Written by Juliette Qi
Today, jade is still very popular in Chinese daily life. It is a precious material much sought after by collectors not only for its different shades of green, but also for its symbolic meaning rooted in traditional Chinese culture.
Often made into jewelry such as pendants, bracelets and earrings, jade is also widely used in Chinese interior decoration as a symbol of honesty and courtesy vis-à-vis the master. It also adds a quiet and peaceful atmosphere to the house.
The Acknowledgement of Jade in Europe
Jade has been known for over 7000 years. The name jade dates back to the time of the Spanish conquest of Central and South America and comes from the “piedra d’ijada” or hip stone, which was considered a protection and cure against kidney disease.
For its therapeutic effect on the kidney, the stone was also known as “lapis nephriticus”. It was not until 1863 that mineralogists discovered that jade consisted of two distinct minerals, jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is very hard and durable due to its structure made of very small grains fit tightly together. And nephrite, a variety of actinolite mineral, is even harder, because of its inter-paired fibrous crystal composition in a hard compact mass.
Nowadays, jade also plays an important role for Western stylists in the design of modern jewelry as a special aesthetic element.
Jade has become increasingly popular. In China, the finest qualities of jade come from Xinjiang (Hetian), Fengcheng in Liaoning (Xiuyan), Zhejiang (Qingtian) and Henan (Nanyang). The line between jade and precious stones is not always easy to draw. For example, the most beautiful jade stones can be worth as much as gems of comparable quality.
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Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.
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