Jade, known in China as “the stone of heaven,” is a beautiful stone that is widely used for jewelry and decorations. While it is traditionally a shade of green, it can also be found in red, orange, brown, white, blue, lavender, and pink. Jade has been used since prehistoric times. Besides decorations, it was used then for knife blades, axe heads, and wood carving tools. This is because jade is a very hard stone, similarly to quartz. In the 1800′s, it was discovered that there are actually two different stones that are referred to as jade, nephrite and jadeite.
Nephrite is the more common jade stone, and it is most commonly green, but it can also be found in white. Jadeite is much rarer, and comes in many colors. The most highly prized jade is emerald-green jadeite. The two main sources of jadeite are Guatemala and Burma. Guatemalan jade was historically used by ancient Mesoamericans, and Burmese jade was used heavily in China.
China is the country most people think about when they think of jade. Jade has more history in China than in any other country. It has been used for decorations and ceremonial purposes in China as far back as 6000 BC! Jade was a symbol of wealth and prosperity in China, and owning white jade was a symbol of nobility. The Chinese believed jade help brought about immortality, and royalty in the Han Dynasty were buried in a suit of jade. Jade in China has the same connotations as gold and diamonds in the West.
In Gainesville, FL, where our store is located, the Harn Museum has recently unveiled a beautiful jade collection as part of their Asian Art wing. They have some great pieces from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
One of our favorite Jade pieces in our store is this simple gold and jade necklace. We also have some jade rings, pendants, bracelets, and carvings.
If you have any jade jewelry that you would like to share with us, we would love to see it! We are also very happy to answer any questions you have about jade or anything else jewelry related. Tweet us @rrenaissance, Instagram @rrenaissance, or post on our Facebook Timeline at https://www.facebook.com/renaissancejewelry.