- 1 Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
- 2 Types of Jade
- 3 History of Jade
- 4 Uses of Chinese Jade
- 5 Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
- 6 Jade in the Chinese Language
- 7 Chinese Stories About Jade
- 8 Source
- 9 Discovering Chinese Jade Folklore, Symbolism, and Legend
- 10 Chinese jade
- 11 The meaning of jade
- 12 The composition of jade
- 13 The history of Chinese jade
- 14 TheShang dynasty(c.1600–1046bce)
- 15 TheZhou dynasty(1046–256bce)
- 16 Song dynasty(960–1279)
- 17 Qing dynasty(1644–1911/12)
- 18 Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
- 19 Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
- 20 Jade Symbolism and Legends
- 21 Does Jade Symbolism Cover Both Jadeite and Nephrite?
- 22 Jade Symbolism and Music
- 23 The JadeHei-Tikiof the Maori
- 24 Green Jade Symbolism
- 25 The Virtues of Jade
- 26 The Gem Supreme
- 27 Chinese Jade Articles, Chinese Jadeite, Chinese Nephrite
- 28 Jade in China Today
- 29 Fake Jade
- 30 Jade Types
- 31 The History of Jade in China
- 32 Jade in Ancient China
- 33 Jade, in Chinese Culture
- 34 Chinese Jade – Origin, History, Meaning, and Culture
- 35 Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
- 36 What are mysterious legends about Chinese jade?
- 37 What jade articles had been used in grand worship ceremonies in ancient China?
- 38 Why jade had been an important element of burial culture once in history?
- 39 How did the jade symbolize paramount authority?
- 40 What are the aesthetics of Chinese jade?
- 41 What are the virtues that Chinese jade represents?
- 42 What are popular jade articles in China?
Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
Jade is a metamorphic rock that may be found in a variety of colors including green, red, yellow, and white. When jade is polished and handled, the bright hues it produces may be breathtakingly beautiful. China’s green jade, which has an emerald colour, is the most popular type of jade in the country’s culture. Jade, which is referred to as yù (yu) in Chinese, is significant in Chinese culture because of its aesthetic appeal, practical use, and social significance. A brief introduction of jade and why it is so significant to the Chinese people may be found here.
Types of Jade
It is a kind of metamorphic rock that may be found in a variety of natural colors such as green and red tones, yellow tones, or white tones. The bright hues of jade may be amazing when it is polished and handled. China’s green jade, which has an emerald colour, is the most popular type of jade in the country. Because of its aesthetic appeal, functional utility, and social significance, jade is highly prized in Chinese culture. A brief introduction of jade and why it is so significant to the Chinese people may be found in this article.
History of Jade
Jade is a metamorphic rock that may be found in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, and white. The brilliant hues of jade may be remarkable when it is polished and treated properly. Green jade, which has an emerald colour, is the most popular type of jade in Chinese culture. Jade, which is referred to as yù (yu) in Chinese, is significant to Chinese culture because of its aesthetic appeal, practical utility, and social significance. A brief introduction about jade and why it is so significant to the Chinese people may be found below.
Uses of Chinese Jade
Jade is a metamorphic rock that is naturally tinted green, red, yellow, or white. When jade is polished and handled, the bright hues it produces may be breathtaking. The most popular type of jade in Chinese culture is green jade, which has an emerald colour. Jade, also known as yù (yu) in Chinese, is significant in Chinese culture because of its aesthetic appeal, practical utility, and social significance. Here is an introduction of jade and why it is so significant to the Chinese people. Now, when you’re browsing around an antique store, jewelry store, or museum, you’ll be able to wow your friends with your understanding of this essential stone.
Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
Chinese people adore jade not just for its visual beauty, but also for what it symbolizes in terms of societal worth and significance. There are 11 De, or qualities, symbolized in jade, according to Confucius’s Li Ji (Book of Rites), which includes the following: “benevolence, justice, propriety,” “truth,” “credibility,” “music,” “loyalty,” “heaven,” “earth,” “morality,” and “intelligence.” Jade has been compared to virtue by the wise. When they look at it, they see the entirety of purity represented by its polish and radiance; the certainty of intelligence represented by its perfect compactness and extreme hardness; the angles, which do not cut even though they appear sharp, which represent justice; and the pure and prolonged sound that it produces when struck, which represents music.” This gemstone’s hue indicates loyalty; its internal defects, which are constantly visible through the transparency, evoke truthfulness; its iridescent brilliance depicts heaven; and its excellent substance, which was formed by the combination of mountain and water, represents the earth When used alone, without any decoration, it symbolizes virginity and purity.
The truth is represented by the price that the entire world is willing to pay for it.” The Ritual Book The Chinese philosopher Confucius remarked in the Shi Jing (Book of Odes): “When I think of a clever man, his qualities appear to me to be like jade.” ‘Book of Odes’ is a collection of odes written in the style of Shakespeare.
As a result, despite its monetary and material value, jade is highly appreciated for its beauty, elegance, and purity, qualities that are associated with it. According to a Chinese proverb, “gold has worth; jade is priceless.”
