Symbolism of Jade in Chinese Culture

Around 7,000 years ago, a gemstone was discovered and there arose myth and symbolism with it. It is called Jade. It is used in art and jewelry as lucky charms. You can find it in women’s hair accessories such as hairpins and combs. It has a wide spectrum of colors and is used during religious ceremonies at a time. Chinese women with strong cultural beliefs wear jade on their bracelets as a protective ornament against evil. In ritual ceremonies, it was believed to have the power to protect body and spirit of both the living and the dead. Parents would give their children jade bracelets to remind them of their protection and love.

Chinese used to regard Jade as the “royal gem.” Its value can be compared to that of diamonds and gold which is more popular in the western world. It can be used to make weapons and tools for battle. The imperial palace is graced with beautifully sculpted figures and furnishings. It was the ornate jewelry used by the members of the imperial family. Aside from the belief that it was worn for protection, wearing jade pendant and ornaments indicated your social status. Only the richest family would be able to afford to have jade jewelry.

There are two kinds of Jade. The usual kind that you may find in Chinese antique stores is called nephrite. The cost depends on the artistry forged onto the stone. It also depends on the complexity of the shaping and carving of the stone into the desired shape or figure. Jadeite, on the other hand, is the more expensive in value than the other. It has higher quality and has the art of translucency and the range of color until the deep shades of green. This is more often made into jewelry such as bracelets and pendants.

There are characteristics of jade that can tell the real value of a specific product. For one, color can differ the many types of jade and its value. Nephrite is usually green or dark. It can have tints of red or yellow and maybe a little whitish. There are some types of jade with cloudiness in color and not even in color, these stone had lesser value than those that had even color. Those with solid and even colors are the best types and have the highest value. In western countries, it comes in a variety of colors such as apple green and emerald green. The smoother the jade, the higher it’s value. If it has an even texture and no marks of tiny cracks its value increases.

During the 20th century, events have turned into a disbelief of the power of the Jade. It was December 1937, when the Japanese Army marched into Jiangsu, Capital of China then, and murdered more than half of the whole city. This event was called the Rape of Nanking. Although Chinese beliefs give them the confidence of security such a that of the power of the Jade, there are things that will always be beyond our control.

The importance of Jade was spread all over the world. It has influences native tribes from half way around the globe. Mayas and Aztecs also regard Jade as more valuable than gold. Maori tribes, in New Zealand, have adopted the practice of making jade into weapons. Egypt, as in their history regard gold with high value, considers this stone as one that embodies inner peace, maintains balance and emanates love in our lives. Chinese stores, today, throughout the globe, sell and promote Jade jewelry for everyday wear. These may probably be the cheaper ones, but the importance is the belief that gives you confidence in your daily lives.

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