Antique white jade has been around for several years. The gemstone is pricey in China, fetching diamonds and gold prices just like in the west. White jade ornaments and jewelry are some of the incredible collectibles in Chinese antiques. From this guide, you will learn all you need to know about this precious gemstone in China.
White Jade Stone History
Only very few materials are better than antique white jade in Chinese art. The gemstone has been carved and mined since Neolithic times. White jade is currently the main hardstone used in Chinese sculptures. Jades appear in various colors, with green being the most common in Europe, but the white nephrite jade is the most precious in China.
They refer to it as ‘mutton fat’ and can occur in light yellow to translucent white shades. White nephrite jade prehistorically appeared in the Yarkand and Hotan riverbeds in the Xinjiang province. There were likely other sources in the country, but after the gemstone was exhausted, it disappeared from any historical accounts.
Chinese white jade, famously known as ‘yu,’ has existed for a long time in China and has been used differently. Many used it as sculpture, literature, and porcelain. The styles for this gemstone would go hand in hand with the trends and fashions of every dynasty. White jade was a precious stone in Chinese history, just like the west valued gold and diamond.
White jade was fancied for its durability and beauty. The stone symbolized indestructibility, moral integrity, and purity. Ancient Chinese tales say that white jade was believed to possess immortal or magical powers. People thought that it was the link between the spirituality and physicality realms. It was considered the stone has yin and yang properties which is probably why many white jade carvings were included in the graveyards.
This antique white jade that was found in China for a long time was categorically white nephrite jade. White jade was never known in China until it was introduced in the 18th century from Burma, now Myanmar. Upon introduction, green jadeite was a favorite among many, but things took a turnaround in the 4th and 5th centuries BC.
A white jade that bears a brown tinge was becoming fashionable, and many people started consuming its products. The gemstone spread to other parts of central Asia during the Han dynasty in the economic expansion. The earliest form of art from the white jade were ritual objects and primitive tools. These included zhang axe blades, ceremonial gui, chisels, and arrowheads. Even though this is fascinating news about archeology, there is very little documentation on these tools and objects.
Two popular antique white jade objects were made during the Zhou and Shang dynasties, including ritual cups and the bi. That was in the 1766 to 221 BC. These ritual cups were known as zong and entailed a round tube in a square. That was then adorned with notches or small circles. The Chinese shaped this zong in such a manner because they thought the earth was square and the sky was round. The bi was a white nephrite jade disc entailing a hole cut out with notches on its edges. The tool was believed to have an astrological meaning. Usually, the disc was found on the waist or chest of the dead in ancient China.
Also, ancient Chinese had white jade bracelets and representations of monsters, humans, tools like knives, combs, sickles, and halberd blades. All these tools bear small holes, and some were worn as Chinese white jade necklaces. As the scholar class was introduced in China, antique white jade became a favorite material for objects such as inkwells and calligraphy brush holders.
Some people even used the stone to make mouthpieces for opium pipes since the Chinese believed that white jade carvings would work on the longevity of smoking. Just like how the west adored gold and diamond, antique white jade was loved and used as ceremonial weaponry. These may include antique jade swords and daggers, personal jewelry items such as white jade earrings, white jade necklaces, and bracelets. It also had Chinese white jade buckles, clasps, hairpins, and belt decorations.
White Jade Quality Factors
You may already be aware that white jade occurs in two forms: white jadeite and white nephrite jade. Getting to the 19th century, not many knew their differences, and many said these were similar gemstones. However, they have different properties. White nephrite jade is slightly waxy and more common. It also appears oily.
Jadeite, on the other hand, is harder, denser, and rarer. The gemstone is also made of translucent quality and more vivid.
When assessing your jade quality, the luster and color is a big determinant. Observe the stone under direct light, and from that, you can judge its quality and authenticity. It should glisten just like light reflected in water if it is authentic. The stone should have a gloss-like finish, and upon closer inspection, it should bear subtle variations in hue and tone. The gemstone could also show some vein-like fibers.
You will also know a jade’s authenticity via hand feel. Both white jadeite and white nephrite jade are pretty dense. They come with interlocking and tightly-packed crystals, meaning the stone will have a smooth texture. Genuine jade will always be naturally cool when you touch it. Several tests can be done on the rock to determine its authenticity. Warm the stone in your arms for some time, and then release it.
Authentic jade will take time to warm and return to its cool temperature in seconds.
Meaning and Symbolism
Different people have their distinct meanings for the white jade. To some people, white jade serves as a crystal for good fortune, wealth, and money. To others, it may signify some hope in their battle against old emotional trauma, stress, or anxiety.
However, to simply put it, white jade is a stone that signifies positivity and hope. Anyone with difficulties in their relationships can use white jade to heal. The stone helps curate a pathway for confident and healthy interactions with other people.
While the gemstone has been part of human life for a long time, it has been given various nicknames. The most common ones include “Chicken Bone Jade” and “Mutton Fat Jade.” These nicknames have a Chinese origin, and they were given depending on the white jade coloration. The yellowish or translucent deposits were called “mutton fat,” while the brownish or creamy deposits were “chicken fat.”