Jade in the Chinese Language
People in China are drawn to jade not just because of its visual appeal, but also because of what it signifies in terms of societal significance. There are 11 De, or qualities, symbolized in jade, according to Confucius’s Li Ji (Book of Rites), which includes the following: “benevolence, justice, propriety,” “truth,” “credibility,” “music,” “loyalty,” “heaven,” “earth,” “morality”,” and “intelligence.” Jade has been compared to virtue by the ancients. When they look at it, they see the entirety of purity represented by its polish and radiance; the certainty of intelligence represented by its perfect compactness and extreme hardness; the angles, which do not cut even though they appear sharp, which represent justice; and the pure and prolonged sound produced when it is struck, which represents music.” This stone’s hue indicates fidelity; its internal defects, which are constantly visible through the transparency, evoke truthfulness; its iridescent brilliance represents heaven; and its excellent substance, which was formed by the combination of mountain and water, depicts the earth This symbol of virginity is most effective when used alone, with no embellishment.
“The truth is represented by the price that the entire world is willing to pay for it.
A Book of Odes is a collection of poems written in the style of William Shakespeare.
Gold has worth, but jade is priceless, according to a Chinese proverb.
Chinese Stories About Jade
In Chinese culture, jade is so deeply engrained that there are several well-known anecdotes about Jade (here called “bi”). He Shi Zhi Bi (also known as “Mr. He and His Jade Disc” or “He’s Jade Disc”) and “Wan Bi Gui Zhao” (also known as “Wan Bi Gui Zhao”) are two of the most well-known stories in Chinese literature (“Jade Returned Intact to Zhao”). The myths revolve on a guy named Bian He and a piece of jade that was later adopted as a symbol of a unified China by the world. The narrative of Mr.
- He by his grandson, Wenwang, the king of the Chu State, in 689 BCE.
- In the following years, the carved disc was taken from the Chu State and finally wound up in the possession of the Zhao.
- Due to this narrative, jade is referred to as ‘Valued in a number of cities,’ or ‘Valued at many locations.’ He, on the other hand, failed.
- In 221 BCE, the emperorQin Shi Huang defeated the Zhao kingdom, and as the ruler and founder of the Qin dynasty, he ordered the disc to be carved into a seal, which represented the newly united Chinese nation at the time.
In China, the seal had been a part of the royal collections for more than 1,000 years before it was lost during the Ming and Tang dynasties.
- Wu Dingming’s “A Panoramic View of Chinese Culture” was published in 2014. Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Discovering Chinese Jade Folklore, Symbolism, and Legend
For thousands of years, jade has served as a cultural touchstone in China. China has been a major player in the world of jade from at least the year 5000 BCE. Chinese jade was first utilized in the form of nephrite, which was hard enough to be employed in tools and was hence popular among the ancients. Burmese jadeite was the first to reach China in the late 1700s, and it was the first to reach China. Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty was enthralled by it and dedicated his life to it. During his reign, Emperor Qianlong amassed the world’s largest known collection of jade artifacts, which is still in existence today.
The Emperor is claimed to have spent hours examining his jadeite riches, which were kept in the Imperial Treasury, and to have authored more than 800 poems and songs about jade throughout his lifetime.
Over the next several centuries, Qianlong’s enthusiasm for jade altered Chinese culture and sparked a worldwide infatuation with jade jewelry.
What Does Jade Mean in Chinese Culture?
According to Chinese tradition, jade is considered to be a fortunate stone. It is referred to as “The Stone of Heaven” by these people. Because jadeite is so valuable, there is a phrase that reads, “gold is valuable, but jade is priceless.” Jade is a stone that represents wealth, success, and good fortune. Also, it represents rejuvenation, longevity, and even immortality in certain cultures. The Chinese word for jade (or yù) is yu. Wáng (wáng) is a Chinese term that is closely connected to the word meaning Emperor.
- Because the words (jade) and (Emperor) are so closely associated, it demonstrates how highly the Chinese regard jade as the royal jewel.
- For example, if you refer to someone as a (also known as a “”jade woman””), you are referring to her as a stunningly attractive young lady beyond compare.
- Xu Shen, an ancient Han scholar, said that jade represents the five virtues of humanity: wisdom, justice, compassion, humility, and courage.
- Jade is highly prized in China, where it is used for carving as well as religious and medical uses.
- Green jade is regarded as a symbol of the heart in many cultures.
They believed that if ingested prior to death, it would help to slow down the decomposition of the body. Aside from green, jade may be found in a number of hues.
What Color of Jade is Most Important?
Green jade is the most traditional and highly regarded hue of jade. Jade is also available in a variety of hues, including black, white, purple, blue, yellow, red, and orange. Although every jade has the same connotation, the color of a stone can provide additional significance to the stone’s meaning.
- Green symbolizes friendliness, peace, and rejuvenation
- It is the color of nature. The color red represents vitality, life, and love. The color yellow represents optimism, achievement, and generosity. The color orange represents ambition, vigor, and desire. The color blue represents loyalty, freedom, and faith. Color purple is associated with wisdom, tranquility, and dedication. White represents purity, truth, and clarity, whereas black represents elegance, security, and pride.
