gold Earrings WscAntique Art Deo White Gold And Jade Chinese NecklaceGia Certified-natural Type/grade A-apple Green Jadeite Jade Bead Necklace-8.8mmFine Celadon Rectangular Jade Pin Reticulated Carving Of Lotus Flowers And BudsBeautifully Carved Chinese White Jade Mounted Metal Box Yuan Ming Dynasty Very Fine Old Chinese Nephrite White Jade Snuff Bottle, Well Hollowed.Chinese Carved Grade A Jadeite Jade Snuff Bottle, Chrysanthemum Design, 19th C.Pair Antique Russian Spinach Jade Vases- Imperial Eagle Faberge Cat Cup SignedVintage 14k Yellow Gold Jade Saddle Ring Large Lot Antique Vintage 14k & 10k Gold Jade Ruby Faux Diamond Seal RingsUnusual Vintage Antique Chinese Gilt Silver Carved Jade Fish BroochSuperb Chunky Chinese Solid Silver & Jade Bracelet Silver Gilt Mesh Filigree Fine Old Chinese Set (8) Carved Jade Immortals Sculpture Carvings ArtVintage 14k Yellow Gold Jade Ring Signed H.k.Antique Jade Stone 9ct Gold Ring ( Chinese ) Lovely Rare 1930s Jadeite Jade Ring 14k Gold Gia Certified Grade A Jadeite 5.8ctBeez Neez Jade Condenser Microphone Boutique Hand Made Pro AudioVintage 18k Gold Diamond Translucent Green Jade Budda PendantEstate Lot Antique Chinese Jade Agate Orange Stone Carved Pendant PlaquesAntique Jade Stone 9ct Gold Bracelet ( Chinese ) Vintage 14k Gold Fancy High Fashion 16 X 12.15mm Oval Green Jade Cocktail RingRare Chinese Carved White Jade Snuff Inscribed Poem Traveler Antique Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Jade Ring Signed Ming's' Engraved Hearts On MountingVintage Carved Lavender Jade 14k Yellow Gold Flower Pendant Chinese Celadon Nephrite Jade Carving, Shou Lau & Boy, Peach, Gourd,19th CenturyVintage Natural Carved Apple A Jade/jadeite Custom 14k Solid Gold EarringsVintage Chinese Antique Jadeite Jade Angel Skin Red Coral Hand Carved Necklace Fine Large And Heavy Chinese Jade Necklace With A Silver ClaspVery Unusual Vintage 14ct Gold & Jade Scarab Beetle Bracelet Vintage Translucent Green/white Flowers & Dragon Jade Pendant 14k Gold TopBlack Jade I've Got To Get Back Home Killer Roots 7" Listen !Fine Pair Of Heavy Cabochon Jade 14ct Gold EarringsVintage Estate Carved Nephrite Jade & Carved Angel Skin Coral Floral NecklaceChinese Nephrite Jade Carving / Toggle, Dog With Lingzhi, Ming Period 16/17th C.Judith Ripka Sterling Silver Jade Cuff Bracelet Vintage Diamond Jade Saddle 18k Yellow Gold Diamond BraceletChinese Enameled Silver & Jade Or Nephrite Bangle Bowl 155g - MarkedAntique Good Colour Chinese Jade Stone Earrings Gold Setting 19th C. Chinese Inlaid Jade Shousan Stone Carved Rosewood MirrorRare Antique Chinese Fei-ts'ui Carved Jade Jadeite Bronze Form Beaker ChinaAntique Chinese Carved White Jade 19th CenturyAntique 18k Gold Diamond/15.9 X 5.5mm Green Jade Florentine Cocktail RingAntique Chinese Carved Green Jade Jadeite Reticulated Silver Filigree EarringsChinese Asian Pierced Hand Carved Celadon Green Jade Brooch Pin Silver AntiqueNatural 9.80ct A Grade Jadeite Jade Princess Diamond 14k Gold Bangle BraceletAntique Silver Brooch White & Green Carved Jade Rare Estate Find No ReseveEstate Lot Filigree Sterling Silver Enamel Jade Necklace Brooch PendantsVintage Jade And 14k Yellow Gold Necklace By Ming's Of Honolulu 21" Long 18k Yellow Gold Accent Bead Two Strand Genuine Green Jade 7mm Beads NecklaceVintage Natural Imperial Green Jadeite Jade 14k Yellow Gold Floral NecklaceAntique Silver Long Guard Art Nouveau Jade Muff Chain 66 Inch Long No ReserveHand Carved Dark Green Jade And 18kt Yellow Gold Detailed Bird Pendant Vintage