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Trail

Jade in the Royal Collection

Vibrant jades from around the world

Three vases in archaic bronze forms carved on a stepped stand: in the centre, an incense burner, with upright handles and three animal-style feet, carved with a taotie, the domed cover with an oval button knob; to one side, a two-handled vase, also with t

Group of three small vases forming an incense set

©
Master: Khanjar and scabbard

Master: Khanjar and scabbard ©

Jade has long been valued for its durability, vibrant colour and its strikingly tactile quality.

In the West, jade refers to both nephrite and jadeite. Both are silicates that are formed when pre-existing rocks are buried and undergo a process of material transformation, although jadeite is both rarer and harder than nephrite.

From an eighteenth century Indian dagger hilt to a twentieth century Fabergé elephant, via Maori weapons and Chinese imperial status symbols, the jade in the Royal Collection demonstrates the many manifestations of jade objects across centuries and cultures.

Find out more below:

Chinese jade

Jade has long been prized in China

Maori pounamu

Jade was traditionally used for high status weapons

Fabergé

Fabergé sourced local, lighter versions of nephrite

Indian daggers

Gifts given to the Prince of Wales in 1875