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    

Antique Chinese Ming Reticulated White Or Celadon Jade Rectangular Plaque, Important Ming Huanghuali Screen Panel Inlaid White Jade Agate Amber Malachite Magnificent Large Celadon White Jade Belt Buckle Garment Hook 19th CenturyFine Chinese 17th / 18th Century Celadon And Russet Jade Cup Chilong HandlesExceptional Chinese Gilt Silver Enamel & Carved White Jade Bracelet BatsRare Chinese 18/19c Pure White Jade Imperial Vase Dragon Lid Bronze Scholars BoxLadys 18k Gold Vintage Cabochon Jade Ring, Size-7 No Reserve!Vintage Chinese Sterling Silver Filigree Jade Pink Tourmaline Wide BraceletFinely Carved 18th Century White Jade Mythical Animal Pendant ToggleAntique? Vintage Solid Silver Filigree Enamel Green Jade Chinese BraceletVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Carved Jade RingA Chinese Carved Natural Jadeite Jade PlaqueVery Fine Good Old Yellow Jade Snuff Bottle Well HollowedVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Carved Jade RingTiffany & Co. Antique 1893 18k Gold 15.4 X 12mm Green Jade Solitaire Men's RingFine Chinese 19th Century Celadon Jade Pendant Carving Bi Disc Chilong KylinNatural 6.00ct Imperial A Grade Jadeite Jade 14k Gold Carved Leaf EarringsVintage White And Green Finely Carved Jade Pendant With 14k GoldFine Chinese Ming Dynasty White And Black Jade Carving Of A Chilong KylinFine Antique Chinese Cloisonne Enamel Jar Box W Jade Inlaid Sceptre PlaqueFine Chinese Ming Dynasty White Jade Belt Plaque Carving Of A DragonFine 19th C.- 20th C. Chinese Natural Sea Coral Bead Necklace, Gold-jade ClaspAntique Chinese Jade And Silver Gilt Earrings Circa 1930 Superb ConditionAuthentic Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti Spain 18k Yellow Gold Jade Cabochon NecklaceVintage 18k Yellow Gold And Jadeite Jade PendantVtg Antique Chinese Textile Jade Rose Quartz Handbag Purse BagVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Jade RingLarge Heavy Elegant 11.3mm Wide 8" Inner Circumference Jade Bangle BraceletFine Chinese Carved Celadon Green Jade Lotus Pierced Lidded Censer VaseFine Chinese 19th Century White Jade Plaque Pendant Of A Goose Amongst FlowersVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Carved Jade RingAntique 10.00ct Jade 14k Gold Mouse Pin Brooch 7.9 Grams NrGia Certified Natural Un-treated 34.45ct Jadeite Jade Diamond 14k Gold RingFine 19thc Chinese Qing Carved Spinach Jade Lotus Form Scholars Water Pot BowlVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Jade RingVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Jade RingAntique Chinese Jade? Silver Filigree BraceletAntique 14k Yellow Gold 5ct Natural Oval Cut Jade Solitaire Leafy Ring 4.8g Vintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold And Jade RingChinese Jade Decorated BoxDouble Cabochon Green Jade Jadeite 18k Ring 10mm X 15mm Stone ...... No ReserveVintage Estate Natural 24ct Untreated Undyed Jadeite Jade 14k Gold Disc EarringsVintage Estate Solid 22k Gold Green Jadeite Jade Cabachon RingFine Chinese 18th / 19th Century Celadon Jade Belt Hook With Dragon HeadVintage 18k Yellow Gold With Imperial Jade And Diamond EarringsHeavy Vintage 14k Yellow Gold 22.5mm X 8.75mm Green Jade Cocktail Ring Size 7.75Vintage 14kt Gold & Chinese Green Jade Pierced Earrings, Perfect, No Reserve!Antique Chinese Carved Mutton Fat Jade & Silver PendantNice Antique Chinese Silver Pin Brooch Jade Emerald ~ Carved Tourmaline ~ No ResAntique Chinese White Jade Carved Lily Flower Door Bell Ringer Mythical CreatureVintage Gia Certified Grade 'a' Imperail Jadeite Jade And 22k Yellow Gold RingAntique 7.08ct Ruby Jade 14k Gold Cat Pendant Pin Brooch NrVintage Massive 14k Yellow Gold Green Jadeite Jade Gypsy Men's RingChinese Jade Decorated Brass/bronze Box For Court Necklace?Pair Vintage 14k Gold Chinese Export Green Celadon Jade Bi Disk Earrings Sbw NrVtg 14k Solid Gold Colored Jade Bracelet Lavender Red Yellow White Green Sbw NrFine Large And Heavy 3 Strand Jade 14ct Gold NecklaceAntique Chinese Apple Jade 18ct Gold Brooch Pin Signed WkFabulous Judith Ripka Sterling Carved Lavender Jade Omega Back EarringsAntique Chinese Jade Bangle Bracelet 19th Century ................. No Reserve