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Eternal Elegance: The Eminence of Xiuyan Jade

Jun 27, 2024
Xiuyan Jade


Xiuyan Jade (岫岩玉, xiù yán yù), also known as Xiuyan Jade, is one of China’s most treasured types of jade and is recognized as one of the Four Great Jades of China (中国四大名玉, zhōng guó sì dà míng yù). This exquisite stone, known for its vibrant colors and unique qualities, has played an important role in Chinese culture for centuries. In this article, we will delve into the history, origin, cultural significance, color characteristics, Mohs hardness, and proper care of Xiuyan Jade.

History of Xiuyan Jade

Xiuyan Jade has a long and storied history dating back to the Neolithic period. It has been used in various cultural and religious contexts, symbolizing purity, nobility, and spiritual power. The Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 – 256 BCE) saw a significant rise in the use of Xiuyan Jade for ceremonial and decorative purposes. Over the centuries, Xiuyan Jade has continued to be highly valued for its beauty and cultural resonance.

Xiuyan Jade Mine

Xiuyan Jade Mine

Origin and Mining Locations

Xiuyan Jade is predominantly mined in the Xiuyan (岫岩, xiù yán) region of Liaoning Province (辽宁省, liáo níng shěng) in northeast China. This area is renowned for its rich deposits of jade, and the jade from this region is considered among the finest in the world. The unique geological conditions of Xiuyan contribute to the distinct qualities of Xiuyan Jade.

Cultural Significance

Jade, in general, holds a special place in Chinese culture, often referred to as a symbol of purity and moral integrity. Xiuyan Jade is traditionally associated with virtues such as purity, beauty, and moral integrity. Jade artifacts and jewelry made from Xiuyan Jade have been used in various cultural rituals, symbolizing status and spiritual beliefs. In modern times, Xiuyan Jade continues to be highly prized for both its aesthetic and cultural value.

Xiuyan Jade Artifacts

Xiuyan Jade Artifacts

Color Characteristics

Xiuyan Jade is celebrated for its wide range of colors, including shades of green, yellow, white, and brown. The most prized pieces often exhibit a bright, vibrant green hue, although each color has its own unique charm and significance. The colors of Xiuyan Jade are typically vivid and lustrous, contributing to its popularity in jewelry and decorative items.

Mohs Hardness of Xiuyan Jade

Xiuyan Jade, like most jade, falls under the category of nephrite (软玉, ruǎn yù). On the Mohs hardness scale, it ranges between 5.5 and 6. This hardness makes it durable enough for various types of jewelry and carvings while still being workable for artisans. The relative toughness of Xiuyan Jade ensures that pieces made from this stone can withstand daily wear and tear.

Care and Maintenance of Xiuyan Jade

Cleaning: To maintain the beauty of Xiuyan Jade, it is essential to clean it regularly. Use a soft cloth and mild soap with water to gently wipe away any dirt or oils. Avoid harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, as these can damage the stone’s surface.

Storage: Store Xiuyan Jade jewelry separately from other pieces to prevent scratches and damage. Use soft pouches or lined jewelry boxes to keep the jade safe. Avoid exposing the jade to direct sunlight for extended periods, as this can affect its color.

Handling: Handle Xiuyan Jade with care. While it is relatively tough, it can still be chipped or cracked if dropped or struck against hard surfaces. Always remove jade jewelry before engaging in strenuous activities to minimize the risk of damage.


Xiuyan Jade (岫岩玉, xiù yán yù) is a unique and culturally significant type of jade that has been treasured in China for millennia. Its vibrant colors, historical importance, and relatively high durability make it a favorite for jewelry and decorative items. Recognized as one of China’s Four Great Jades, understanding the history, origin, and proper care of Xiuyan Jade allows one to fully appreciate its beauty and cultural significance.

Light Stone's Dream of Jade Series - Xiuyan Jade Earrings

Light Stone's Dream of Jade Series - Xiuyan Jade Earrings

Light Stone's Dream of Jade Series - Xiuyan Jade Earrings

Light Stone's Dream of Jade Series - Xiuyan Jade Earrings

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