a jade necklace

Chinese Jade

Beauty of stone - Jade



"Jade" refers to all warm and shiny beautiful stones in ancient Chinese literature. The definition of jade in the "Shuowen Jiezi" of the Han Dynasty, the so-called "beauty of stone", this definition is quite broad and ambiguous. From the perspective of mineralogy, when a certain kind of beautiful stone reaches a certain hardness, it can be called Jade, but because jade and stone are born together, it is often difficult to distinguish. The ancients said that there is no distinction between jade and stone, and it contains the meaning of indistinguishable definition.
Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, French mineralogist De Moore has divided Chinese jade into two categories: "Jadeite" and "Nephrite". "Jadeite" refers to jade, while "Nephrite" has a broad and narrow sense. The broad and narrow sense can now be called Hetian jade, but the broad Hetian jade also includes Xiuyan jade, Qinghai jade, Kunlun jade, Russian jade, Han jade, and Afghan jade. The narrow category specifically refers to the jade produced in the Hotan area of ​​Xinjiang, which is famous for its “seeds” in Hetian.

Lantian Jade

During the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty, Song Yingxing put forward in his "Tiangong Kaiwu": "The so-called Lantian jade is an alias for the jade produced in Congling (Kunlun Mountain)." The beautiful jade of the Western Regions was transferred to the distribution center of the Central Plains, but in the Lantian area of ​​Xi’an, there is indeed a kind of "metamorphic rock", in which the white and gray parts are marble, and the green strips are called vegetable jade, which is a kind of green color like vegetable. Ye's jade is similar in nature to Xiuyan jade. The place of origin of Yukeng is called Yuchuan Mountain just behind Gongzhuling, where the famous Lantian ape-man fossil was born.


Nanyang Jade

It is produced in Dushan 8 kilometers north of Nanyang City, Henan Province, so it is also called Dushan Jade. It is different from jadeite and nephrite composed of only one mineral element. It is mainly calcium aluminum silicate and contains multiple mineral elements. Altered gabbro". Nanyang jade has a hardness of 6-6.5 and a specific gravity of 3.29. Its hardness is almost comparable to that of jadeite. Foreign geologists call it "Nanyang jade". Nanyang jade was mined quite early and was adopted in the late Neolithic period. Nanyang jade was unearthed, and a piece of Dushan jade was also unearthed from the tomb of Fuhao in Yinxu. The best material of Dushan jade produced today is fat white and green, slightly transparent.


Xiuyan Jade

Abbreviated as "Xiu jade", the hardness is 2.5-3.5, the specific gravity is 2.5-2.8, the texture is fine and uniform, and the head is sufficient but soft. In terms of texture, Hetian jade is the first, Nanyang jade is second, and Xiuyan jade is second. The Neolithic Liangzhu cultural jade artifacts were found in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, my country, and dozens of them were unearthed from the tombs of Fuhao in Yinxu, with white, blue, yellow, light yellow, pink, light green and emerald green buds. Because the texture of "Xiu jade" is similar to nephrite jade, the jade is delicate, translucent to opaque, waxy to greasy luster, so counterfeit nephrite is sold in the market, and "Xiu jade" is called Xinshan jade in the industry. Called Laoshan Jade, it is the concept of time limit to mess up the market.


Jiuquan Jade

Produced in the mountains near Jiuquan, Gansu. Because the mountain is called Qilian Mountain, it is also called Qilian Mountain jade. The jade is dark green and has more black spots. It is geologically identified as a serpentine mine. It is the same as "Xiuyu", but with The jade color of Xiuyu jade is very easy to distinguish. The local people use jade to make small wine glasses called "luminous cups" to increase the value. In fact, white jade is still expensive. At that time, it was called the essence of white jade, which actually refers to mutton fat jade. Luminous refers to Moonlight can reflect the shadow of the moon through the body of the cup and wine, it is not a jade that naturally glows at night.