Jade Meaning in Religious Ceremonies
For friendship, peace, and rebirth, the color green is used; Colours such as red signify vitality, affection, or enthusiasm. A bright shade of yellow symbolizes optimism, achievement, and generous giving; Colours such as orange are associated with aspiration, vigor, and sexual desire. Blue represents loyalty, freedom, and faith; and yellow represents hope and prosperity. Color purple is associated with intellect, tranquility, and dedication. Black represents elegance, security, and pride; white represents purity, truth, and clarity; and gray represents neutrality.
- Green jade signifies Heaven, while yellow jade represents Earth
- Black jade represents the North, while red jade represents the South
- Green jade represents the East, and white jade represents the West
- And red jade represents the South.
Green jade signifies Heaven, while yellow jade represents Earth; black jade represents the North, while red jade represents the South; green jade represents the East, and white jade represents the West; and red jade represents the North.
Motifs in Jade and Meaning
Jade is carved or constructed into a broad variety of jewelry and products by skilled artisans. The following are some of the most often seen motifs and their associated meanings.
- The jade stone is carved or constructed into a broad range of jewelry and products by skilled craftspeople and artisans. A selection of the most often seen motifs and their associated meanings are presented in the following sections.
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Chinese jade refers to any of the carved jade artefacts that have been made in China since the Neolithic Period (c. 3000–2000 bce). Since ancient times, the Chinese have viewed carved-jade artefacts as innately precious, and they have figuratively associated jade with purity and indestructibility.
The meaning of jade
From the Neolithic Period (c. 3000–2000 bce) onward, Chinese jade refers to any of the carved jade items made in China. Since ancient times, the Chinese have viewed carved-jade artefacts as innately precious, and they have figuratively associated jade with purity and indestructibleness.
The composition of jade
Chinese jade is any of the carved jade artefacts that have been made in China since the Neolithic Period (c. 3000–2000 bce). The Chinese have always viewed carved-jade items as innately precious, and they have figuratively associated jade with purity and indestructibility.
The history of Chinese jade
First discovered in the lower Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) region during the latter phases of the Majiabang culture (c.5100–3900bce), jade production continued into the 4th–3rd millenniabce during the Songze and Qingliangang cultures of that region. After 2500bce, in the Liangzhu civilization of southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang provinces (c.3400–2200bce), remarkable sophistication in jade artifacts appears. Many of these pieces had an apparent lack of wear and practical usage, indicating that they served largely a ceremonial role.
These two pieces of imperial paraphernalia were in use until the early twentieth century in the Chinese court.
The Liangzhu culture and, in Shandong province, the Longshan culture are also notable for the presence of ceremonialguiandzhangblades and axes, as well as an increasing variety of ornamental arc-shaped and circular jade pendants, necklaces, and bracelets (often in animal form), as well as the significant appearance of mask decoration; all of these forms link the Neolithic jades to those of the succeeding Shang period.
The art of jade carving made significant strides forward during the Shang Dynasty, notably in the city of Anyang. Ceremonial weapons and fittings for bronze weapons were carved from jade, and ceremonial jades featured thebi, cong, and markers of social position among other things. Besides miniature figurines, masks, birds and animals carved in the round, and plaques and clothing embellishments carved from thin slabs of jade, there are also early instances ofmingqi (“spirit vessels”), artistic creatures that were substituted for real victims buried in order to serve the departed.
The manufacturing of jadebi, cong, and other Shang ceremonial forms was maintained and their use was formalized throughout the Zhou period. Sceptres of various shapes and sizes were used to distinguish the levels of the aristocracy and to denote power in matters like as raising armies, settling disputes, declaring peace, and so on. The seven orifices of the corpse were sealed with jade plugs and plaques before the body was laid to rest. Style-wise, Zhou dynasty jades at originally followed Shang traditions, but by the middle of the dynasty, they had begun to veer toward looser, less-systematic forms, with zoomorphic decoration having been changed into abstract meander patterns, just as the ceremonial bronzes had done.
During the Dong (Eastern) Zhou period, the advent of iron tools and harsher abrasives resulted in a new level of flexibility in the art of carving in the round.
The majority of the animals and birds were made from flat plaques that were no more than a few centimetres thick.
Because of the archaizing trend prevalent throughout the Song dynasty, jades from this time are typically difficult to identify. Jades from the tombs of the Five Dynasties (907–960) and Song (960–1279) have been discovered, which lends support to the view that adaptation of the form of ancient vessels, ritual objects, plaques, belt hooks, and ornaments was particularly common, as well as the view that the styles of the Warring States and Han (206bce–220ce) were greatly admired. Because the skill of jade carving had altered little over the intervening period, these are difficult to discern from genuinearchaicjades, save for a whimsical grace and a penchant to blend forms and design that are not seen together on ancient works of jade carving.
