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Jade is sometimes referred to as the Eastern Diamond. Jade jewelry is of special significance in the Chinese culture. This hard, tough and highly colored stone is used for carvings as well as exquisite jewelry. Jade is a symbol of love and virtue the world over. Jade is the birthstone for the sun sign Virgo and the anniversary gemstone for the 12th, 30th and the 35th year of marriage. Chinese jade jewelry dates back thousands of years.
Though traditionally jade is found in vivid tones of green, it is also seen in pink, lavender and white. White jadeite is predominantly found in Myanmar. Jade stones are sold per piece and not per carat. Its texture, pattern and translucency play a vital role in determining its value. Jade is used to describe jadeite and nephrite though only jadeite is of value as a gemstone. An intense color combined with translucence is the hallmark of good quality jade. Jade commands a high price that is even more than rubies and emeralds. It is probably next in price to diamonds. In order to preserve the luster of jade, it should be kept away from intense heat and acids. A normal trade practice is to dip the jadeite in wax. Sometimes inferior qualities of jade are dyed green. It is advisable to purchase jade jewelry from reputed stores. Green glass stones and some other natural stones are used as imitations of jadeite.
Jade is fashioned into exquisite pieces of jewelry ranging from bangles, beads, belt buckles, brooches and buttons to earrings, hair-pins, pendants, rings and stick pins. You can find jade carvings that exhibit almost unbelievably intricate details of animals, birds, fish, gods, humans and insects as well as cups, incense burners and vases. You can find jade articles such as amulets, discs, knives and spearheads. Jadeite bangles are popular in Asia and these beads make beautiful necklaces and bracelets. The metal in the jade jewelry allows light to return from the stone and increases reflection.
Chinese Jade Jewelry
Chinese history has seen jade being fashioned into tools and ornaments from time immemorial. It was believed to be the Stone from Heaven with special powers to protect against evil. Chinese jade jewelry is believed to bring longevity, good health and peace of mind. Buddhist philosophy considers jade jewelry as a talisman against harm. Jade is believed to aid in lowering raised blood pressure and alleviating kidney and bladder problems. It has also been said that handling jade can help one relax by absorbing some of its secret virtue into the body. The flat and smooth texture of jade makes it ideal for carving. The Pi or flat donut shaped disc is commonly worn as a necklace. Chinese jade jewelry dates back to the New Stone Age. The Shang Dynasty encouraged the creation of jade models and sculptures. One can find jade figurines of Chinese folklore such as the dragon and phoenix. Jade also played a prominent role in the Mayan and Maori cultures.