Ten Things to Know About the Art of Jade Carving

Some of the world’s most valuable jade items feature intricate designs that were formed through the art of carving. The detailed depictions that are etched into the precious jadeite stones can only be created by artisans with talented craftsmanship. Along with the quality of the stone, the carving is also what determines the worth of the jade item, whether it be a pendant necklace, figurine or bangle. When collectors go to buy jade necklaces and other items, one of the characteristics they look for is the quality of the carving.


The practice of jade carving is not like wood or ice. It is a very painstaking process that requires much patience to create the desired design. Some of the jade designs that can be found on the market include various stone shapes, dragons, flowers, plants, Buddha, elephants, horses, cats angels and more. When making jade stones into jewelry, they must be carved into specific shapes so that they can be set into precious metals like gold and silver.

To extend your knowledge of jade carving, we’ve compiled a list of facts to explain the art.

  1. Jadeite stone is so hard that it can only be shaped by being scraped with sand pastes and tools.
  2. Thousands of years ago, Chinese carvers performed their craft using bone, bamboo, and stone instruments to abrade jade stone with sand.
  3. Since jade carving required many resources, labor and time, only those in power could command the craft, which gave the stone its representation of status and power.
  4. Jade can be carved to create dining ware and vases that are paper-thin due to its tough material.
  5. In the modern art of jade carving, there are thought to be over 30 kinds of jade stone in use.
  6. Some of the most famous jadeite workshops in today’s market are located in China’s mainland.
  7. During the carving process, the artisans must be careful as not to make wasteful cuts or shatter the stone.
  8. Jade carvers first study the qualities of the stone to see where the best parts of the piece should be illuminated in the design before they begin their task.
  9. Jade stones are carved so that their best features, including the color, clarity, and pattern, are showcased.
  10. The jade carving process can take anywhere from twelve to twenty-four hours to finish, depending on the design, while more complex designs may take two to four days.

Every jade collector and buyer should know about the traits of jade carving and what the process entails. Staying educated about the jadeite stone will help you know what to look for when shopping for authentic jewelry, figurines or antique items. We hope you learned a thing or two from our list of jade carving facts!