Jade: The History, Culture, and Uses

Posted by Baikalla Jewelry on

One of the most popular gemstones in China is jade. Jade has been used for thousands of years, and it's popularity continues to grow even today. The word "jade" comes from the Spanish term "piedra de ijada," meaning "stone of the side." This was because people believed that wearing a piece of jade would help ease their pain in this area. Today, many people wear jewelry made with jade because they believe it will give them health and wealth luck!



Jade's use dates back thousands of years, with the first jade carvings found in Neolithic graves from around 3000 BC. These were the artifacts of nobles and other high-ranking people, so it's likely that its early use was for decoration and as a status symbol rather than actually functional.

The Chinese forbidden to using Jade during the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1912) because it was so prized by the royals, that the common people were not allowed to even touch it!



The Chinese character for "prosperity" (福) is made up of two parts – one meaning "old", and another meaning Jade. This implies that old jade pieces are a symbol of prosperity, which may be how this stone is so popular as jewelry and decorative artifacts all over China.

Jade is such as popular stone in China that there are many idioms and sayings about it. For example: "玉不琢, 不成器" meaning "Jade must be polished, or it will not become a perfect object." This means that if you don't work hard, you'll never achieve your goals.

 There are also many proverbs referring to jade as a symbol of immortality and purity such as: "生如 jade, 死如玉" meaning "Born like jade, die like jade." This speaks to the idea that jade is unchanging – just as it was beautiful and valuable when it was first mined, so too will it remain so after years and years of handing down the family.


There are many uses for jade, but the main use is in modern jewelry. There are two main types of jade on the market, nephrite jade, and jadeite jade. The main difference between the two types of jade is jadeite jade is a more bright green color, whereas nephrite jade is light to dark green. Nephrite jades are also harder than jadeite jades. These serve difference purposes in jade jewelry-making. Nephrite is softer, making it more ideal for carving intricate designs. Jadeite is higher quality and has a bigger range of color, which is why so many people are drawn to it. 


Jade has been long considered the "jewel of emperors." The Chinese have prized jade for centuries due to its beauty and rarity as well as its strength. It does not break easily like glass or pottery, which makes it perfect for carving into intricate designs on jewelry such as pendants, rings, bracelets, and among other designs that the wearer may want.



Baikalla Jewelry carries Grade A, natural jade and is 100% untreated. Our pieces are backed up by a 100% money-back guarantee!


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