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 Chinese Gilt Silver Enamel Green White Jade Butterfly BraceletFine Old Chinese 18th/19th Carved Jade Plaque Pendant Carving Jewelry ScholarAntique Chinese Gilt Silver Enamel Rose Quartz Jade Tourmaline Dangle EarringsChinese Export Silver Enamel Mutton Fat Jade Butterfly Brooch Pendant Antique 万Genuine Minty Art Deco Vintage 1930s 14k White Gold Jadeite Jade Filigree Ring**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green White Jade Beaded Necklace 55.5 Grams 28.75" Very Fine Rare Old 18ct Gold Chinese Bracelet Carved Jade Buddha God FiguresFine Antique Chinese White Jade & Gilt Metal Hair Ornament Pearl ButterflyVintage 14k Gold 16.35 X 11mm Apple Jade Solitaire Cocktail Ring Size 7.5Fine Old Chinese 14k Gold & Lavender Jade Jadeite Pendant Jewelry Necklace #1Nice Antique Chinese Table Screen With 4 Carved Jade Plaques Burl WoodDavid Lin Vintage Natural 5.0ct Imperial Jadeite Jade & Diamond 18k Gold Ring**estate 14k Yellow Gold 60pt Diamond Jade Ring H-i Si1/2 8.6 Grams 13x23mm Fine Old Chinese 19th Caved Wood W/ Jade Jadeite Finial Cover Lid CarvingEstate Jade Black Onyx 14k Yellow Gold Bracelet Bangle 21.3 Grams NrAntique Chinese Large Carved Pale Celadon Jade & 18k Gold Pendant Brooch~repair**gia Certified Grade A Jade Bangle 14k Yellow Gold Grey/green 59.6 Grams Pair Vintage 9ct Gold Ruby Green Jade Drop Earrings19c Chinese Jade Carved Carving Silver Clip Pin Brooch Shoulo Figure PlaqueChinese 18ct Yellow Gold And Jade Cufflinks.1910Vintage Jade Green Diamond 14k Yellow Gold RingNatural Green Nephrite Jade Hei Tiki Pendant, Nz Maori Style Greenstone Pounamu 14k Yellow Gold & Multi Colored Jade Bracelet 10.6 Grams Scrap Or WearAntique Chinese Sterling Silver Amethyst Jade Necklace Shou Prayer Carved BeadsJade Green Waterman Patrician, Lot #14Early 20c Chinese White Jade Carved Carving Dragon Plaque Silver Brooch PinFine Old Chinese Carved Hanging Jade Covered Vase Carving Sculpture Scholar ArtFine Old Chinese 18th/19th Dragon Head Jade Carving Pendant Plaque JewelryVintage 14k Yellow Gold Vs1-f Diamond And Jade Enamel Butterfly BroochVery Large Old Chinese Gold Ring Carved Jade Panel With DiamondsVery Nice Antique Chinese Carved Jade Pendant Monkey Peach Bat Buddhahand PlaqueFine Old Chinese Carved Apple Green Jade Jadeite Beaded Necklace Jewelry ArtChinese Silver Jade Panel Antique Bracelet, 925**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Beaded Necklace 7mm 18.5" 31.6 GramsVintage 1940's Strawberry Festival Jade Green With Strawberry Baskets Tablecloth**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Ring 7.1 Grams 16.4x11.4mm Size 9.25**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green White Jade Hinged Bangle Bracelet 67.8grams 2.28"Vintage Estate Carved Orange & White Jade Pin Chinese Fruit Floral Pumpkin14k Yellow Gold Green Jade 3-legged Frog Charm Link Chain Bracelet 7"**grade A Gia Certified Jade White Hinged Bangle Bracelet 52.23 Grams SterlingJudith Ripka Sterling Silver 925 Green Jade Faceted Earrings Fine Old Chinese 14k Gold & Lavender Jade Jadeite Pendant Jewelry Necklace #2**estate Carved White Jade Pendant 2 X 2.21" 19.5 Grams 19c Chinese Jade Carved Carving Shou Longevity Chirography Bat Plaque PendantVintage 18k Gold Diamond Huge Freeform Jadeite Jade Statement Ring Size 5.5**estate 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Hinged Bangle Bracelet 40.7 Grams 2.34" Antique Chinese 19th/20thc Carved Jade Jadeite Bat Seed Pod Brush Rest Pendant**estate Carved Flower White Jade Pendant 1.5x2" 17.1 Grams Antique Chinese Jade And Sterling Silver Lighter S&g Gump San Francisco 1920's**estate 14k Yellow Gold Orange Jade Ring 3.7 Grams 13.7x9.4mm Size 5.75Rare Art Deco Chinese 14k Yellow Gold Carved Apple Green Jadeite Jade BraceletEarly 20c Chinese Green Jadeite Jade Tourmaline Silver Lady Hairpin Hair Pin MkFine Old Chinese Early 20th Republic Celadon Jade Censer Carving Sculpture ArtAntique Old Chinese Celadon Nephrite Jade Carved Snuff Bottle Powerful Dragon925 Sterling Silver Jade Leather Bangle Bracelet14k Solid Yellow Gold Lavender/purple Jade Segment Bracelet Oval Amethyst Clasp 14k Yellow Gold & Double Row Lavender/purple Authentic Jade Bracelet No Reserve!**estate 18k Yellow Gold Green Jade Cross Pendant 2.6 Grams 1.32x0.50" Late Ming Dynasty Chinese Antique Jade BoxAntique Vintage Deco Sterling 925 Silver Chinese 8 Mm Jade Jadeite Bead Necklace