What is jade and jadeite?
Over 100 million years ago, when the magma gushed from the earth
crust and became cool some minerals experienced complicated chemical
reactions thus jade stone came into being. The true jade namely
nephrite consists of silicates of calcium and magnesium; it varies
in colors according to the proportion of iron contained. Jadeite
is harder and consists of silicates of alumina and sodium, which
is regarded as an excellent substitute for jade. In China about
one hundred and seventy different kinds of valuable stones are frequently
included in the term “jade”.
What is the Difference between nephrite (jade) and jadeite?
and chemical characteristics
with a waxy sheen
or clustered distribution; white, grey, green
Chinese jade culture
The jade culture of China is very deep and rich. On the sites of
Hongshan Culture and Hemudu Culture archaeologists have found jade
objects, which can date back to the early Neolithic period (around
7,000years ago). At that time ancient Chinese used jade stones as
tools and ornaments.
Ancient Chinese in the Xia, Shang, Zhou dynasties (21st century
BC to 8th century BC) used round flat piece of jade with a hole
in the middle, which was called “yu bi” to worship the heaven and
used long hollow piece jade with rectangular sides, which was called
“yu cong” to worship the earth. So jade was very important ritual
implement in ancient China. Ancient Chinese revered jade and they
believed jade was the talisman and it had miraculous power to keep
evil spirits away and protected the wearer. The ancient nobles and
royalties possessed jade ornaments and jade ware to show their power,
social status and wealth. Jade articles were even buried in the
coffin as they believed that jade could keep the dead body from
being decayed. The famous jade clothe sewn with gold thread was
discovered from one ancient tomb of the Western Han Dynasty (202BC-8AD)
in 1968. It was made of 2,498 jade pieces and 1,100 grams of gold
thread. It is the funerary dress for the Emperors and high ranking
nobles in the Han Dynasty.
Chinese people even endowed jade with a lot of cultural connotations
and made jade impersonated. According to the quality of jade people
compared their virtue with jade. Jade is warm, smooth, lenitive
with luster, which is like the virtue of benevolence. Jade is translucent
and its flaws can be seen, which is like the virtue of honesty and
loyalty. Jade can be broken yet cannot be bent, which is the virtue
of braveness. Jade can send good and clear sound when being struck,
which is like the virtue of wisdom. It is sharp when cut but not
injures people, which is like the virtue of righteousness. In ancient
time gentlemen with good virtues wore jade and would not take jade
off without special reasons. Actually the virtues of jade tally
with the traditional Confucian norms, which is widely advocated
by ancient Chinese.
Jade in Chinese is pronounced “yu” and it stands for beauty, purity
and good virtue. So it is always related to other words and idioms.
“Jade will not become ware without being carved and polished” that
indicates man will not become a useful person without being cultivated.
“ To be like jade and flower” means the girl is so beautiful and
charming. “Gold and jade words” means the Emperor’s words. “Keep
the body as jade” means to keep one’s reputation pure. The God in
Chinese Taoism is called “Heavenly Jade Emperor”. The Chinese character
of jade (yu) is always used in names. One of the Four Beauties in
Chinese history, named Yang Yuhuan, the beloved concubine of Emperor
Xuanzong in the Tang Dynasty (618AD – 907AD). Yang is her surname
and her given name is “Yuhuan”, which means “jade ring”. Altogether
there are hundreds of Chinese characters containing the radical
(the basic structural part of a Chinese character) of “jade”. Jade
is really very important in Chinese culture.
The value of jade and jadeite
Jade is rare with beautiful natural colors and it is difficult to
find and to mine. Jade is hard and is difficult to process. That
is why jade is regarded as gemstone with diamond, ruby, sapphire
and emerald. All over the world there are very few places producing
jade. Jade stones are formed over long geographical epoch. In ancient
time Chinese people went to the mountains or riverbed to try their
luck to look for jade. After thousands of years’ exploitation, high
quality jade stones become almost depleted. Jade is hard, especially
jadeite is with solid texture with the hardness of degree 6 or above.
(on the basis of the hardness of diamond is 10) Today man-made diamonds
can be very close to the quality of natural ones. However, jade
stones can not be man-made like natural ones. There is a proverb
in China” There is price for gold but there is no price for jade.”
