Jade History & Jadeite & Nephrite one of the first use of the mineral gemstone was in the Xia Dynasty approximately 2200 BC when household items were produced. This went on until recently (19th Century) in Myanmar with Burma Jade . The Chinese also used the green jadestone together with bronze for everyday items.
In the Shang Dynasty when ancestor worship became mainstream in the upper hierarchies simple jewelry and slabs where used for ritual purposes since the green stone was considered indestructible and preserve the life stamina black jade was used too. Bur the good black jade the Chinese only used after they encountered jadeite-jade from Myanmar until that time only dark green colored stones were used.
The US / UK Myanmar embargo on Jade production
Over time also lower class people started to add some items when burying someone. The best visualization of this was in the tombs of royal members of the Han Dynasty they were buried enclosed in a burial suits made from pieces stitched together with metal wire for funeral association they also used black jade It was also used for ritual purposes there was a disc for the North and another for the South, the tiger for the West and a huang for the East huang.
At funerals the nine body orifices were sealed with small pieces of jade. Ritual items were used for different purposes including reflecting the social rank, a dragon was very popular for this. Also other animals such as horses were used. There is plenty of jade culture & history building up over thousand of years.
Jade Jewelry carvings.
Jade Jewelry carvings became increasingly popular and considering the hardness of the green stone (one of the hardest materials on earth) it was amazing how they could handle this with the technical possibilities they had during that time.
Objects of that time were sky and earth symbols with a little hole in the center to better keep them together.
Also ornamental creations and small figurines of animals such as tigers and mythical objects like dragons were created and other jade art carvings.
The term carving is sometimes misleading, usually not carving instruments are used but drilling tools.
The black white & green jade stone have not only a Chinese history.
At excavation in the big lake areas in Europe Mexico and New Zealand artifacts which where made from green nephrite jade were found.
In Myanmar or Burma the mineral is called "Kyauk Sein" which simply means green stone. The English word comes from the Spanish "i jada" that means the stone which cures a kidney disease.
They got this from the Aztec and Maya in the Spanish colonies where they believed that the material has medical properties actually theirs was blue colored but the jade-stone in Guatemala has normally a blue color although green stone are found.
16. Century Spanish colonists.
In the 16. Century Spanish colonists brought the mineral to Europe.