The 11 Virtues of Jade

For centuries the Chinese have regarded jade as a spiritual stone able to dispel misfortunes. (Auckland Museum [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)
For centuries, the Chinese have regarded jade as a spiritual stone able to dispel misfortunes. (Auckland Museum [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

“Jade worship” is a common phenomenon among Chinese around the world. It was established in China thousands of years ago. The culture of jade worship began in ancient times when jade was seen as being symbolic of rulers and having a connection to God. Jade was considered to be at a level as high as a ruler. From ancient eras to modern times, it is believed jade has an inherent characteristic that allows it to dispel misfortune.

Jade was mined in China as early as 6,000 B.C. It was regarded as being spiritual and composed of the essences of Heaven and Earth that could protect people from evil and disasters. Jade was also a favorite medium to craft into ancient Chinese scholars’ objects due to its symbolization of noble character. Even Confucius said: “Jade has 11 virtues.” Therefore, everyone — the true nobleman and even the imposter — worships jade and wears it.

The 11 virtues of jade:
1. Jade imparts a feeling of warmth and kindness, which stands for benevolence.
2. Jade has a dense and rigid texture, which stands for wisdom.
3. Jade has sharp edges in hidden orientations, which stands for righteousness.
4. Jade can be carved and neatly worn, which stands for good manners.
5. Jade can emit clear and elegant melodies upon striking, which stands for music.
6. Defects on jade do not mask its beauty, and jade never hides its defects, which stands for loyalty.
7. Jade never covers its brightness, which stands for truthfulness.
8. In different lights, jade shows many colors like a rainbow toward the sky, which stands for Heaven.
9. Jade shows its spirit is as enormous as the highest mountain and the deepest ocean, which stands for the Earth.
10. Jade is carved into ritual implements, which stands for morality.
11. All jade on the Earth is precious and dignified, for jade is virtue.

Translated by Jean Chen

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