Jades from the Song era are notoriously difficult to identify, owing to the time’s archaizing trend. Jades from the tombs of the Five Dynasties (907–960) and Song (960–1279) have been discovered, which lends support to the view that adaptation of the form of ancient vessels, ritual objects, plaques, belt hooks, and ornaments was particularly common, as well as the view that the styles of the Warring States and Han (206bce–220ce) were highly admired. With minimal change in the method of jade carving in that time period, these pieces can be confused with authentic antique jades, save for a certain whimsical elegance and the desire to blend shapes and decorations that are not seen together on ancient pieces.
In the years that followed, jades in ancient forms were frequently influenced by drawings in catalogs rather than by research into authentic antiques.
Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
Jade is a metamorphic rock that may be found in a variety of colors including green, red, yellow, and white. When jade is polished and handled, the bright hues it produces may be breathtakingly beautiful. China’s green jade, which has an emerald colour, is the most popular type of jade in the country’s culture. Jade, which is referred to as yù in Chinese, is significant to Chinese culture because of its aesthetic appeal, practical use, and social significance.
Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
According to Chinese culture, the significance of Jade stone is expressed by its standing as a symbol of virtue, preciousness, and aesthetic beauty. Jade stone is also considered to be the embodiment of the Confucian values of courage, wisdom, humility, justice, and compassion by the Chinese people. The polish and brilliance of jade stone are regarded to be emblematic of purity by the Chinese, while its compactness and hardness are considered to be representative of intellect. Many jewelers nowadays have also created new and avant-garde designs for the incorporation of jade stone into jewelry, which can be found in a variety of collections.
A jade ring featuring a contemporary and avant-garde design.
Jade Symbolism and Legends
This status as a symbol of virtue, preciousness, and beauty reflects the significance of the Jade stone in Chinese culture. Jade stone is also considered to be the embodiment of the Confucian values of courage, wisdom, humility, justice, and compassion by the Chinese. Its polish and brightness are thought to be emblematic of purity by the Chinese, and the stone’s compaction and hardness are supposed to be representative of intellect. Modern and avant-garde designs for the use of jade stone into jewelry have also been developed by a large number of jewelers today.
Jade ring in a contemporary and avant-garde style.
Does Jade Symbolism Cover Both Jadeite and Nephrite?
Despite the fact that the gemstone we name jade is really comprised of two separate minerals, jadeite and nephrite, they are visually similar and have a comparable hardness. It should come as no surprise that the stories and myths that these qualities have spawned apply to both forms of jade. People have worked with both jadeite and nephrite materials throughout the course of human history. Particularly cherished were the civilizations of the Chinese, Maori, and Meso-American peoples, who were masters at carving and carving jade into beautiful objects.
Jade is also the hour stone for individuals who were born between 9 and 10 p.m., making it a good choice for those seeking for alternate birthstones.
With permission, this image has been used.
Jade Symbolism and Music
They are both durable and have a similar look, despite the fact that the gemstone we know as jade is really comprised of two separate minerals: jadeiteandnephrite. The traditions and myths that these qualities have inspired are applicable to both forms of jade, which is not unexpected given their similar appearances. Humans have been working with both jadeite and nephrite materials for the majority of recorded history. Particularly cherished were the civilizations of the Chinese, Maori, and Meso-American peoples, who were masters at carving and carving jade into exquisite sculptures.
People who are seeking for alternative birthstones should know that jade is also the hour stone for individuals who were born between 9 and 10 p.m., according to the Chinese calendar.
Lilah Perry Collection, Fox’s of St Francis, white nephrite snuff container with a jadeite cap. Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA, is shown here in action. This is a licensed use.
The JadeHei-Tikiof the Maori
The Maori people of New Zealand took full use of the durability of jade. They used it to make tools, swords, and decorations, which they then handed down down the generations to the next. The beloved heirloom pendants known ashei-tikiwere crafted from green jewels known to the Maori aspounamu, and they were passed down through generations. The majority of these stones would be categorized as nephrite gemologically, however some are arebowenite, which is a non-jade stone. When a family needed a newhei-tiki, they enlisted the help of an atohunga, or magician, who helped them discover raw jade.
- After entering a trance in order to contact ancestral spirits for assistance, the magician would dependably discover jade at the location where the spirits had accused him.
- The inherent shape of the stone played a significant role in determining the final design of thehei-tiki.
- These ancestral spirit artifacts were held in great regard and were closely guarded by the Maori.
- If a family was on the verge of dissolving, the last male member of the family would be buried with thehei-tiki in order to protect it from intruders.
- Once they had recovered, their closest male relatives would return to collect the heirlooms when the situation had improved.
- Thehei-mystery tiki’s was probably enhanced by the sequence of burials and retrievals that occurred.
- These jade pendants contained the knowledge of their forefathers and foremothers, who were waiting in the dead to reunite with their family once again.
- Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Green Jade Symbolism
Other civilizations, such as the Maori, considered their deceased to be a source of wisdom as well. Some people buried their jade along with them as well. In the ancient Egyptians’, Meso-Americans’, and Chinese’s traditions, jade was traditionally placed in the lips of their dead. Green stones were the most often chosen, as they were intended to represent the heart. Noteworthy is that green represents the heart chakra in the ancient chakra system used to describe the flow of energy in one’s body.