It has a hardness of 6.5-7 and a specific gravity of 2.65. It is a traditional jade material in my country. Strings of agate beads or agate cups are often found in jewelry unearthed in various places. Ancient agate tributes from the Western Regions, India, Persia and other countries also included the inland, northeast, northwest, and north China regions. Agate is often referred to as pearl in ancient times and is one of the treasures. However, the value of modern agate is not high, because the output is large and it is an ordinary jade. The color of agate is bright, bright and pure. Red is the main color, with red thin silk red, scarlet, orange as the color, and dark red as the bottom color. It is used for antique collection. What we see in modern times is the Warring States Red Agate. The best ones are red and yellow with white and various natural patterns or patterns of animals and plants, which are the most valuable.

Pine Otolith (turquoise)

Hardness 4-5.3, specific gravity 2.6-2.8, pine otolith is called "turquoise jade" abroad, and its colors are mostly sky blue, blue-green and green. The pine otolith is the most vivid and bright sky blue, followed by green. The pine otolith is an ancient traditional jade in China. In the Neolithic Age, it was used as an ornament along with sapphire agate and jade. In our country Twenty pieces were unearthed from the Qijia cultural site in Dahezhuang, Yongjing, Gansu province, and 32 pieces were unearthed from the Qijia cultural site in Huangniangniangtai, Wuwei, Gansu. There are different numbers in the later Shang Dynasty, Western Zhou, Spring and Autumn and Warring States to Han, Southern and Northern Dynasties. The turquoise jewelry appeared, and such pine otoliths have also been found in Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Anhui, Henan and other places in recent years.

lapis lazuli

The hardness is 5.5, and the specific gravity is 2.7-2.9. The jade has a unique blue color, such as dark blue, bright blue, and purple blue. It has golden spots due to the pyrite content, which is called "Venus". The quality of lapis lazuli is based on Color and gold are the standards for evaluation. The pure color (indigo) is strong and the golden stars are brilliant and uniform. Lapis lazuli is very deep and pure because of the blueness. The ancients described it as "the road to heaven", so it was mostly used to make the emperor's burial vessel. It was called "Miu Lin" or "Liu Li" in ancient China, and its origin was mainly in Persia (now Afghanistan) and the Baikal region of Russia. The former was the main source of ancient imported lapis lazuli in China. Lapis lazuli can treat depression and intermittent fever.



Named for its malachite green color, it is mostly massive, stalactite, crustaceous and concentric strips, with a hardness of 4 and a specific gravity of 3.9-4. The green of malachite is very rich, ranging from light to dark, from light to thick, It can be described as a thousand kinds of green, with all colors and colors; in addition, it also has wonderful and changeable patterns in its colors. Its quality is that the beautiful patterns and bright colors are top-quality. China has long used malachite as ornaments. In the prevailing era, it was often used to inlay on bronzes. After the Tang and Song Dynasties, it was ground into powder to make pigments. Copper mines such as Yunnan and Tibet are abundant in China.



The specific gravity is 2.66, the hardness is 7, and it is named due to the different colors or the shape of the inclusions. Colorless is called crystal, purple is called amethyst, yellow is called citrine, red is called red crystal, or "furong stone", "Xiangnan" ", smoky yellow-brown is called citrine, smoky crystal, and black is called smoky crystal. The colorful, bright and unique shape of the inclusions are especially cherished by the public. However, crystal products have been unearthed from the tombs of the past dynasties in my country. In the unearthed cultural relics of the Pagoda of Xilin Temple in Songjiang, Shanghai, apart from a large amount of nephrite, the jewelry is crystal products. Crystal is also known as Feng Shui Stone.


The hardness is 2-2.5, and the specific gravity is about 1. Amber is a fossil of ancient plant resin. It can be divided into several types according to the depth of preservation in the soil or the seabed, and its color characteristics: the first layer, pine cone wax, Translucent body, light yellow in color; second layer of beeswax, orange or chicken butter yellow, opaque body, pine cone wax firm, color smooth as grease; third layer of golden amber, color golden or brown, transparent body, pure The golden color is superior; the fourth layer is amber, transparent, red, and the blood red is the best, called blood amber; the fifth layer: bird brain, opaque, the color is like coffee, with regular wooden stripes or concentric The round layer pattern is the oldest one.


