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    

Antique Art Nouveau Walter Lampl 10kt Yellow Gold Carved Jade Earrings Signed WlVintage 14k Gold And Imperial Green Jade EarringsVintage Beautifully Carved Imperial Green Jade Pendant With 18k Gold Fine Quality Chinese Belt Fastener - Possibly White Jade - Extremely Rare - L@@kVintage Lady's 14k Yellow Gold Apple-green Jadeite Jade Donut Stud EarringsLarge Lot Of Various Chinese Items Finials Boxes Seals Etc Jade Amethyst EtcVintage Natural Carved Green Jade & 14k Gold Brooch4 Piece Lot Of Chinese Carved Jade Including Plaques Pins Statue EtcExtraordinary & Fine Art Deco Era Jadeite Jade Bead Necklace W/ Gia CertificateVintage Hand Carved Green & White Jade Pendant Men , Fish & VinesRare Antique Chinese Carved Jade Buckle Necklace Ring And Earring Set 14kEstate Vintage Retro Green Emerald Jade Jadeite Diamond 14k Gold Cluster RingJuliana Book Piece! Rhinestone Green Jade Cabochon Filigree Necklace Earring SetVintage 22k Gold & Natural Jade And Pearl Bracelet Vintage 18k Yellow Gold Oval Jade Cabochon & Diamond Ring 1969 Christian Dior Germany Egyptian Revival Faux Gold Sapphire Jade Necklace Nr19th C. Chinese Greenish White Carved Jade Lotus Pod Formed Pendant Russian Silver Enamel Clock Jade Base WorkingNice Large Lot Of Various Jade Carvings Teapots Brushpots Beads EtcImportant 18thc Chinese Imperial Carved Man Light Celadon Jade Flower Pendant Vintage 1970's 14k Yellow Gold Melon Green Jadeite Jade Hinged Bangle BraceletVintage 18k White Gold With Imperial Jade And Diamond BraceletVintage 14k Gold & Translucent Natural Jade Bangle Bracelet Vintage Natural Green Jade & 14k Gold PendantVintage 14k Gold And Imperial Green Jade EarringsChinese Antique Carved White Celadon Antique Jade FishAncient Antique Pre Columbian Mexican Carved Jaguar Jade Stone Mezcala EffigyTwo Chinese Celadon Jade Carvings Statues Of Horse And BirdVintage Imperial Jade And 22k Gold Necklace And Pendants1942 Crown Trifari Red Enamel Dragon & Faux Jade Ming Collection Pin BroochVintage 1950's 22k Chinese Yellow Gold Apple Green Jadeite Jade Cabochon RingPair Of Antique Chester 9ct Gold Green Jade Gents CufflinksHong Kong Designer 3.50ct A Grade Jadeite Jade Transparent 14k Gold RingVintage Large White/green Translucent Ice Jade Bangle Bracelet Heavy 18k Gold Fancy Floral Carved Green Jade Pendant On Fancy Chain NecklaceAntique Vintage Chinese Exsport Silver Carved Nephrite White Jade Earrings19th C. Chinese Mutton Fat Jade Foo Lion With A Cub, Possibly Early 20th C. Vintage 14k Gold Lavender & Green Jade Bead NecklaceVintage 18k Yellow Gold And Natural Imperail Jade EarringsVtg Estate 2" Solid 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Dangle Tear Drop Pieced Earrings Chinese Natural Light Green Jadeite Jade Bangle Bracelet, Mid 20th CenturyNice Lot Of Three Carved Items Including Jade Plaque EtcVintage 14k Gold And Green Jade EarringsAntique Art Deco 14k White Gold Natural 2ct Carved Jade Diamond Leafy Ring 3.6gVintage Chinese Export Natural Jade Grapes Gilt Silver Filigree Sgd Earrings 19thc Chinese Qing Dynasty Hand Carved Jade Pendant With Open Work Floral DesignVintage Imperial Green Jade Pendant With 18k Gold And DiamondsChinese 18th Century White Jade And Silver BoxVintage Solid 18ct Gold Chain Real Oriental Jade 16x12mm Bead Necklace 15"longAntique Chinese White Jade CupFine Chinese Carved Hetian White Jade Hardstone Double Carved Open Work PendantSterling Silver Chinese Coral And Jade Set Snuff Opium Box Jewel Casket 1800sVintage Natural Green Jade & 14k Gold PendantAmazing Emerald Green - Gia Certified Grade A Natural Jadeite Jade Ring Sz 7.5 Vintage 16 Inch Graduated Jade Necklace W/ Carved Floral Center. Clasp In FrontInteresting Old Carved Green Stone Maori Tiki - Possibly Nephrite Or Jade - RareAntique Chinese Jadeite Jade Necklace And Carved Pendant, Stunning Colour!14k 2-tone Gold Fancy Elegant Diamond/16 X 12mm Cabochon Lavender Jade EarringsBeautiful Vintage 14k Gold Jade RingVintage Natural Green Jade & 14k Gold Pendant