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 Exceptional Handmade Chinese Pearls, Jade & 18k+ Gold NecklaceVtg Chinese Sterling Silver Filigree Vermeil Carved Bird Jadeite Jade BraceletFine & Rare Large Antique Chinese Flower-shaped Jade Button, 17th/18th CenturyNice Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Carved Green Jade Drop Earrings 9.1 Grams 1-1/2"Vtg Chinese Antique Pair Jadeite Jade 14kt Gold Bangle Bracelet Ming's? 73.1gFine 19th Century Carved Jade Silver BroochAntique Chinese Pale Celadon Jade Silver & Enamel Bat Pin Qing ...... N0 ReserveVintage Translucent Green Jade Bangle 9 Mm With 14k Gold Clasp 44.1 Grams 2 Pairs Vintage 14k Yellow Gold Coral And Jade Studs Mings 3.6 GramsAntique Chinese Bronze Letter Opener W/ Rare Jade Belt Hook Of Dragon & MelonsAntique C 1920 Deco 14k Gold Carved Jade Jadeite Chinese Export Necklace PendantSuperb Chinese Qing Dynasty 18th Century Celadon Jade Plaque Decorated FlowersFine Small Chinese Light Celadon Jade Horse Pendant Or Toggle 19th-20th Century Amazing 22k Bracelet Green Translucent (6) 15 Mm Jade Pcs 34.7 GramsSuperbly Carved Antique Chinese Jade Openwork Pendant, Boys,19th CenturyVtg Chinese Export Carved Celadon Green Jade Dragon Pierced Censer Covered VaseVintage Lavender Jade Bangle 10 Mm 14k Yellow Gold Multiple Color Jade ClaspVintage Chinese Cabochon Jade Jadeite & 18k Yellow Gold RingFine Chinese Qing Dynasty 19th Century Celadon Jade Pendant Bi Disc Chilong An Antique 18ct White Gold Jade RingVintage Carved Green/white Jade Pendant With 14k Yellow Gold Top 7/8" By 1-1/8"Chinese Antique Carved White Jade Pendant Amulet Writing 18th Or 19th CenturyA Pair Of Chinese Antique Spinach Green Jade Table Screens 19th/20th CenturyAntique Chinese Carved White Jade Pendant Of A Fish With Carved Ring, Qing RareVintage Translucent Orange/white Jade Bangle 8.6 Mm With 14k Clasp 42.2 GramsAntique Solid Gold Mounts Jade BroochAntique Chinese Carved Amethyst Buddha And Jade Animal, Republic Period Pieces.Antique Chinese Carved Jade Statue Or Pendant Of A Crane Mouted With Silver RareVintage Carved Green Translucent Pea Pod Jade Earrings 18k Top 2" LongC1920 Antique Art Deco Chinese Carved Jade, Quartz & Amethyst Bead NecklaceGia Certified 7.90 Ct Oval Green Jade Natural Color No Treatment CabochonAntique Chinese Carved Jade Medallion Plaque Pendant Bat CharactersAntique Chinese 18th / 19th Century Carved Jade Bi Disc & Wood Stand ChilongAntique Deco Sterling Silver Carved Jade Jadeite Shou Bead Chinese Necklace!Antique Chinese Carved White Jade Plaque Edward Farmer Set In Book Dragonfly BatSuperb 19thc Antique Chinese Carved Jadeite Jade Pendant Plaque Hints Of RussetVintage Carved Green/white Jade Pendant 1-1/4" By 2" 14k Gold Top 27.6 GramsGia Certified 14k White Gold Jade & Diamond Ring Natural Color Jade 2.90 CtsRare Antique Chinese Carved Mutton Fat Jade Devils Work Dangle Earrings Vintage Translucnt Green Carved Jade Earrings 9/16" By 1-3/4" Set In 14k Gold Antique Chinese Jade Three Goats Group Carving, Stand & Fitted BoxChinese Nephrite Jade Prayer Wheel / Plaque, Pierced Ruyi-head Design, 19th C.Designer 2pc Green Jade Bangle Bracelet SetGorgeous Vintage Large Sterling Silver Cultured Pearl Chinese Jade Brooch 3 1/2"Amazing Antique White Jade Belt Hook Well Carved And Enameled Wine Bowl RareVintage Mings Of Honolulu Yellow Jade Beaded Necklace 30" 14k Gold Clasp 7-7.5mmJade Warrior ~ "released" (vertigo) Uk 1971 - Mega Rare Swirly Original!Vintage Lavender Jade Bangle Bracelet 7mm Wide 14k Yellow Gold Clasp Vintage 14k Gold And Jade Earrings Antique Chinese Jade Jadeite Carved Belt Buckle,pendant And Bracelet,14k18k Gold Apple Green Jade Jadeite .12 Carat Tw Diamond Ladies Bangle Bracelet NrVintage 14k Yellow Gold Green Jade Earring 7 By 17 Mm Clip On Earring 5.4 GramsVintage 14k Gold White And Lavender Jade Bangle Bracelet 10mm WideEstate 1950's-60's 14k Yellow Gold Carved Jade Ring Nr1191Antique Chinese Rotating Center Jade Pendant Qing Dynasty .......... N0 ReserveChinese Gilt Silver Filigree And Jadeite Jade Bracelet, Early 20th CenturyCool White Carved Jade Pendant Ocean Seen 1-1/2" By 1-1/4" By 1" Thick 14k TopJade Ring 14k Yellow Gold Vintage Retro Green Cabochon Art Deco Fine Jewelry Antique Chinese Jade & Enamel Box Birds Qing Dynasty ............... N0 ReserveVintage 14k Gold Ring With Green Jade 19mm X 13mm