Imperial green that is translucent is very rare, and a bracelet
that is all imperial jade color will cost at least $100,000 as a
The health protective function of jade
Jade is used in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Commonly,
it is ground into fine powders with other ingredients. According
to practitioners, jade has the function of calming the soul, maintaining
healthy blood circulation, and clearing the eyes and ears. It can
“moisten” the heart and lungs. Moisten, here refers to a positive
maintenance of the liquid medium that protects and lubricates body
tissue. The ancient Chinese took jade powers to prevent and cure
disease. It has been a major medical ingredient for treatment and
as prevention for aging.
Chinese people believe that jade can ward off evil spirits and bring
good luck. It is the talisman of human body. Modern science and
technology indicate that the jade contains the zinc, magnesium,
copper, selenium, chrome, manganese, cobalt...etc. These microelements
are good to human body. Usually wearing jade, human body skin can
absorb microelements from the jade. Jade can also absorb toxin from
human body. Jade can coordinate the balance of inner organs of human
body .When wear jade it can massage a certain acupuncture points
to stimulate the blood circulation system. Jade can store Energy
Qi and keep Yin and Yang in balance. Jade can absorb sunlight in
daytime and can release it at night.
The producing region of jade in China
The four most famous jade stones in China are Hetian jade in Xinjiang
Uigur Autonomous Reign, Dushan jade in Nanyang, Henan Province,
Xiuyan Jade in xiuyan city, Liaoning Province, turquoise in Yunxian,
The quality of jade
The quality criteria of jade lie in many aspects, such as the brightness
of color and luster, compactness of inner structure, workmanship
of the carving and so on. For example, nephrite creates an oily
luster and jadeite creates a vitreous luster. Tiny cracks can lower
the value of jade; on real jade, air bubbles cannot be seen; the
more lenitive jade has the higher quality it has.
The value of Jadeite and how does the treatment affects
Some will buy precious stones as an investment, for example, diamond.
Jadeite is proved to be more profitable in these years. The price
of jadeite rises about 100% to 50% per year. But only those all
natural jadeite can be looked as estate, which is called Grade A
jadeite. If the jadeite is treated, it can only act as an ordinary
accessory or ordinary product, no longer a precious stone, because
its texture is damaged and durability is greatly decreased. After
it has been worn for a certain period of time, irregular tension
micro-cracks will appear. It is the reason why the price of all
natural jadeite is far higher than treated ones, which is the difference
between precious stone and ordinary accessory.
If you want to buy jadeite as investment or buy a real precious
stone, remember to choose grade A jadeite.
What are Grade A jadeite, Grade B type, Grade C and so on?
Grade A jadeite: all natural jadeite, without any
treatment. This type of jadeite can be bought as a real precious
stone or investment. Grade A jadeite is more translucent with natural
vitreous luster. It can send clear and metal like sound when being
Grade B type jadeite is he natural jadeite soaked
in a mixed strong acid solution. Next, soak it in epoxy resin mixed
with hardener. Then take it out and heat it to harden it. This kind
of treatment can improve the color and transparency of the jade.
But its texture is damaged and durability is greatly decreased.
It can send dull sound when being knocked. Be aware that Grade B
type jadeite can also be called "natural color jadeite ",
because it is not dyed, its color is really natural. Ask the seller
"is it soaked in acid solution?" as an additional question
to confirm the jadeite you buy is Grade A jadeite.
Grade C jadeite: colored or dyed jadeite. Grade
B+ Grade C jadeite is the jade dyed after acid-treated and resin-filled,
which results in beautiful color and great transparency. But the
color is not natural and the durability is greatly decreased.
Grade D jadeite: this kind is not real jadeite
but another kind of jade or stone but looks like jadeite. It pretends
to be jadeite because jadeite is the most precious and expensive
one in the jade-like minerals.
Identification of Grade A, Grade B type, Grade C, and Grade
Some experienced craftsmen and traders can examine jadeite with
naked eyes, by its color and luster or by its sound. To consumers,
the best way to judge a piece of jadeite is to ask for the gemologist
an identification certificate by a testing centre.
How to take care of jade and jadeite?
People believe jade has life and soul and it needs constant care
by collectors. Firstly, avoid being bumped on hard surfaces as jade
is delicate. Although sometimes a crack cannot be seen by the naked
eye, the interior structure may have been damaged. As time goes
on, it will appear and reduce its value. Secondly, protect jade
articles from dust or greasy dirt. If blemished, they must be scrubbed
with a soft cloth or washed with clean water. Thirdly, when left
unused it is best to store the jade in a case or box to protect
it from being bumped. Fourthly, jade should be kept away from perfume
or chemicals otherwise it will tarnish. Fifthly, do not expose jade
to sunlight for a long time, otherwise it may expand and the quality
will change slightly. Finally, jade has certain water content so
keep it not in an over-drying area.
