The Power of Jade
Jade is the second most important material after bronze in the history of Chinese culture, and the belief in its magical powers is evident in Chinese mythology, religion, philosophy, folklore and social life.
It is believed that Jade can protect one from evil and bring good luck. People have been said to escape accidents because they had a piece of Jade on them. In some of these cases, the Jade piece broke, leaving the person unharmed.
Jade is frequently used in Chinese alchemy and medicine. The Chinese believe Jade has the ability to confer immortality, eradicate shortness of breath and thirst, as well as improve the health of the heart, kidneys, lungs and throat. Some people believe that scars on the face and body can be removed if constantly rubbed with a piece of white Jade.
Comforter to the Dead
Jade articles have been used by both the living and the dead. "The living wear Jade as a symbol of their mortal integrity, and Jade accompanies the deceased to comfort their souls". Sacrificial utensils made of Jade were used for offerings to ancestors and in ceremonial respect to the gods of heaven and earth.
Jade is a favorite material used for jewelry such as necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, combs and hairpins, and is also often set in walking sticks, caps and sashes
Jade has also been used to make practical items such as brush holders, water cups, armrests and brush washers.
Symbol of Nobility
Jade was frequently worn by the nobility as a sign of their office and authority in early times, Jade axes and spades were carried by the nobility, and these later evolved into Gui - an elegant Jade tablet. The Emperor would also dispatch an official with a Jade "tablet of authority" to proclaim the task assigned to him.