Jade (YU) in China refers to a fine beautiful stone with a warm color and rich luster. The chinese character for Jade was originally represented by three pieces of jade threaded by a string.
The chinese character for Emperor was also represented by a similar symbol. Each line represented Heaven, Earth and the Underworld. The vertical line running through the three horizontal lines
represented the Emperor. There were three Emperors, one for each plane of existance.
Chinese scholars today believe that the symbol for jade might have been the same as
the symbol for Emperor. The extra dot was believed to be a simple clerical error that eventually
caused the symbols to differ.
In the chinese culture, jade symbolizes nobility, perfection, constancy and immortality. For millenia,
jade has been an integral part of the lives of the chinese. To them, jade was viewed as the most
valuable of all precious stones. Aside from commercial value, Jade also possessed occult value.
Since nearly the beginning of the Chinese civilization, it was considered the " Stone of Heaven".
Jade is found in mountains and riverbeds. The Chinese considered Jade to be
"the essence of Heaven and Earth." Jade is an essence produced through the natural forces of rivers
and mountains over eons.
If jade is not skillfully cut and polished, the potential richness and luster that people prize cannot be expressed. When polished and carved, jade is attributed with certain cultural characteristics. Jade symbolized the noble bearing of a gentlemen. Jade has served as talismens, amulets for protection, badges of social rank, stores of value, medium of exchange, and conveyors of Imperial Court and
military orders. They were esteemed gifts and object of arts. Jade in its purest form, was a link
between the physical world and the spiritual world.
Discussion of Jade I