It was, on the other hand, THE color to use for the deceased.
They also employed jade cicadas, which were symbols of cyclical resurrection, as tongue amulets to protect the body from decomposition and prevent it from decaying.
Traditionally, jade chimeras, winged and horned feline creatures, were erected in graves to protect the departed from bad spirits and defilement of their remains. Brush pot made of jadeite in the color spinach green. Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA, is shown here. With permission, this image has been used.
The Virtues of Jade
In other civilizations as well, such as the Maori, the deceased were considered to be a source of wisdom. Some people buried their jade in the same grave as their bodies. Ancient Egyptians, Mesoamericans, and the Chinese were all known for placing jade in the lips of their deceased loved ones, according to legend. The green stones were the most often used, as they were thought to represent the heart of the person. Noteworthy is that green represents the heart chakra in the ancient chakra system used to describe the flow of energy in one’s body.) Jade, whether it’s made of jadeite or nephrite, may be found in a variety of colors, but green is the most usually associated.
- Funerals in China during the Han period (206 BCE-220 CE) were marked by the placement of jade pigs in the hands of the recently departed.
- To give tributes to the spirits of the ancestors during the Shang dynasty (1,600 BCE-1,046 BCE), Chinese kings utilized a three-legged wine jar made of jade, known as an ajue.
- A jadeite brush pot with a spinach green coloration.
- Arem, PhD, FGA, is shown here in action.
The Gem Supreme
Other civilizations, such as the Maori, regarded their deceased as a source of wisdom as well. Some people even buried their jade jewelry with them. Ancient Egyptians, Mesoamericans, and the Chinese were all known for putting jade in the lips of their deceased loved ones. The green stones were the most often used, as they were believed to represent the heart. (An interesting side note: the color green represents the heart chakra in the ancient chakra system for defining bodily energy.) Although most people connect jade with the color green, it is not the only hue available in jade, whether it is jadeite or nephrite.
- Murderers commonly placed jade pigs in the hands of the deceased during the Han era (206 BCE-220 CE) in China.
- To give tributes to ancestor spirits, Chinese kings utilized ajue, a three-legged wine pitcher made of jade, during the Shang dynasty (1,600 BCE-1,046 BCE).
- Brush pot made of spinach green jadeite.
- Arem, PhD, FGA.
Chinese Jade Articles, Chinese Jadeite, Chinese Nephrite
Jade (Yu in Chinese Pinyin) has long been a popular gemstone in China, where it is revered as a fortunate charm and a source of spiritual power. It is still the most widely available common gemstone, and it can be purchased across China. There are two different sorts of minerals that are referred to as jade. Nephrite is the name given to the type of stone that was known in ancient China. Jadeite is the name given to the other type of jade mineral. Compared to jadeite, nephrite is somewhat more resistant to fracture, but it is also slightly softer.
The Chinese believed the same thing, and for thousands of years, jade objects were prized for their rarity and importance, with talented artisans carving more elaborate motifs into them.
Perhaps because it was so scarce in China, yet so important for its hardness, nephrite came to be seen as a prestige symbol for the emperors, and was referred to as “imperial stone” by the Chinese.
Jade in China Today
Because jade is still a popular gemstone in China, you may find jade pieces all throughout the country. Jade pendants are worn by a large number of individuals, particularly boys and young men. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese believed that jade would protect them and provide excellent health. Pendants made of jade are also considered to be a holy emblem in China. Jade also has a profound metaphorical significance, communicating beauty, protection, power, and immortality among other things.
When searching for pricey jade objects in China, use caution and, if possible, have the item examined by a reputable gemologist before making a purchase. Fake jade objects are now easily made from a variety of materials, including hard plastic, glass, and many types of minerals, including quartz and serpentine. Many mineral species have the appearance of nephrite and jadeite. Jade may also be chemically altered, which lowers its value relative to natural jade. The ability to tell if an item is composed of genuine nephrite or jadeite requires considerable skill and special gemologist equipment.
Always exercise caution when purchasing high-priced jade items in China, and consider taking a piece of jade to an established gemologist for evaluation before purchasing it. Fake jade objects are now easily made from a variety of materials, including hard plastic, glass, and many types of minerals, like quartz or serpentine. Neptune’s stone and jadeite’s stone are two minerals that have similar appearances. The jade may also have been chemically altered, lowering its value relative to natural jade.
Nephrite (ruan yu, soft jade) is a mineral that belongs to the amphibole group. It has a hardness of either 5.5 or 6 on the scale. This is a hard substance, however not as hard as quartz. Consequently, ancient Chinese artists could sculpt jade out of quartz sand (ordinary sand) or fragments of quartz that had been ground into small pieces.
