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    

Heavy Wah 18k Gold Carved Natural Jadeite Jade Chinese Dragon Bangle BraceletEstate 14k Yellow Gold Wide Green Jade Bracelet 31.7 Grams 7/8" Wide9ct/ 9k Gold Art Deco Jade & Seed Pearl Earrings, 375Vintage Heavy 18k Gold Fine Jadeite Jade Genuine Diamond Funky Link BraceletFine Old Chinese 19th Carved Jade Jadeite Covered Vase Carving Sculpture Scholar14k White Gold 16.96ct Diamond Jade Fancy Oval Earrings - 8.48 Grams**estate Carved Green Jade Pearl 4pts Diamond Pendant Brooch 11.6 Grams **antique 22/24k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 5.1 Grams Size 8 14ct/ 14k Gold Jade And Diamond Art Deco Pendant And Chain 58518k Antique Gia Certified A Grade Green Jade 12.5x9.5 80pts Diamond Ring Hi Si-1Vintage Oval Green Jade Cabochon Link Bracelet 14k Yellow GoldFine Old Chinese 19th Carved Spinach Jade Bowl Carving Sculpture Scholar ArtAntique Chinese White Jade Carved Pendant, Bats, Eternity Symbols Qing Dynasty.Antique Retro Jade 14k Yellow Gold Floral Brooch Pin 11.7 Grams NrVintage Chinese Hardwood Kwan Yin Jade Cloisonne 4 Footed Stylized Scroll StandVintage Lot Of 9pc Jade Pendant Earring Mega Lot 14k Yellow GoldFine Old Chinese Large Jade Horse Carving Sculpture Scholar Work Of ArtAntique 14k Gold/platinum Beautiful Diamond/jade Mixed Theme Charm BraceletLadies Elegant 14k Yellow Gold Diamond And Apple Green Jade Necklace Pendant Lmn**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Pendant 1.88 X 1.22 " 20.6 Grams**estate Large Carved Green Jade Pendant 11mm Thick 2x1.60" 32.8 GramsFine Chinese 20th Carved Jade Jadeite Covered Vase Carving Sculpture Scholar ArtEstate Diamond Ruby Jade Sterling Silver Floral Necklace 112.2 Grams NrFine 9ct / 9k 375 Gold And Jade Cluster Earrings 18-19th Chinese Antique Jade Pendant**estate 14k White Gold Graduated Carved Jade Necklace With 8pt Diamond Clasp**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Beaded Necklace 31.2 Grams 26.75" 7.9-8.3mm Antique Chinese Jade Carved Pendant Of A Immortal, Gold Chain Qing Dynasty, RareVintage 20.00ct Green Jade 18k Yellow Gold Large Cocktail Ring 17.1 Grams Nr Diamond Jade 18k Gold Dangling Heart Pendant 16" Chain Necklace 7.2 Grams NrChinese Jade Carving Kwanyin And Prunus On Wood Stand Kwan Yin Kwan-yinEarly Qing Dynasty Chinese Antique Carved Jade Vessel18ct/18k Gold Art Nouveau Jade And Diamond Brooch 750Vintage Round Carved Green Jade Disc Necklace 14k Yellow Gold 16" LengthAntique Chinese Carved Pink Jade ? Stone With Enamel Solid Silver Ring Antique Chinese Jade Carved Statue Of A Young Boy, Superb Colour Qing DynastySuperb Antique Chinese Qing Celadon White Jade Carved Chilong Plaque Pendant No2Kn 14k Gold Beautiful .14ct Diamond & Green Jade Link BraceletStunning Natural Jade 1950s Fine Diamond 18k Gold Long Jadeite Pendant NecklaceA Chinese Jade Coral And Turquoise Mounted Silver Plaque On Stand For Tibetan**estate Green Jade Bangle Bracelet 42.1 Grams 9.6 Mm Thick 2.15" Inside Measure**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade And Pearl Earrings 3-7mm 1.9 GramsAntique Chinese Jade Carved Pendant With Amber And Beads, Qing Dynasty, Superb.19th Chinese Antique Carved Jade Monkey**estate 14k Yellow Gold Orange Jade Ring 4.7 Grams 12x16mm Size 7.75**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 7.1 Grams 16.4x11.4mm Size 9.25Antique Chinese Snuff Bottle, Carved Jade, Qing Dynasty, Provenance, Superb RareVintage Pierced Carved Chinese Jade 14k Gold NecklaceAntique Ancient Carved Koi Fish Large Jadeite Jade Amulet PendantGroup Of Two Chinese Antique Jade,one Han Dynasty Jade SealAntique Chinese Snuff Bottle, Jade & Agate, Qing Dynasty, Provenance, SuperbFine Old Chinese Early 20th Republic Celadon Jade Bangle Bracelet Jewelry ArtAntique Chinese Jade Carved Statue Of A Kylin Dragon, Superb Colour Qing DynastyAntique Chinese Jade Carved Pendant With Amber & Jadeite Beads Qing Dynasty RareAntique Chinese 19th Century Celadon Jade Bi Disc Pendant **estate Green Orange Jade Saddle Ring 5.2 Grams Size 7.75-8 6.2mm Wide Band Estate Diamond Black Jade 18k White Gold Floral Cocktail Ring 10.6 Grams NrBeautiful Antique Chinese Qing Celadon White Jade Carved Chilong Plaque PendantFine Old Chinese Carved Jade Bat Pendant Carving Sculpture Scholar ArtA Chinese Jade Coral And Turquoise Mounted Silver Three Top Urn For Tibetan