The history of jade carving in China
Jade carving appeared in China in the Neolithic Period and it became
a separated profession in the Shang and Zhou dynasties about 3,000
years ago. The excavations have shown the fine workmanship of that
time. The craftsmanship of jade carving reached its peak in the
Qing Dynasty (1644-1911AD). Jade is hard and it is extremely difficult
to carve but Chinese craftsmen created incredibly intricate ornaments
and jewelry from jade. In ancient time craftsmen used carbondrum
and diamond to grind jade stones. It is still a time consuming handwork
although some operations have become faster with the use of simple
machines today. The materials used for jade carving include all
kinds of hard stones, such as jadeite, nephrite, red agate, crystal,
turquoise, malachite, emerald, amethyst, coral, lapis lazuli, ruby
and sapphire. It is a special skill to use the natural colors of
a piece of jade to create an effective design so the most expensive
ones are not those of one single color but those of multiple colors.
These jade ware such as jade bowl, jade plate, jade statues of animals
and characters are valuable collections. There are also other jade
jewelry used as personal ornaments such as rings, necklaces, earrings,
Famous jade carvings in China
There is a famous story about a piece of jade (heshibi), which was
believed the most priceless treasure. In 689BC one man called Bianhe
found this jade which was hidden under the veil of a coarse stone.
He contributed it to the king of State Chu but the king cut off
his legs because the king didn’t know the value of this stone. Later
the stone was cut and it proved to be a valuable jade and it was
named “heshibi”. Wan Bi Gui Zhao (Jade Returned Intact to Kingdom
Zhao) is a follow-up story of the famous jade. 300 years later this
national treasure fell into the hands of King Zhao. The king of
the State Qin, the most powerful state during the Warring States
Period (475-221 BC), tempted to exchange the jade from the State
Zhao by using his 15 cities, but his trick failed. The jade was
returned to the State Zhao safely. Later on the Kingdom Qin unified
China, the emperor Qinshihuang got this jade and he ordered craftsman
to carve it into a stamp. This imperial stamp was carved with 8
Chinese characters “shou ming yu tian, ji shou yong chang”, which
means “ Being given the order from heaven, enjoy long live and flourish”.
From then on this imperial stamp became the token of supreme power
and authority. This national treasure was lost in 10th century.
Large sized jade articles began to appear in the middle of Chinese
feudalism. There is today in the Round City of the Beihai Park a
large jade jar. It was used as a wine container by the Yuan Emperor
Kublai Khan when he feted his followers. The 3.5 ton jar may hold
as much as 3000litres of wine. It has a circumference of 493cm and
measures 70cm high and 55cm deep in the middle. The elliptic jar
is well-shaped and engraved all round with clouds, waves, dragons
and sea horses. It is the oldest jade object of a large size kept
intact in China. Another large piece worth mentioning is a jade
sculpture dating from the reign if Qianlong in the 18th century.
Entitled ”Jade Mountain Showing the Great Yu Taming the Flood”,
it was sculpted after a Song Dynasty painting of a similar title.
The jade carving piece is 2.24 meters high and 1 meter wide, which
depicts vividly the detail how Great Yu with people harnessed the
river. According to historical records, the uncut jade tone was
5 tons, which was discovered in Hotan area, Xinjiang. It took 3
years to transport the stone to Beijing and took 6 years to carve
and polish. No wonder it is a national treasure.
Here are some jade bangles
for sale. If you have interest please contact me.
White jade nephrite
bangle is with the inner diameter of 6cm. The outer diameter is
around 7.5cm. The width is 1.5cm. It weighs around 65grams. The
texture is smooth. It costs 28USD with the embroidery jewel box
including shipping. Green agate bangle is made of agate jade. The
inner diameter is 7cm. The outer diameter is 8cm. The width is 1
cm. It weighs around 45grams. It costs 25USD with the embroidery
jewel box including shipping. Peach jade bangle names from its color.
It is a kind of nephrite. It has more colors, which is like peach
blossom. The inner diameter is 6.4cm. The outer diameter is 7.5cm.
The width is 1.5cm. It weighs around 55grams. It costs 30USD with
the embroidery jewel box including shipping. Jade beads bangle consists
of 15 pieces of different colored jade beads. They were chained
by rubber band. The diameter of the bead is around 1.5cm. Naturally
the inner diameter is around 6cm but it can be elongated. It weighs
around 55 grams. It costs 25USD with the embroidery jewel box including