Coral (Fire Tree)

The bones accumulated by the corals of seabed animals during the continuous reproduction and growth are similar in hardness to lapis lazuli, and have a tighter texture than malachite, and are brittle and easy to break; they are red, pink, white, black and other colors, with brilliant red as the top. Coral is one of the crown decoration materials that symbolize the official rank of the Qing Dynasty. The crown of the Qing Dynasty officials is ruby, the second grade is coral, the third grade uses sapphire, the fourth grade uses lapis lazuli, the fifth grade uses crystal, and the sixth grade uses car channel. , The seventh product is the plain golden dome, the eighth product is the engraved golden dome, and the ninth product is the positive golden dome. Because rubies and corals are both red, "Red Dingzi" became the symbol of the first and second class members of the Qing Dynasty. At the same time, corals were also made into court beads for nobles to wear. In the tomb of Empress Dowager Cixi, there is a coral branch. At that time, it was worth 830,000 taels of silver, which shows its preciousness. The main origins are Japan, Taiwan, my country's Hainan, Canada and other places. Coral has the functions of removing the light, calming the nerves and suppressing the alarm.

Xinjiang Hetian Jade

Xinjiang Hetian jade-warm nephrite, the main component is composed of tremolite and actinolite into fibrous crystals, mineralogy called "hornblende", chemical name silicate, hardness 6-6.5 degrees, specific gravity 2.96-3.17. Xinjiang Hetian jade varieties include white jade, sapphire, blue white jade, topaz, jasper, and black jade. White jade can be divided into seed jade, mountain water jade, mountain material jade, and Gobi desert jade. There is also a kind of green jade called sugar jade.


Sapphire is cyan, it is grayish-white to blue-white. Sapphire is the hardest in nephrite, also known as steel jade, but the color is not as beautiful as white jade. Sapphire is mainly cyan, but there are also small areas of sugar on top of the original color ( Brown or yellow), also known as "sugar jade", sugar jade mostly appears in white jade and sapphire, belonging to a subordinate status, not only classified as a jade species, because the jade composition contains the mineral "iron". Because sugar color is very useful in jade carving, it is favored by people.


It is green to dark green, sometimes with names such as parrot green, pine flower green, and ginkgo green. The best ones are translucent and smooth like spinach; the green and gray are the lower ones, and the best jasper is like jade. At first glance, I would like to mix with jade, but its black star point and the characteristic of losing its color under the light are completely different from jade. The story of the headdress "jasper hairpin" worn on the head of ancient women is very popular among the people.

Mo Yu

When the jasper contains more impurities and is black, it is a precious black jade. Its black color may be like a thread-like sesame, or a flaky dark cloud, or a completely black one. Its name is dark cloud piece, light ink light, and beautiful. There are also random names such as bristles. The nature of black jade is the same as that of white jade, but the texture is harder. The black jade is often composed of several colors on a piece of material, with colored bands. Even if it is pure ink, there is always a gray and white "di Zhang" specialty. Terminology, generally refers to the background surface), like plumes of white smoke floating on the dark screen. Among the ink jade, those with strong black and white contrast can be used as clever color works; all black is mostly used to make ware pressing silver wire.


One of the more precious varieties of nephrite, the hardness is higher than that of white jade, and it is opaque. It is much lighter and less dense. It has names such as chicken oil yellow, beeswax yellow, chestnut yellow, and osmanthus yellow. Sallow yellow and chestnut yellow are preferred. Because topaz is produced less, the value of topaz is not lower than that of white jade from suet. Gu Yingtai of the Qing Dynasty believes that "the jade is firstly sweet and yellow, and suet is the second." No less than mutton white jade.

Suet jade

Nephrite jade is mainly produced in Xinjiang Hetian jade and is called nephrite. Hetian jade is often referred to as Kunlun Mountain jade in historical records at the northern foot of Kunlun Mountain. Jade is produced in the West, but Qinghai jade and Russian jade refer to the Tianshan Mountains, so the ore composition Similar, it also has a waxy grease luster, the hardness is the same as Xinjiang Hetian jade, so the authenticity cannot be distinguished by bite. This jade contains high quartz content, rough texture, high brittleness, strong transparency, and is often exposed to sunlight. Rain and dew are easy to break up, cracking and discoloration. Compared with Russian jade, a waxy and a stalk; a white moisturizing, a "dead white", the sound is clear and crisp, and the other is dull. It is not difficult to distinguish.