White jade occurs in a waxy or vitreous to silky luster. The gemstone could be somewhere from opaque to translucent. It appears in hardness of 5 to 6 Mohs and has an uneven or splintery fracture. Its crystal habits are pretty unique. The visible crystals are rare, and they may have tough masses of interlocking blades and dense fibers. Even though the crystals may occur, they are usually slender and small.
White jades come with a colorless streak and a specific gravity of 3.0 to around 3.3.
White Jade Healing Properties & Benefits
White jade is a powerhouse that comes with brilliant healing properties. The gemstone offers gentle vibrations, and it is famous for soothing patience and love. The stone also gives the wearer self-assurance, which motivates them to achieve their dreams and ambitions. Using this gemstone can bring healing to you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
If you are looking for a gemstone that addresses the root cause of emotional issues, then the white jade is what you are looking for. Its gentle power incorporates excellent healing properties. Usually, whatever holds you back from progressing in life is in your head. It becomes easy to blame other people for your failures and misfortunes.
White jade healing properties can help you ditch any useless and harmful thoughts in your mind. With the help of the stone, you will be able to view people and situations with much more inner trust and clarity.
This stone can also help individuals struggling with stress and anxiety. Its gentle vibrations will carry you to a serene place where you will experience self-love and inner peace. White jade is the solution if you want to correct your character flaws and be your best version. The gemstone can help you control angry impulses and help you make informed choices in life. With help from the stone, you can easily let go of disappointment and resentment.
Some people and healers believe white jade is a crystal for fortune and good luck. The reason is that it helps you become less anxious, and you can focus on your ambitions and goals. You will also control any negative energy that may come your way.
Natural healers recognize white jade as a stone with extraordinary physical healing powers for physical ailments. If you wish to handle your health issues naturally, consider this stone but through an experienced practitioner. While working with healing crystals, there are many subtle points to consider, and a professional will be very convenient in this. They have the requisite knowledge on how to go about it.
White jade can be used to alleviate issues in the excretory system. People suffering from kidney troubles and the bladder can use white jade to mitigate the problems. The stone is also helpful in women’s health matters. It is believed to overcome issues with childbirth, pregnancy, menstrual pain, and fertility.
Other people use the gemstone to stabilize their blood sugar levels, fluid retention, and blood pressure.
Many natural healers love white jade because of its unique abilities. The stone can turn dark energy in your life into some pure and positive energy. If you have encountered some form of dark energy, you know it makes one feel anxious, heavy, and even paranoid. The use of white jade for a while will have the darkness and heaviness lifted away.
With a light and clean aura, other people will see your inner goodness, and you will impact other people with integrity. White jade will also give you greater insight and clarity, which boosts your confidence in making decisions that better your life.
By now, you may have known that this stone possesses fantastic metaphysical properties strongly linked to the crown and heart chakras. Heart chakras denote serenity, empathy, love, and compassion. White jade will help you connect better with these emotions. With the stone, you will feel more in control of your life and the people around you.
Whenever your heart or crown chakra is out of balance, consider the white jade to regain balance and have a purpose in life.
White Jade and Chakra
Chakra balancing is what you need in case you feel your life is falling apart. White jade is associated with Crown and Heart chakras. The heart chakra is near your breastbone. The heart chakra is unaligned at the point where you feel out of control and may be out of place. You can hardly accept, love, or let go of things that pull you down in that condition.
White jade will purify energies found in your heart and realign the heart chakra. You will address situations in a calm and calmly sober manner.
Crow chakra is concerned with the mental disposition and how your mind works. If your crown chakra is unaligned, you will easily be conflicted and confused about other stuff. However, with the help of the stone, you will have serenity and calmness. You will fully comprehend your limits and strengths.
How to use it
One can use white jade in several ways. People who practice feng shui know that this gemstone is very crucial for them. It is believed to bring new beginnings and attract opportunities.
If you have monetary issues, it is advisable to place this gemstone in the southeast or east of your office or home. Doing this could potentially increase your luck and bring good fortune.
You can also use this precious Chinese stone as jewelry. It appears beautiful in bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings. Keep the stone close to your body every time to enjoy its healing benefits and protection. Other people love the crystal for use as mala beads. Mala beads are ordinary in many cultures as they are used in meditation and prayer.
White jade is also ideal for meditation. Place the stone near your mat, over your head, or in your hand as you meditate to infuse its energy fully.
This stunning gemstone is believed to connect with the Pisces and Libra zodiac signs strongly. Anyone can benefit from the White jade properties, but it correlates strongly with these signs.
Libras are all about fairness, balance, and bright life. White jade resonates perfectly with them since it emits healthy relationships, clear thinking, and peace vibrations.
Pisces are emotional, sensitive, and empathetic. Whit jade gives them spiritual and emotional strength to boost their balance in life.