Jadeite (ying yu, hard jade) is a mineral that can be found in just around 12 locations on the planet. It is a pyroxene mineral of the pyroxene group. It has a similar appearance to nephrite, but it is harder, polishes brighter, and is available in a wider spectrum of colors. It has a hardness of around 6.5 or 7, which is comparable to that of quartz. Jadeite is more difficult to carve and polish as a result of these characteristics. The stone-age Indians of Central America carved jadeite artifacts, but it is reported that even basic objects took a long time to carve, making them difficult to find now.
Burma is now the source of the vast majority of the world’s jadeite.
The History of Jade in China
In the West, precious gemstones such as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds were worn by high-ranking individuals as status symbols; however, in China, nephrite (ruan yu, ) was seen as a status symbol and was used to create jewelry and expensive ornaments. Because of the little stroke on the bottom right, which may indicate a stone, the character for jade resembles the character for emperor a little bit too closely. It is possible that the character for jade means “the emperor’s stone.” During the Chinese Bronze Age and earlier, jade was highly prized as a material for the manufacture of weapons and axes.
- Its rarity, which resulted from the fact that it had to be imported from Xinjiang and other remote regions, as well as the qualities it was believed to possess to bring health and cure maladies, may have contributed to its designation as the Emperors’ gemstone.
- At the time, the area was populated primarily by Caucasian people.
- Imperial funeral suits were composed completely of jade fragments during the Han Dynasty (202 BC–220 AD), and the Emperor’s burial suits were stitched together.
- Craftsmen spent an increasing amount of time carving increasingly complex patterns.
When looking at nephrite artifacts from different ages, the designs became increasingly recognizable as current Chinese patterns, such as those from the Qing Dynasty (1636–1911).
Jade in Ancient China
In ancient China, jade (nephrite) was considered as the most valuable gemstone, and it represented purity and moral integrity as well as wealth. The stone, which was highly prized for its durability and magical properties, was painstakingly carved and polished into a variety of artifacts ranging from jewelry to desk decorations. Jade was particularly well-suited for ceremonial devices such as thebidisc andzong(cong)tubes, both of which are now unclear in terms of their purpose.
In ancient China, jade (nephrite) was considered as the most valuable gemstone, and it represented purity and moral integrity as well as wealth and status. The stone was laboriously carved and polished into anything from jewelry to desk decorations, and it was highly regarded for its durability and magical properties. Among the ceremonial artifacts made of jade were thebidisc andzong(cong)tubes, both of which are now unclear in terms of their purpose.
In ancient China, jade (nephrite) was considered as the most valuable gemstone, and it represented purity and moral integrity. The stone, which was prized for its durability and mystical properties, was painstakingly carved and polished into a variety of artifacts ranging from jewelry to desk decorations. Jade was particularly well-suited for ceremonial devices such as thebidisc andzong(cong)tubes, both of which are now unclear in terms of function.
Large rectangular tablets were carved throughout the Neolithic period, with many of them resembling tools and weapons in their design. The function of these objects, which were discovered in graves, is unclear. Another typical object is the ceremonial axe, which is a copy of other stone versions but is constructed from impractically thin jade that has been carved into a rectangular form with a single hole in the center. Cong (Chinese: ) The British Museum is a cultural landmark in the United Kingdom (Copyright) Another early application of jade dates back to the Shang Dynasty (1766-1111 BCE), when it was used to manufacture chimes because the stone’s resonance was highly regarded.
Abstract meanders, spirals, and hooks were carved into the surfaces of jade items in a manner similar to current bronzework.
These feature a circular tube-form inside a square, and are occasionally ornamented with notches and tiny circles.
Another popular jade ritual object, with an unknown function once again, is thebi, a disc with a center hole carved out and often with the outside edge adorned with notches, which was manufactured throughout the Shang and Zhou Dynasties and was produced in large quantities (1111-221 BCE).
Jade bracelets, miniature human, monster, and bull masks, halberd blades, and miniature tools such as sickles, knives, combs, and scoops, which frequently have holes made in them, presumably for suspension from a waist belt, as indicated by the position in which they were discovered on the deceased in tombs, are also common to this period.
- They may occasionally be carved to depict stylized birds, dragons, or snakes, while still retaining their general crescent shape and shape.
- There was a craze for animal figurines, which were depicted in the round or as flat plaques with owls, falcons, swallows, geese, ducks, parrots and cormorants among other creatures.
- Combs, hairpins, and tiger-tooth pendants, as well as decorative plaques for personal ornamentation, were also manufactured.
- A typical characteristic currently is dragon plaques with the beast creating a loose S-shape; protruding dragon decorations; regular pitting decorating ofbi; and double-tiger head patterns; all of these are now popular.
Cormorant of Jade from China The British Museum is a cultural landmark in the United Kingdom (Copyright) The use of a circular cutting drill and iron tools is evident in certain pieces by the beginning of the HanPeriod (206 BCE), but with a lesser quality finish than earlier, indicating that items were being created more quickly and on a greater scale than previously.
Ornaments, jewellery, human figures and tiny landscape sculptures are now made of jade, as are chopsticks, sheaths for long fingernails, writing desk equipment (ink stones, brush pots, and brush rests), belt buckles, and even little pieces of furniture, among other things.
