Jade Around the World

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George Harlow

Jade is one of the most beautiful rocks I’ve ever seen. And it’s rare! Jade is only found in certain places on Earth. It’s amazing to see how many different cultures have used jade.


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scrapbook page with pictures of jade jewelry, tools, bi disks, carving, rice bowl and teapot, and a the Chinese character for yu
a jade bangle, pendant and ring


The Chinese cherished jade more than any other stone. People wore precious jade jewelry like bangles, pendants, and rings.

3 choppers in various shapes and colors of jade


Did you know that the Chinese first used jade to make tools, maybe as long as 8,000 years ago? Take a look at these choppers. The first tools may have looked like these!

3 bi disk of varying colors and ornateness

bi disks

These "bi" disks symbolized heaven. Some bi disks are very plain, like the green one. Others have very detailed designs on them, like this white one. But my favorite is the orange bi disk with the amazing dragon carvings.

jade carving of a dragon


Look at this beautiful jade carving of a dragon. In Chinese myths and legends, the dragons of the east represent power and good fortune. Can you find its head and its tail?

chinese character for yu


"Yu" is the Chinese word for jade. The Chinese believe yu carried good fortune. Yu was a crucial part of Chinese life for over 5,000 years, and still is today.

pale green jade teapot and grayish white jade rice bowl

rice bowl and teapot

Sometimes jade was even used to make everyday objects, like these rice bowls and teapots. Only the most wealthy and powerful people would have owned them.

Image Credits:

All photos: courtesy of AMNH