The Story Behind The Crystal: Jade

The Story Behind The Crystal: Jade

| Edgar Navarro

Crystals have myths and stories behind their meaning

Jade meaning and properties

The word "jade" communicates a sense of mystery. In Chinese, "jade" (yu) refers to a fine, beautiful stone with a warm color and rich luster, that is skillfully and delicately carved. In Chinese culture, jade symbolizes nobility, perfection, constancy, and immortality

In Central America, the Mesoamerican groups, namely the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs prized jadeite jade. They used it for medicinal purposes as well as for jewelry, ornaments, and religious artifacts. The name jade comes from the Spanish expression piedra de ijada—literally “stone of the pain in the side.” Early Spanish explorers named it after they saw natives holding pieces of the stone to their sides to cure or relieve various aches and pains. Jadeite also symbolizes prosperity, success, and good luck.

Ancient Mayan Jade piece

The ancient Chinese considered jade the most precious and most beautiful natural material. It was carved as early as the Neolithic Period (c. 3500-2000 BCE) when it was used to make sacrificial and ritual objects, especially in the Hongshan and Liangzhu cultures. However, it was the aesthetic quality of jade and an increasing association with moral ideas of purity and goodness ascribed to it by Confucian thought that ensured the precious stone would continue for centuries as the most desired decorative material.

No doubt due to its high value, it also became associated with the aristocracy and it was regarded as virtuous for gentlemen to adorn their houses, and especially their writing desks, with aesthetically pleasing yet functional objects carved from jade. Another strength of jade was the belief that, as it was considered indestructible, it imparted some sort of immortality on its owner, and for this reason, jade objects were frequently buried with the dead.