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    

Outstanding 24k/14k Diamond Pearl Opal 22by15 Mm Green Jade Bracelet 23 Grams * Gia Certified Oval Jadeite Green Jade 3.57 Cts 14k White Gold Diamond RingPair Of Chinese Grade A Jadeite Jade Plaques W/ Stands, Boy Riding Qilin, 19th C*gia Certified (grade A) Translucent Green Jade, Diamond And 14k Gold 4.07 CtsGia Certified 7.78 Cts (grade A Jade) Green Jadeite Jade Cabochon Large White Jade Belt Buckle Plaque Peaches And Bat Design OldVintage 24k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring With Chiness Hallmarks *vintage 22k Gold Green Jade Bracelet 33.1 Grams ( Four 16 Mm Jade Pcs)Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Translucentgreen Jade & Diamond Ring Art Deco 9 Ct White Gold Chinese Jade Drop Earrings C1935 From Maryefine14k Gold Beautiful 12.04ctw Untreated Maw-sit-sit Jade & Diamond Formal NecklaceRare Vtg Antique Chinese Gold Gilt Silver Green Jade Collar NecklaceStunning Chinese Jade Carved Belt Buckle And Plaque Decorated MirrorFine Old Antique Chinese Carved Jade Bead Bat Sterling Silver Pendant NecklaceWharfedale Jade 1 In Rosenut- Complete And MintVtg 83g Chunky Bold Jade Taxco Mexico Mexican Sterling Silver NecklaceNice Old Chinese Carved Jade & 14k Gold BroochGia Certified 18k Gold Elegant Natural Cabochon Jadeite Jade Link BraceletVintage 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 7.50 Grams 12.6 By 16.1 Mm*vintage Green/white Jade Pendant 14k Gold Top 2-3/4" *nice Vintage 22k Gold Gia Certified Green Jadeite Jade Ring Marquise 8.10 Cts Vintage Estate Natural 24ct Untreated Undyed Jadeite Jade 14k Gold Disc EarringsEstate Green Jade 14k Gold Long Drop Dangle Earrings NrVictorian Suffragette Etruscan 14 Carat Gold Amethyst & Jade Mourning Brooch Antique Chinese 14k White Gold Jadeite Jade Earrings & Pin - Grade A JadeiteNice Old Pair Of Chinese Carved Jade & 14k Gold Earrings*vintage Carved Green Jadeite Jade Panels In 14k Yellow Gold Bracelet 9.8 GramsFine Old Chinese Carved Jade Pendant Plaque W/ Auspicous Symbols Antique Qing Chinese Export Jade Belt Hook Handled Bronze Silver Enamel Mirror Large Chinese Carved Spinach Jade Tripod Censer, Incense Burner, Early 20th C.*vintage Gia Certified Grade A Jadeite Jade Bangle Bracelet Very Light BrownLarge Chinese Jadeite Jade Plaque W/ Stand, Guanyin, Phoenix, Dragon, Late 20thcAntique Chinese Jade Carved Dragon Belt Buckle Mounted Letter Opener*vintage Green Oval Jade 14k Yellow Gold Ring 8.2 Grams 5.33 CtsAntique Carved Green Jade 14k Gold Drop Pendant 9.4 Grams NrChinese Spinach Green Nephrite Jade Double Dragon Belt Hook, 18/19th CenturyLarge Vintage Lavender Jade 14k Yellow Gold Ring 18.7 Grams 18 By 14 MmVintage 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Earrings 9 By 12 Mm Clip On19th C.- 20th C. Chinese Jade And Carnelian Necklace, With Silver Bells*vintage Gia Certified Nephrite Carved Jade Bangle 11.1 Mm Thick Fine Old Chinese Carved Celadon Jade 14k Gold Mythical Dragon Necklace PendantCharming Vintage 10mm Coral Fruit Drop 750 18k Gold Earrings Jade LeavesAntique Chinese Apple Green Jade 18k Ring W Shou And Floral CarvingsVintage Lavender Jade 14k Yellow Gold Diamond Ring 17 By 12 Mm 14.0 Grams Vintage Carved Orange Translucent Jade Pendant 14k Gold Top 1-1/4"Vintage 22k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 17 By 6 MmAntique Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite & 14 K Gold Pin Brooch Bird Of ParadiseVintage Lavender Jade Bangle Ring 9.3 Mm Very Beautiful Old 9ct Gold Ring Set With Green Stone / Glass - Jade - EmeraldArt Deco T.y. Lee Co. 5.30ct Natural A Grade Jadeite Jade Diamond 14k Gold RingVintage Lavender Jade 14k Gold And Fresh Water Pearl 30" Necklace Antique Mens Womens Jade Ring 10k Solid Yellow GoldPair Of Chinese Carved White Jade / Celadon Jade Silver EarringLarge Vintage Carved Translucent Green/white Jade Pendant 2" RoundEarly Vintage Le Jade Perfume By Roger & Gallet Bottle W/ Orig Green Parrots BoxFine Old Chinese Carved White Jade Coral Turquoise Onyx Silver Necklace PendantHand Carved Large Oriental Chinese Green Jade Dragon FigureVintage 1980's Chinese 22k Yellow Gold Imperial Green Jadeite Jade Saddle RingOriental Chinese Antique Silver Gilt Cloisonne Box With Carved Jade TopAntique Vintage Chinese Carved Apple Jade Jadeite Panel Bracelet