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Getting to know Gemstones: Jade

Jade has been a long-time favorite gemstone—thousands of years, to be exact—throughout various cultures around the globe. The gemstone is considered pure and strong enough to inspire the wearer’s highest spiritual capacity, yet sensual and luxurious enough to give in to earthly desires. Join us in this month’s deep dive as we explore the history and lore of Jade.

Cultural Roots of Jade

Jade initially rose to popularity with Asian consumers, but in today’s time, non-Asian buyers are drawn to jade as never before. People of all ages are attracted by jade’s rich heritage as much as by its beauty, durability, and rare appearance.

Nephrite jade coined its roots in the smoky caves and huts that were home to prehistoric humans. In Stone Age China and Europe, jade shared multiple uses being made into everything from weapons and tools, to ornaments and decorations. These carvings were said to invoke the powers of heaven and the mystic forces surrounding life and death. The strong protective relationship between jade and humanity continued into the modern day among the native peoples of New Zealand and North America. 

In Central America, the Mayans and the Aztecs used jade as a “stone of healing” in medicines and rituals. It is said that the Spanish names the gemstone after seeing natives hold pieces of the jade to their sides to relieve sickness. The stone has gone on to symbolize prosperity, success, and good luck for all those who wear it. 

The Tradition of Gem Carving

Many pieces of jade we see in pop culture today are carved in to various shapes, sometimes butterflies, dragons, or anything, really. This tradition began in China, and made jade into more than just a stone of healing—it became an important medium of craft for artists.

Some of the ancient symbols that we commonly see used in carvings include:

  • The Bat—Thought to represent happiness and prosperity.
  • Butterfly—Thought to give the wearer long and meaningful life.
  • Dragon—A symbol of power and strength.
  • Peach—Thought to bestow immortality of person and legacy.

At Sorg Jewelers we pride ourselves on service, having offered outstanding guidance and craftsmanship for over 120 years. From custom pieces to folkloric traditions, we have you covered from the moment you walk through our doors. Have more questions about the world of jade? Do you have a topic you’d like to see a deep dive done on? Let us know!