Home News Exploring the Enduring Allure of Jade Jewelry: From Ancient China to High-End Designers

Exploring the Enduring Allure of Jade Jewelry: From Ancient China to High-End Designers

by Madonna

Jade, a gemstone with a history spanning over 9,000 years, continues to captivate hearts and minds around the world. Revered for its durability and beauty, jade has held a special place as a symbol of purity, knowledge, righteousness, and protection. Notably, it was the gemstone of choice for nobility and royalty in ancient China, serving as the canvas for intricate sculptures, carvings, objets d’art, and exquisite jewelry worn by imperial families.

Jade, most commonly recognized in its lush emerald green form, is especially prized when it takes on the hue known as imperial jade. This prized gemstone actually originates from two semi-precious minerals: nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite, typically pale and opaque, can be found in various shades, including white, green, red, yellow, and lavender. Jadeite, the rarer and more valuable variety, boasts translucence and a spectrum of shades, giving rise to imperial jade.


In Chinese culture, jade is deeply intertwined with the notions of immortality and soul preservation. During the Han dynasty, emperors and royals were laid to rest in jade suits meticulously sewn with golden thread. Even in modern times, jade pendants are frequently worn as lucky charms to ensure good health.


Interestingly, the term “jade” finds its origins in a Spanish expression, “piedra de ijada,” which translates to “stone of the pain in the side.” Early Spanish explorers coined this term after observing natives using pieces of jade to alleviate various aches and pains.


Today, jade endures as one of the most cherished of all precious gems, owing to its beauty, hue, and scarcity. Contemporary jewelers have breathed new life into jade, crafting statement pieces that evoke awe and admiration. From Tiffany & Co.’s heart-shaped pendants carved from jade to Van Cleef & Arpels’ imaginative creations adorned with garnets and pear-shaped diamonds, the gemstone continues to enchant the world’s most discerning collectors.

For Orit Elhanati, a Copenhagen-based goldsmith and founder of her eponymous jewelry line, jade holds an irresistible allure. She describes it as “a stone that speaks the language of strength and spirituality.” Elhanati’s modern creations pair jade with black onyx and brown coral beads, infusing a carefree holiday spirit into her elegant bracelet collection. “The jade mineral has a strong energy that creates captivating pieces to empower the modern man,” she explains.

On the other hand, Brazilian jeweler Fernando Jorge, known for his sculptural jewels that dance with the wearer, is drawn to the dark green hues and resilience of jade. He extols its adaptability for various carvings, resulting in consistently beautiful creations that blend traditional craftsmanship with modern style.

Jade’s enduring charm serves as a testament to its timeless appeal, bridging the gap between ancient Chinese culture and contemporary high-end jewelry design.


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