Known as “The Stone of Heaven”, jade is a sacred material that symbolizes virtue, nobility and purity in Chinese culture. Jade is considered to be more suitable for Chinese people, women in particular, as the soft and naturalistic aura of the stone compliments their poise (气质).
In imperial times, jade was regarded as a symbol of wealth and rank. Only the ancient Chinese elite were allowed to (or could afford to) wear jade.
Among the elite, women would wear jade jewelry, while men (usually high ranked Chinese government officials and emperors) would wear jade belts and pendants on their clothes.
Jade was not only worn to show one's status, jade jewelry and ornaments sort of acted like an ID card as well. The designs usually incorporate a family crest or poetic totems that imply a person's name.
In the 20th century, the possession of jade was no longer confined to the rich or high-ranking; jade had become widespread and much more common.
Stills taken from Wong Kar Wai's latest feature, The Grandmaster.
Soong Mei Ling (宋美齡) was a keen collector of spectacular jade jewelry. Having lived through the end of old China and the beginning of new China for a whole century, she was often seen pairing fashion-forward qipao with elegant jadeite pieces.
One of her favorite jewelry possession was a pair of unique twisted jade bangles. She was photographed wearing this pair of bangles at her 100th birthday party (1998). These bangles originally belonged to a big Shanghai gangster's wife.
Jade on Eddie Huang, Lizzo, Uma Thurman, Lil Uzi Vert
Nowadays, jade is worn by people all over the world. Jade Buddha pendants became widely popular beyond just Asian families. Actually, Buddha is believed to be better for women than for men, as the saying goes "男戴观音，女戴佛 (men wear Guanyin, women wear Buddha).“ Guayin posses more feminine power that can balance out men's overtly Yang energy. Modern pieces of jade jewelries combine both cutting edge designs and cultural references to its ancient heritage.
Yvmin x Xuzhi Jade Beads Tassel Necklace
Yueqi Qi Love Jade Necklace
The most important thing to note when choosing jade is whether you have a good connection with the stone. If the piece of jade jewelry speaks to you, it's yours!