The Beauty of Chinese Jade

Published: 16th October 2009
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Chinese jade puts forth so many positive attributes that the stone's rise in popularity should be no surprise. With a storied past and a stunning appearance, Chinese jade appeals to both the fashion and spiritual side of every bearer.

Described in the first Chinese dictionary, Shuo Wen Jie Zi, as beautiful stones, the use of Chinese Jade is documented as early as the early Neolithic period circa 5000 BC. The earliest recorded mention of Chinese jade cited discoveries in the Zhejan Province.

The pure white form of Chinese jade is the most treasured. The stone's translucency also creates various shades of green, black and brown. All are popular today. The stones are classified as soft jade, nephrite, or hard jade, jadeite. Chinese jade is inherently soft jade. The hard jade was imported from Burma during the Qing dynasty (1271-1368). The Chinese refer to hard jade as feicui. Recently, hard jade has become more popular and valuable.

Jade is a special stone with a special place in Chinese culture. Many of the gem's attributes have blossomed its popularity around the world. Globally, jade represents beauty, grace and purity among other characteristics. The Chinese word for jade is "yu" which is used in many idioms and phrases to signify beauty. Yu Nv means beautiful girl, Yu Jie Bing Qing means pure and noble.

Perhaps timeless Chinese philosopher Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC) summed up the stone's allure best; "The wise have likened jade to virtue. For them, its polish and brilliancy represent the whole of purity; its perfect compactness and extreme hardness represent the sureness of intelligence; its angles, which do not cut, although they seem sharp, represent justice; the pure and prolonged sound, which gives forth when one strikes it, represents music. Its color represents loyalty; its interior flaws, always showing themselves through transparency, call to mind sincerity; its iridescent brightness represents heaven; its admirable substance, born of mountain and of water, represents the earth. Used alone without ornamentation it represents chastity. The price that the entire world attaches to it represents the truth. To support these comparisons, the Book of Verse says: 'When I think of a wise man, his merits appear to be like jade.'"

Confucius makes a strong case for Chinese jade. The Chinese not only consider the stone a symbol of dignity but a gift of ceremony and a blessing of fortune and longevity. The cultural connection to jade adds further meaning to the revered gem.

In a second century AD, another Chinese dictionary declared Yu the fairest of stones and endowed with five virtues; Clarity, Wisdom, Courage, Rectitude and Equity. As the stone's popularity increased, jade became associated with power and wealth.

Chinese alchemists linked the stone to good health. Many devoured filed down jade to prolong life and fend off evil spirits. It seems that wherever and whenever one delves into Chinese culture, stories of jade's powers arise.

Over time jade has served many purposes. A stable of Chinese art, the gem has also been used to create tools, ornaments, utensils and musical instruments like the jade flute or jade chime.

China is the leading producer of jade. Varieties include Ancient jade, Hetian Jade, Jiuquan Jade, Lantian Jade, Dushan Jade, Mi Jade and Xiuyen Jade as well as others. Hetian Jade and Xiuyen Jade are the most popular cuts.

The quiet allure of jade has led to a resurgence in the stone's popularity. Men and women have come to recognize the spiritual and fashionable character of the attractive stone. A gift of jade is truly a gift of love and delivers a powerful expression of admiration.Western culture has been captivated by chinese gifts for centuries. Chinese art and gifts have always been collectible and valuable. Chinese is proud to bring you beautiful Chinese gifts at an affordable price. Visit online today.

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