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    

Rare Antique Chinese Or Japanese Coral Jade Carved Netsuke Skull Necklace18ct/ 18k Gold Antique Jade Drop Earrings, 75019c Chinese White Jade Carved Carving Shoulo Chirography Pendant Plaque 14k GoldVintage 14k Gold Moss Snow Jade Jadeite Ultra Fine Ladies RingBeautiful Well Carved Green White Jadeite Jade Pin Brooch Frog Snail Gourd 19th Century Chinese White Jade Carved Carving Boy Pendant With Silver KnotFine Old Chinese Carved Green Jade Floral Lily Sterling Silver Brooch Pin**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 7.1 Grams 16.4x11.4mm Size 9.2514k Yellow Gold Jade Square Round Bangle BraceletAntique Vintage 1920 Deco 14k Gold Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Pearl Pin Brooch!Estate $3900 18k White Gold Natural Carved Bird Green Jade And Diamond EarringsAntique Vintage Art Deco 14k Gold Chinese Carved Red Jadeite Jade Ring! Sz 5.5Huge Vintage High End Designer Deluxe Jade Art Glass Rhinestone Buddha Necklace9ct/ 9k Gold Chinese Carved Jade Art Deco Ring, T&b, 375**estate 22k Yellow Gold Jade Bracelet 6mm 6.5" 13.1 Grams 10x10mm Chinese Pale Green Jade Knotted Necklace 1930s Solid Gold Large Clasp **estate Orange Jade Beaded Necklace 50.6 Grams 6.9-8.3mm 20.25" Long Antique Chinese Carved Jade Snuff Bottle Of A Blooming Fruit, Qing Dynasty, RareFine Rare Chinese 19/20th Century Qing Dynasty Carved Jadeite Jade Snuff BottleFantastic Well Carved White Jade Toggle Pendant Lui Hai And Toad On Stand 18/19c19c Chinese White Jade Carved Carving Dragon Belt Hook Handle Enamel Iron Mk**estate 14k Yellow Gold 60pt Diamond Jade Ring H-i Si1/2 8.6 Grams 13x23mm Antique Chinese Carved Pebble Jade Pendant Of Blooming Ruyi, Qing Dynasty, Rare.A Well Carved White Jade Pendant Toggle Two Pea Pods Top Quality 19thc Antique Chinese Rare Carved Foo Dog Jade Seal, Qing Dynasty Or Earlier. Superb.Antique Vintage C. 1920 Deco 14k Gold Chinese 8 Mm Jade Jadeite Bead Necklace!18ct/18k Gold Art Nouveau Jade And Diamond Brooch 750Vintage Chinese Carved Jade Baroque Pearl Silver Brooch Pin Large14ct/ 14k Gold Diamond & Apple Jade Art Deco Design Pendant, 585Beautiful 18k Gold Carved Jade 2 Sided Flower & Peach Pendant - Estate FindUnusual Fine Chinese 19/20 Century Carved Jade Large Figure Holding Teapot RareAntique Vintage C 1920 Deco 14k Gold Chinese Multi Jade Jadeite Bangle Bracelet!Antique Chinese Rare Yellow Jade Archaic Pendant, Ming Dynasty Or Earlier SuperbTwo Rare Antique Chinese Hand Carved Celadon Jade Pendant With StandChinese Antique Carved Jade Stone Set 18ct Gold Brooch Peacock Rising From Vase Vintage 14k Gold 39.2 X 15.1mm Floral Carved Green Jade Brooch/pendantVintage Chinese Sterling Silver / Jade Ladies Brooch PinFinest Antique Chinese Solid Silver & Jade Tea Strainer, Dragon DetailVintage Art Deco Czech Ornate Jade Peking Glass Pendant Sterling Chain NecklaceLone Wolf Knives Discontinued~2004 Jade Handle~154cm Blade Paul Ii Knife 1/250Miniature Antique Jade Table Screen With Carved Dragon Antique Chinese Jade Carved Pebble Pendant Of Frogs On Lily Pad, Qing Dynasty.19c Chinese White Jade Agate Carnelian Embellished Hardwood Wood Plaque PanelVintage High End Designer Deluxe Nyc/a'dam Faux Jade Rhinestone Buddha EarringsFantastic Well Carved Celadon Jade Brush Washer Lotus, Buds, Flowers Brush PotAntique Chinese Carved Jade Statue Of Birds On A Rock, Qing Dynasty, Very Fine.Antique Chinese Jade 'ruyi' Hairpin 19th Century14k Gold Ring Lot Of Two 14k Yg Pink Jade Green Jade 11.55 Gr Wear/sell/scrapVintage Estate 14k Gold Carved Green Jade PendantFine Old Chinese Yellow Jade 8mm Bead Choker Hand Knotted 19.5" NecklaceA Beautiful "double Happiness" Jadeite Jade White Green Pendant Finely Early Carved Celadon White Jade Monkey Toggle Pendant 19th Century.19c Chinese Russet White Celadon Jade Carved Carving Button Pendant PlaqueAntique Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Jade Tree Parrots On Custom Wood Stand China10k Yellow Gold Jade Diamond Fish Pendant Rope Chain Necklace14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Teardrop Chinese Fortune Symbol Earrings18th Old Chinese White Jade Dragon Buckle .vase Jade Antique Amber .Antique Art Deco Gilt Sterling Silver Spinach Jade & Rock Crystal NecklaceLadies Elegant Chinese Export Green Jade 11mm Bead Strand Necklace 29" Long LgdSterling Silver 925 Turquoise Coral Jade Onyx Ring Southwestern Jewelry Lot