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    

Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Translucent Carved Green Jade Butterfly 1-1/4" PendantVintage Green Malachite Jade Ruby 14k Gold Necklace 189.2 Grams NrVintage 22/24k Jade And Ruby Pendant, 8.5 Grams 1-5/8 Vintage White And Green Translucent Engraved Jade Bangle, 55.9 Grams 9.8 MmVintage 18k Yellow Gold Translucent Green Jade Pendant, 1 1/8" X 5/8", 7.2 Grams2 Antique Chinese White Jade Pendants Qing Dynasty ................. N0 Reserve*vintage Translucent 22k Gold Green Jade Pendant Gia Certified 18 By 8.80 Mm Antique 22ct Gold Chinese Jade Ring Vtg Chinese Export Sterling Silver Filigree Jadeite Jade Citrine Topaz BraceletVintage 1950's 24k Chinese Symbol Seal Stamped Apple Green Jade & Ruby PendantVintage 14k Yellow Gold Orange And Green Jade Pendant 1-1/2"x 3/4", 16.4 GramsLarge Vintage 14k Scrolled Bale Double Sided Carved Insect Flower Jade PendantVintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Yellow Gold Jade Earrings, 6.1 GramsVintage Translucent Carved Green Jade Pendent, 10.2 Grams 14k Top 1-5/8"Amazing Ladies 18k Yellow Gold & Jade Piaget Manual Wind Wrist Watch Vintage 22/24kt Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring, 6.6 GramsChinese Gilt Silver Filigree And Jadeite Jade Bracelet, Early 20th CenturyVintage Carved Green Jade Bead Bracelet, 44.1 Grams 11-12 MmVintage 14k Y Ellow Gold And Green Jade Earrings 12mm By 18 Mm Jade 8.0 Gr.A Rare Vintage Qing Chinese Embellished Jade Snuff Bottle With Precious StonesAntique Victorian 14k Gold Carved Jade Jadeite Drop Dangle Screwback EarringsAntique Chinese Enameled Box With Jade Bird Plaque Qing To Early 20th N0 ReserveDesigner 3pc 14k Gold, Onyx, Jade & Carnelian Drop Earring Set Chinese Early White Jade Belt Buckle Vintage 18k Yellow Gold Diamond & Green Jade Earrings 10.5 By 7.3 Mm Fine 14k Gold Chinese Spinage Jade PendantVintage 14k Yellow Gold, White/green Carved Translucent Jade Bangle, 49.0 GramsFine Antique Chinese White Jade Boy & Bird Qing Dynasty & Brushwasher N0 Reserve2 Pair Of Vintage Chinese Jade 14k & Gold Filled Earrings .......... N0 ReserveVintage 14kt Yellow Gold Green Jade Saddele Ring, 6.6 GramsStunning 14k Yellow Gold Apple Green Jade Cabochon & Diamond BraceletVintage 14k Yellow Gold, 7- 7 1/2 Mm Pearl Strand/ Jade Clasp Necklace, 30 GramsEarly 1920s Asian Jade Goddess Of Mercy Elephant Huge Fine Sculpture CnxAntique Art Deco Necklace Pendant Sterling Jade Art Glass Rhinestone Wow! 254Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Green/orange 1 3/4" X 5/16" Jade Pendant, 7.1 Grams Large Vintage Ming's Of Honolulu 14k Jade Pendant, 20.9 Grams 2-1/4 By 1-3/4Vintage Ming's Of Honolulu Amber Color Jade Brooch W/ Pearls, 10.1 GramsVtg 1920's Art Deco Czech Molded "bird Of Paradise" Jade Peking Glass NecklaceVintage Carved Transluscent Green/lavendar Jade Pendant, 2" Rd, 37.1 GramsVintage Chinese Silver & Jade Filigree Bracelet 10.50ct Natural Light Green Jade Solitaire Pendant 14k Yellow Gold Gorgeous Vintage 122.50ct Natural True Color Lavender Jadeite Jade Bangle BraceletTrifari 'alfred Philippe' Jade Belly Ming Turtle Pin, Clip Or Fur ClipApple Green Jade Hinged Bangle Bracelet W/ Lavender Jade Ends In 14k Yellow GoldSuperb C1920 Italian Solid Silver Jade Jewelled Jewellery Ring Dresser Jar BoxAntique Chinese Mandarin Court Necklace, Tigers Eye, Jade And Silver Beads, QingAn Antique Qing Dynasty Chinese White Jade Hand Carved Double Butterfly PendantMagnificent Ancient Antique Necklace Of Large Jade Beads, China early QingAntique Chinese 18th/ 19th Century Pale Celadon Jade Buddha Figure Estate FindVintage 14k White Gold Ring With 10.10 Ctw Jade And Diamonds! 8.6 Grams! Y06Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Multi-colored Jade Brooch, 1 5/8" X 1 1/2", 9.2 GramsAntique Chinese Fine Carved Jade Statue Of A Dog, Superb Quality, Qing Dynasty.Lovely Petit Estate Asian 14k Gold & Jade Bracelet Pair With 18k Gold Jade RingBill Wall Super Custom Creepy Hands Half Skull Pendant Jade Ball Skull 18k Bwl Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Bangle, 10.62 Mm, 68.2 GramsAntique Chinese Jade Or Serpentine Covered Censor W/ Stand Silver InlayAntique Chinese Silver Enamel Bracelet 4 X Jade 46,9 Gr. Wunderful Stunning Platinum Gia 6.5ct Imperial Green Jade Jadiete & 0.48ct Diamond RingFinest Chinese Antique Natural Jade Women Bracelet Nephrite Bangle Ne195Chinese Antique Jade Dragon Belt Hook, On Original Cherrywood Display Stand.