In addition to being used as a precious material in and of itself, without the addition of any other materials, jade was commonly employed as an inlay in other costly objects such as gilded bronze or pure gold jewelry, cups, and bowls, among other things.
In 1787 CE, a team of Chinese sculptors carved a colossal image of a Qing landscape that took more than seven years to finish.
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Jade, in Chinese Culture
The term “jade” evokes a feeling of mystique and intrigue. In Chinese, the term “jade” (yu) refers to a fine, attractive stone with a warm hue and a rich shine that has been skilfully and gently carved into something lovely. Jade is regarded as a sign of grandeur, perfection, consistency, and longevity in Chinese culture. They thought that one of their eight immortals, Ho Hsien-Ku, earned eternal life by ingesting a powder made of powdered jade and mother-of-pearl, and that this was how they achieved eternal life.
In the world of precious stones, it is considered to be the most valuable of all.
The firmament was supposed to be circular in ancient Chinese cosmology, whereas the earth was considered to be square.
Historically, the phoenix and the dragon were animal deities who provided the life-giving energy for familial lineages, according to Chinese mythology.
These decorations represented the dignified demeanor of a gentleman, and they are credited with being the source of the Chinese proverb: “The gentleman’s morals are as precious as jade.” The term “jade” refers to two minerals, nephrite and jadeite, that differ in chemical composition but are not visually distinguishable from one another.
Jadeite is the vivid green jade from which most beads, jewelry, and bigger artifacts are manufactured, and it is quite popular.
Today, in the People’s Republic of China, the purchasing, wearing, and gifting of jade artifacts as presents are all still highly popular activities.
Jade is still revered in China, and the Chinese believe that, in addition to being beautiful, it can guard from disaster and provide good fortune.
Chinese Jade – Origin, History, Meaning, and Culture
Sacred ritual beginnings, a long history, amazing carving talents, and priceless artworks are all part of the Chinese Jade culture.
Importance of Jade in Chinese Culture
- From the Neolithicera through the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC — 256 BC), jade items were used as sacrifice offerings in religious rites.
- From the Qin (221 BC — 207 BC) until the Qing (1636 — 1912) dynasties, jade has been utilized to create emperor’s imperial seals as a sign of supreme authority.
- Jade objects have long served as excellent indicators of one’s social standing
- Nevertheless, in recent years,
China’s National Museum of Culture has a jade figure from the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC — 1046 BC) (Photo by Dongmaiying)
- According to the renowned philosopher Confucius, Jade is a symbol of the eleven most important attributes of a moral individual
As a result, throughout history, a nice person would always be seen wearing anything made of jade.
- As a wonderful character in Chinese literature, jade has been used to create a variety of beautiful characters and phrases, and is particularly well-suited for describing elegant and brilliant people as well as pretty women with stunning appearances as well as tasty food, beautiful scenery, and extraordinary buildings, among other things.
- From the Neolithic era until the Han Dynasty (202 BC — 220 AD), jade has played an important role in the development of a thriving burial culture.
Xuzhou Museum has a dragon-shaped jade decoration from the Han Dynasty (202 BC — 220 AD) that was discovered in the Mausoleum of King of Chu (Photo by Dongmaiying) Ming Dynasty (1368 — 1644) Jade-decorated filigree gold hairpin from the Hubei Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)
What are mysterious legends about Chinese jade?
When the sky was shattered a long time ago, Nv Wa, the deity who produces mankind out of clay, polished a five-colored magic stone and used it to repair the large hole in the sky, according to legend. After that, she dispersed the remainder of the magic rock on earth, which subsequently transformed into jade stones that were scattered over the landscape. The Jade Dragon of the Hongshan Culture (about 4000 BC — 3000 BC) is on display in the National Museum of China. In subsequent years, Xi Wangmu, the goddess of Mount Kunlun, had given out ceremonial jade artifacts as valuable presents during her encounters with a number of renowned monarchs, including the Yellow Emperor, King Yao, King Shun, and King Mu of Zhou, among others.
Article made of jade from the Shijiahe Culture (about 2800 BC – 2000 BC).
What jade articles had been used in grand worship ceremonies in ancient China?
According to ancient Chinese cosmology and astrology, six types of jade articles were used to worship heaven, earth, and the four directions: the sky is round, the earth is square, and four mythical animals are guarding the four directions in each of the six categories of jade articles (Azure Dragon in East represents spring, Vermillion Bird in South as summer, White Tiger in West symbolizes autumn, and Black Tortoise in North as winter).
Click here to learn more about Ancient Chinese Astrology.
Why jade had been an important element of burial culture once in history?
Jade had been widely employed as a key feature of royal and noble burial societies for thousands of years, owing to its mythological origins and religious purposes. In ancient China, it was thought that jade could protect one’s body from decomposition and bad assaults, and that it might aid the departed in their journey to heaven or in their rebirth in the future after they had passed away. As a result, from the Neolithic period, jade objects have been put in the hands, mouth, face, chests, and backs of the dead to honor them.
Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute at Nanyang Technological University (Photo by Dongmaiying) Imperial and aristocrats donned jade clothing after they died during the well-developedHan Dynasty(202 BC — 220 AD), which were composed of jade tablets sewn together with gold, silver, or copper threads, depending on their position in the hierarchy.
More information about the Jade Burial Suit may be found on the Xuzhou Museum’s official website. The new Emperor Wen of Wei (who ruled from 220 to 226) ordered the abolition of the practice of wearing jade robes in funeral customs after the fall of the Han Empire in 220.
When theShang Dynasty(1600 BC — 1046 BC) carved inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells, the character for “jade” () was the same as the character for “king” (), it meant the link between heaven, earth, and humans. The ancient Chinese character for “emperor” is “,” which literally translates as “white jade.” Since the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD), jade has been inscribed with the character “” as a king’s symbol. National Museum of China’s display of the Chinese character “” (the proper one) on Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Certificate (Hu Fu) to Deploy Forces.
Imperial Jade Seal or Yuxi
After defeating the other six kingdoms of the Warring States Period and establishing the world’s first united feudal empire, the Qin Dynasty, in 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang created an imperial seal out of jade, which was known as Yuxi in Chinese. Since then, his jade seal has been passed down through the ages to various emperors as a sign of legitimate rule and supreme imperial power. Other lords and officials would also employ jade seals as symbols of their rank and power, albeit the designs, embellishments, and sizes would be strictly based on their position in the hierarchy.
Along with them, Qin Shi Huang’s imperial jade seal vanished off the face of the earth.
The Jade Seal of the Queen of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC — 8 AD) is on display at the Shaanxi History Museum in China (Photo by Dongmaiying)
Fengshan Jade Tablet
Yuxi, the imperial seal made of jade, was created by Qin Shi Huang after his victory over the other six kingdoms of the Warring States Period and the establishment of the world’s first united feudal empire, the Qin Dynasty, about 221 BC. Because of this, his jade seal has been passed down through the generations, serving as a symbol of legitimate rule and supreme imperial authority. Other lords and officials would also employ jade seals as symbols of their rank and authority, albeit the designs, embellishments, and sizes would be strictly based on their position in the hierarchy of power.
Along with them, Qin Shi Huang’s imperial jade seal vanished off the face of the Earth.
Queen of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC — 8 AD) seal made of jade in the Shaanxi History Museum (Shaanxi, China) (Photo by Dongmaiying)
Hierarchical Jade Belt
Jade Belt (in Chinese Yu Dai) was an essential symbol of one’s social position from the Sui Dynasty (581 — 618) until the Ming Dynasty (1368 — 1644), when only emperors and the highest ranking officials were permitted to wear Jade Belts, among other things. Lower-ranking officials might choose between gold, silver, and copper belts, depending on their position in the hierarchy.
Meanwhile, the patterns and quantities of tablets on the Jade Belt were rigidly organized according to rank. Yangzhou Museum has the 13-block Golden Jade Belt (Die Xie Jin Yu Dai) of Emperor Yang Guang (569 — 618), which is the highest format of any unearthed jade belt (Photo by Dongmaiying)
What are the aesthetics of Chinese jade?
From the Neolithic Period through the Warring States Period (403 BC — 221 BC), different shades of jade were valued equally throughout history. The National Museum of China has a dragon-shaped jade from the Warring States Period (403 BC — 221 BC) on display (Photo by Dongmaiying) It was during the reign of the Qin Dynasty (221-207 BC) when mutton-fat jade (Yangzhi Yu), in particular, rose to prominence as the most precious and popular variety of stone. Jade in the Shape of a Flying Deity from the Tang Dynasty (618 — 907) — Shanghai Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying) Green jadeite was not widely available in China until the mid- to late-Qing Dynasty (1636 — 1912), when it began to be widely imported and highly valued by the ruling elite, particularly Empress Dowager Cixi (1835 — 1908).
the Jadeite Hairpin (Qing Dynasty, 1636-1912) from the Shenyang Palace Museum (Photo by Dongmaiying)
What are the virtues that Chinese jade represents?
In the words of the great philosopher Confucius, jade represents the embodiment of 11 virtues: kindness; wisdom; righteousness; politeness; loyalty; credibility; optimism; magnanimity; humility; morality; and value. The power and boldness were later bolstered by another scholar from the Han Dynasty (202 BC — 220 AD). Because Confucianism was the prevailing philosophy in ancient China, jade has long been seen as a valuable ornament that all moral people would wear as a symbol of their social standing and qualities.
What are popular jade articles in China?
In the words of the great philosopher Confucius, jade represents the embodiment of 11 virtues: kindness; wisdom; righteousness; politeness; loyalty; credibility; positivity; magnanimity; modesty; morality; and value. The power and boldness were later bolstered by another scholar from the Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD). Because Confucianism was the dominant philosophy in ancient China, jade has long been seen as a valuable ornament that all good people would wear as a symbol of their social standing and moral character.