Feature Gems & Gemology, Spring 1982, Vol. 18, No. 1

Jade Forms from Ancient China

The attraction of jade is two-fold: the nature of the material and the way it is used. The color, texture, and feel of jade are easily appreciated, but the symbolism of the motifs in which it is carved is an enigma to many of the stone's admirers. This article briefly examines some of the symbols used in jade carved in China, including an introduction to the religions on which much of this symbolism is based. By mastering these basic symbols and the philosophy behind them, collector and seller alike can gain greater understanding of the cultural and philosophical meaning of the art involved in a particular piece.