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Introduction to Design Symbolism In Jade Jewelry

Introduction to Design Symbolism In Jade Jewelry

Carving jade is a historical art form that has been passed down through Chinese history. It requires technique and it pays respect to various aspects of Chinese culture. The different jade carvings designs are also passed down with their unique meanings. Jade is also the perfect gift for the spiritual person in your life as it has been symbolic of powerful spirituality throughout Chinese history. 

Those knowledgeable about feng shui see harmony and good fortune in authentic jadeite, recognizing its association with immortality and beauty. Therefore, the most appropriate recipients of jade are often friends and family who seek its spiritual benefits or people you seek to bring the spiritual benefit to. Authentic Jade also boasts an exquisite shade of green, making it the ideal gemstone of its color. Since jade is beloved by both adults and children, there are different designs that are more appropriate for them. You can buy some authentic jadeite jade at Dahlia, where we ensure that our jade undergoes this inspection making sure jadeite jade is grade A authentic. 

Jade Design of Ethnic Groups

Between cultures, there have been many different uses and designs for jade. Common designs referring to Chinese culture are the jade coin/circle, carvings of the zodiac animals, and mythological creatures and gods. While jade jewelry is most often seen in respect to Chinese culture, it can also have designs unique to other cultures. China is not the only place where jade has a spiritual meaning and designs are passed down from. 

In other parts of the world like Japan, Jade is commonly made into bracelets where they believe that the color green enables the reproduction of fertility, life, and soul of the Earth. In Korea, jade was made into a small comma-shaped that was put in burials and crowns of the royalty. In India, jade is commonly used as part of ornamental daggers and statuses of Mahavira were entirely carved out of it. In Mesoamerica, indigenous cultures of the Olmec and Maya often used jade in rituals as it was highly symbolic and it was either used as a medium for hieroglyphics or carved into symbolic figures. Russian jade culture is connected with jewelry production where many high-end jewelry houses come from.

The Māori of New Zealand have a variety of their own pendants, such as the hook-shaped hei matau. Jade suppliers are often knowledgeable of these distinctions between cultures, so feel free to ask your supplier about which designs they feel are most meaningful for you. Adzi (toki) is a polished slab of jade and it represents strength. Pikorua (twist) is a spiral-shaped pendant that represents the interconnectedness between two people, often between friends or family. Koru (spiral) represents a new beginning. Hei Matau (hook) represents safe travels and one’s connection to the water. The heart, as its symbol suggests, represents love. Manaia Is a pendant with the head of a bird, the body of a man, and the tail of a fish. This piece represents the guardian of protection. Lastly, the Hei Tiki is human-shaped which represents the past, present, and future. All of this New Zealand jewelry is made with green nephrite or jadeite. 

Popular Chinese Jade Designs

Jade can appear in a variety of designs and colors, as seen in the image above, making them very distinct from one another.
Some designs, as seen in the image above, are far more intricate and detailed than the others, making them a work of art to create.

There are many popular Chinese jade designs with special meanings. These designs have different origins and meanings coming from Chinese folklore to phonological relation with the Chinese language. Many people decide to give specific jade designs to specific people in their lives based on these auspicious meanings. It is also important to understand that these designs were not only for jade, but used in other materials such as gold and silver. But it is believed the jade has healing, cleansing, and spiritual properties that will further enhance these symbolic meanings. There are simple designs such as the circle/coin design and calabash where even though the shape is simple, its spiritual meaning is much more important. Other designs that come from Chinese folklore are mythical creatures such as the pixiu dragon. There are also religious designs like the Laughing Buddha and Guanyin Goddess. Lastly, the 12 zodiac animals are often symbolic designs that are used. In our blog, we will go further into detail about what these designs are, their meanings, and who they should be gifted to or click on the design category of your choice to learn more.

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