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 14ct Solid Gold 25.4g Chinese Dragon Bracelet Bangle Jade Set C1920 NrGia Certified Carved Translucent Mottled Green Jade 14k Yellow Gold Bracelet Fine Old Chinese 18th/19th Carved Jade Plaque Mounted As Box Carving Sculpture Gia Certified Translucent Mottled Green Jade Bracelet 22k Yellow Gold 21.4 Gr.Vintage 18k Detailed Carved Green Jade And Diamond Pendant 1-3/8"Gia Heavy 14k Wg 11.03ctw Vs/g Diamond/natural Green Jade Cocktail Ring Size 7.5Antique Chinese Carnelian Coral Jade Carved Bead Necklace 14k Gold ClaspAntique Art Deco Chinese Export Finest Carved Jadeite Jade & Silver Large BroochFine Old Chinese 19th/20th Carved Jade Finger Citron Carving Sculpture ArtBonsai Tree: Portulacaria : Jade: Pre-bonsaiEstate Vintage Designer Green Jade Jadeite Diamond 14k Solid Gold Cocktail RingAntique Chinese 18th Century Museum Collection White Jade Carved Reclining LadyVintage 14k Large Translucent Green Jade Carved Butterfly And Flowers PendantVintage 14k Yellow Gold Carved Translucent Green Jade Pendant 1" RdFine Old Chinese 19th/20th Carved Jade W/ Russet Brush Washer Washer Scholar ArtExceptional Lot Of Vintage Jewelry 14k Gold Jade Sterling Silver Gem Estate FindAntique Chinese Export Jade & Gilt Silver Enamel Filigree Bracelet & Ring SetUnique 24k Gold Jade Heart Ring 9.3 GramsGia Certified Natural Color Translucent Mottled Green Jade 14k Yellow Gold Pin Unique 14k/585 Lavender Jade BraceletVintage 14k Jade Pendant With Ruby And 16 Inch ChainGia Certified 7.90 Ct Oval Green Jade Natural Color No Treatment CabochonIncredible Antique Russian Spinach Jade & 14k Gold Letter Envelope Opener1940s Vintage Fine Color Genuine Green Jadeite Jade 14k Gold Mens CufflinksLarge Vintage Finey Carved Mutton Fat Jade PendantTatty Devine Nightshade Tier Necklace. Statement Piece. Real Jade Beads. Bnwt. Vintage Intricate Chinese Hand-carved Jade Links Necklace Antique Victorian Solid 18ct Gold Carved Chinese Jade Pin BroochGroup Of Nine Antique Chinese Jade Carvings, Pendant, Beads, RingJadeite Jade Ring Chinese Apple-green 14k Yellow Gold Vintage 1970's (sz 7)Antique Chinese Brite Apple Green Jade 18k Gold Ring (05171504)Tonner Casino Jade Tyler Wentworth 16" - 2007 Fine Old Chinese Pair Carved Jade Birds Carving Sculpture Scholar Art Antique 18th/19th C. Chinese Pale Grey Celadon Carved Jade Belt Hook (4 Of 4)Lovely Vintage Chinese 14k Yellow Gold & Green Jadeite Jade Bracelet14k Jade & Diamond Ring, 4.4 GramsVintage 14k/585 Gold And Jade Ring Size 8.75Fine Old Chinese Carved Jade Russet Ram Carving Sculpture Scholar ArtRare 14k Yellow Gold Extra Large Carved Jade Green/orange Pendant 4-1/4" Green/orange Jade (2) Fishes 1 Jade Frog Pendants 5/8" To 1-1/8" Long 14k GoldFine Art Deco Carved Jade 14k Gold Pendant On ChainVintage 14k Yellow Gold Screw Back Green Jade Earrings 15 By 6.1 Mm Jade 3.8 Gr.1940s Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Natural Round Green Jade PendantAntique C. 1920 Deco 14k Gold Jade Jadeite Chinese Export Filigree Bracelet!Superb / Most Interesting Ladies Bling Bracelet. Jade, Opal Doublets, Charms EtcFine Old Chinese Carved Jade Jadeite Beauty On Wood Stand Carving Sculpture ArtEstate Vintage Retro Era Green Jade Jadeite 14k Solid Gold Men's Statement RingAuthenticated Beanie Baby 2nd Gen Jade Old Face Teddy Bear~mwmt~german~koreanVintage 18k Jade RingVintage Jade Bangle Bracelet 14k Yellow GoldVintage Green, White And Lavender Jade Bangle Bracelet 13.5mm WideVery Beautiful Old Antique - Chinese Jade Bangle - Rare - Silver Mounted - L@@kElegant Platinum Diamond Earring With Jade BacksVintage Chinese Moss In Snow Jadeite Jade Engraved Silver Hinged Bangle Bracelet Antique Chinese 14k Gold & Hand Carved From 1 Piece 3 Ring Green Jade EarringsAntique Chinese Hand Carved Celadon White Jade Snuff BottleRare Vtg Couture Giuliano Fratti Milan Italy Filigree Jade Glass Pearl NecklaceVint. 14k Yellow Gold Heavy Multi Color Jade Hand Chased Bangle Hinged BraceletFine Set Of Six Chinese Spinach Jade Silver SpoonsTimeless 14k White And Green Jade Bracelet