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    

Superb 18/19thc Chinese Pure White Jade Snuff Bottle , Ralph Chait Gallery NyVintage Carved Green Translucent Jade Pendant With 14k Yellow Gold Top 1-7/8" Fine Antique Chinese White Jade Pebble Form Snuff Bottle, Orange Coral Lid Superb Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Stone Encrusted Floral Snuff BottleEstate Diamond 2.91ct Green Jade Platinum Ring 9.7 Grams NrVery Fine Chinese White Jade Pebble Gourd Form Snuff Bottle Orange Coral LidFine Art Deco Carved Jade And Diamond 18ct Gold And Platinum Ring.14k Yellow Gold Green Jade EarringsExtra Fine Rare Beautiful & Important Carved White Jade Belt Buckle Garment HookAntique Chinese Qing Dynasty 19th Century Silver Pale Jade Pendant Archers RingVintage Carved Green/white Jade Pendant 14k Gold Top 2" By 1-1/16" Vintage 18k Detailed Carved Green Jade And Diamond Pendant 1-3/8"Vintage Estate Ty Lee 14k Gold Deep Green Jade RingC1880 Victorian 18ct Gold Snowflake Brooch Pearl Jade No Reserve Vintage AntiqueVery Fine 18/19thc Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Snuff Bottle Yellow Stone LidVintage 14k Jade EarringsVintage 10k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 4.8 Grams 15.5 By 10.6 Mm Jade3 Vintage Chinese Green Jade PlaquesVery Fine Chinese Qing Dynasty Carved White Jade Snuff Bottle Agate LidFine Chinese Carved White Jade Boy Cockerel Scenic Snuff Bottle Jadeite LidEstate Designer 14k Gold Apple Jade 8mm Pearl Bracelet,7 3/4"Sterling Silver - Antonio Pineda Taxco Green Jade 11g - Ring (7.5) Mens Te4441Superb Antique Chinese Carved Wood Stand For Vase - Jade - Ect. (s4)Fine Antique Chinese Jade Hat Finial Beautifully Carved Ming Or Yuan DynastyFine Quality Unusual 19/20th C Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Nephrite Statue RareAntique Chinese Carved White Green Mottled Jade Gourd Lotus Form Snuff Bottle Superb C1930s Chinese Carved Spinach Jade Planter Bowl W Rosewood Fitted StandVintage 22k Gold And Finely Carved Translucent Jade PendantVintage Long Peking Glass Faux Jade Beads Pendant Necklace Czech Art Deco ?Fine Small Chinese Light Celadon Jade Horse Pendant Or Toggle 19th-20th Century Large Vintage Carved Green/white Jade Pendant With 14k Yellow Gold Bezel 2-7/8"V Fine Chinese Qing Scenic Carved Spinach Jade Snuff Bottle Pink Tourmaline LidVintage Chinese Ornately Engraved Gilt Silver & Icy Jade Hinged Bangle BraceletAntique 10kt Gold Chinese Carved Jade & Carnelian Necklace W/ Elephant PendantVery Fine Chinese Facet Carved Spinach Jade Snuff Bottle Rose Quartz Lid Stand Antique Chinese Off-white Jade Carved Pad Lock W 14k Yellow Gold, Qing DynastySahara Beautiful Jade Green Linen Lagenlook Smock Top In Size L Chest 48"Sterling Silver Jewelry Lot Earrings Rings Bracelets Southwest Turquoise Jade NrVintage 18k Gold Ring With Jade, Must See, No Reserve!Superb 14ct Gold & Jade / Jadeite Heavy Set Ring. $1 No Reserve !!!Very Fine Chinese Inside Reverse Painted Glass Jade Scenic Signed Snuff BottleStunning Fine Carved Old Chinese Jade Bangle Carved With Fish Funghi CreaturesGia Heavy 24k Gold 19.73 X 13.54mm Green Jade Solitaire Unisex Ring Size 9.5Unusual Chinese Carved Celadon Jade Ruyi Lotus Snuff Bottle Orange Coral Lid Vintage 14k Multi-color Jade Earrings14k Yellow Gold Jade Diamond Ring 6.2 Grams Jewelry (no Reserve)Vintage Carved Green/white Jade Pendant 1-1/2" By 2" Birds/flowers 24.1 GramsFinely Thinly Carved Chinese Qing Spinach Jade Snuff Bottle Orange Coral Lid 2 Vintage High Quality Green & Orange Jade Pendant 5/8"-7/8" 14k & 18k Gold TopVintage Chinese Silver Gilt Enamel Butterfly Fan Brooch Pin Jade Coral CarnelianMing Dynasty Chinese Jade Carved Pendant W Dragon & Phoenix On Each SideVintage 14k Yellow Gold Imperial Green Jade & Diamond Ring 5.5 GramsVintage 14k White Gold Green Jade Ring 7.5 GramsVintage Marked 14k Gold Chinese Jade Drop Earrings 2" 6 Grams Symbol CalligraphyVintage 14k/585 Gold And Jade Ring Size 8.75 Stylish 1930s Art Deco Silver Marcasite Jade / Jadeite/ Glass ? Drop EarringsAntique Chinese Pale Greenish Jade Bi /disc Carved W Repeating Patterns On StandFine Antique Chinese White And Russet Jade Pendant Of A Boy Among PlantsUnusual Amazing Finely Carved Brown Jade Turtle Pendant. Yuan Or Ming DynastyKendra Scott Alex Earrings In Maroon Jade